(This post originally appeared as a guest post on My Freshly Brewed Life)
Think about the most important person in your life. Do you spent a great deal of time with them? Perhaps it’s your best friend, spouse, parent or child. They are top priority to you. It’s easy for you to find time to spend with them.
That’s how our quiet times should be: Top Priority. But what exactly is a Quiet Time or Devotional Time? And how do you begin?
WAIT! STOP THE PRESSES…THIS BLOG POST IS CANCELLED!
This post was going to be on prayer, and how deep it can take you in your relationship with God. Then I thought “Who am I to advise anyone on prayer?” There are oh, so many more experts out there. If you Google Quiet Time, you will have 70 million choices. SEVENTY MILLION.
Obviously, I don’t have all the answers on how to have a rich, deep prayer life. No, I’m still searching for that myself. I lose my train of thought, my mind wanders, my to-do list takes over. Then, before I know it, my hour of prayer and scripture reading is over. I have to get ready for work.
Why then, do I continue day after day? Why don’t I just sleep that extra hour, and try to slip praying in some other time? I think it’s because I hope that I will eventually learn how to take the peace of this quiet time into my day. Because a little bit of Jesus goes a long way, and sometimes my days seem to stretch to infinity and back.
Many times I have grand intentions. I continue my worship and prayer time while driving to work. I sing along with the radio, praising away, and then WHAM! It’s like I have a Jekyll and Hyde personality. Suddenly I’m screaming at the car in front of me who is going AGONIZINGLY SLOW. Never mind the fact that I was speeding because I was jamming to Third Day’s Agnus Dei.
All that peace from my time with God, all those great ideas of wanting to be more Christlike, gone. Out the window! I know that prayer changes people. I know that it has changed me. But sometimes, the change doesn’t seem to stick. However, I will continue day in and day out with the hope that in seeking Him, I will be changed, bit by bit, from glory to glory.
2 Corinthians 3:18
We all, with unveiled faces, are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit. (HCSB)
I have many books on prayer. When I got serious about my relationship with Christ, I knew that prayer was a top priority. I just didn’t know how. I grew up in the church, and around people who knew how to pray. I think it was assumed that if you grew up in church, you would know how to pray. Not so. Not for me, anyway! (If that’s the way you grew up, please know this: prayer is simply talking with God like a friend. Sit down with Him, tell Him what’s on your mind and your heart. Cry out to Him, and then listen for Him to respond.)
I began reading everything I could on prayer. One day, I found a book that said “Stop reading about prayer and praying and PRAY!” Well, there you go. Just pray. Just start. Begin right where you are. If you’ve never had time set aside for prayer and scripture reading, don’t think you’re going to begin with a marathon prayer session. A marathoner trains for months to run the race. He builds up endurance and discipline. You will need to do the same. Just get started. Get up ten minutes early tomorrow. Next week, add five more minutes. And five more the week after that. Start where you are, and build a habit.
Anyone (at least 70 million people) can tell you the how to’s of prayer. This has all been my two cents worth. But THE MOST IMPORTANT THING: just get started. God’s waiting for you. If you currently have a regular prayer time and it’s feeling dry or stale, keep going, keep praying. Don’t give up! God is always present. God hears you. He will meet you. He will wait for you. And times of refreshing will come from the Lord (Acts 3:19).
Until next week,