March 28, 2011

6 Habits: Spend Time with God Daily

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:17 pm by Steve

Many of us struggle to find the time to read the Bible and pray daily. Often we start with unrealistic goals or expectations. We try to fit another activity into our already hectic schedules and simply cannot find an open block that size. That leads to guilt and guilt leads to isolation and isolation leads to more guilt. Let me suggest a way to spend seven to ten minutes alone with God each day. Start small and let it grow. Once you develop this habit, your time with God will expand at a natural pace as you experience more of God and see the world through His eyes.

Start with a simple daily prayer for God’s guidance.
Memorize a prayer so that it is always on the tip of your tongue in the case of emergency. This is one of my favorites.

Lord, be a bright flame before me,

Be a guiding star above me,

Be a smooth path below me,

Be a kindly shepherd behind me,

Today and for evermore. Amen.

Start with a simple prayer for God’s guidance as you read the Bible.
For Example: “Dear God, Help me to understand your truth as I read the Bible today.” This will take from 30 seconds to one minute.)

Take time to read enough of the Bible to develop a complete thought. Read a whole chapter or a whole story instead of a verse or two, here and there. Some stories in the Bible last for several chapters; some are only a few verses long. Read enough to discover a thought or principle you can think about during the rest of your day. This will take from four to six minutes.

Round off your time alone with God with personal prayer – really talk to God. As you begin, this will take two to three minutes. Ask yourself these questions: (1) When have I felt the most connected to God and why? (2) When have I felt the most separated from God and why? (3) when have I been the kind of person I really wanted to be and why? These questions will draw you into the heart of God’s will for your life.

Let it expand naturally as you develop your practice.

Finally, talk with God about the everyday activities that makes you “YOU”. (what are your wants, needs, hurts, joys, etc.) Do not Hold Back. Don’t evaluate what you think God does and doesn’t want o hear. You can’t surprise God, shock God, or reveal that dirty little secret you think He doesn’t already know about. By sharing your heart honestly, you get it out in the open and the secret is not longer dirty or secret. It’s power is gone!

You can use this simple acronym:

ACTS

Adoration    ex: God, I praise you for who You are, Your steadfast love and forgiveness and for believing in me more than I do.

Confession    ex: Forgive me for not loving others like you love me. Help me to put aside petty jealousy, pride and arrogance and to grow in my ability to show love to others. Create in me a clean heart O God and renew a right spirit within me.

Thanksgiving    ex: “Thank you for the love of my family, friends and church. Thank you for loving me enough to send Jesus to die on the cross for me. Thank you for helping me become like him and to know the full meaning of love and forgiveness.

Supplication    ex: “God, help me today at work. I want my work habits to reflect well on you. Help our church to grow and touch many lives. Reach ___________ with your love and forgiveness and draw them to your side. Be with ___________”

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