Our journey picks up right after our personal prayer time in the morning, which we examined the other day; you can catch up here if you missed it.
Remember that we are examining our spiritual practices to ensure that we will have an overflow to share with others. We begin our days with prayer, and when we finish, we turn to God’s Word. In the classical sense, we will also study, but I would like to suggest that rather than study at this point, we remain in His presence a little longer; we can study later.
For your prayer time in the morning, pick a text to start with. Maybe it’s your favorite text, maybe it’s your sermon text, maybe it’s from a Bible study, or if all else fails, start with a book of the Bible, say John. Read your text slowly, pause and slowly read it again. It may be wise to use only a few verses at a time. If you were going to start in John, for instance, 1:1-5 might be good, for it is so rich in content. After I go through my text slowly a couple of times, I go back to prayer and ask God to show me what He has in those verses. I open my heart and mind to His voice and ask Him to fill me with His Word, to make it part of who I am. Then, I go through the text again, very slowly, one phrase at a time, and in between phrases I ask Him what He has in it for me today. As you surely grasp, this is sort of like praying God’s Word. Very frequently, if I don’t hurry and allow some silence, I will come to see things that I haven’t understood before.
In taking inventory of my own personal discipleship and spiritual practices, personal prayer and Bible reading are the two things that have sustained me for a very long time; my ‘strong suits’ you might say. In other areas of spiritual practice, I need some work!
What I can tell you, if this is all somewhat new to you, is that these are precious times for me, times in which I have come to my deepest understanding about the things of God. Some of the things that God has had for me in a morning text have appeared on this blog in my devotional posts, in fact that is where they usually come from. I cannot urge you strongly enough to combine morning personal prayer with a prayerful reading from God’s Word; your perspective on the day will change, and in time and with practice, so will your perspective on everything else.
There are other methods of doing this that people have shared with me over the years, and there is probably no “one size fits all” approach to this, so you might want to do some research on the subject to find a method that works best for you, but I wouldn’t put off getting started, if you don’t do something like this already.
May God bless your journey richly and abundantly!
Our next Journey post will look at Bible study…