Do you have a dedicated time each day to sit quietly with God and read His Word? If not, maybe you’ve been wanting to begin, but just aren’t sure how or when to go about it! Over the next few weeks, I’ll walk you through several things that have worked for me. It may be a great starting point for you, until you get into a regular habit of meeting with God. We are each fearfully and wonderfully made, and blessedly unique, so you may have to change things up to suit your personality.
Your prayer time with God is your spiritual exercise. As with any exercise, there has to be a warm up. I’ve found three main areas help me get ready for my time with Jesus:
First, decide on a time and a place that you will meet with God. I find mornings work best for me, even though I am NOT a morning person. It is a wonderful beginning to my day, and I don’t get sidetracked with my never ending to-do list. You know, like laundry and cooking supper!
Begin the warm-up of your place the night before. Tidy up your prayer area. I like to have my area as neat as possible. When things are nice and orderly, I won’t be distracted, mentally putting away that book, or filing that bill. I’m kinda OCD like that.
Another thing I do the night before, is set the coffee pot. When I am ready to settle down in my special spot, I grab the coffee that is already brewed (in a favorite mug, of course), and head into my prayer room. If you have a favorite candle, light it up! Make this a special time, something you will look forward to each day.
Finally, have all your resources in one place. Mine are in a pretty basket by the sofa. My little basket overflows with my Bible, prayer journal, and pens. I use my favorite colored pens, because you never know what kind of mood you’ll be in, or if you’ll want to Pray in Color or do some scripture mapping!
You can buy a pretty journal to record your prayers, or just use an inexpensive composition notebook. I use loose leaf paper, and store the pages in a binder. At the end of the year, I take my pages out, and tuck them away in a pretty storage box in my closet. I have about eight years of journals in that box. One day, my grandchildren will be able to read how I prayed for them.
Sometimes, I will have a “to-do” that I can’t get off my mind. Usually it’s a work related item that will need attention as soon as I get to the office. I jot these little things in my prayer journal, laying them out before God. I put them on His altar, releasing them from my mind.
Scripture is a great warm up for your mind. Have a reading plan (we’ll go into more detail next week about God’s Word). But also have some go to scriptures to ignite your prayer time. Invite the Holy Spirit to teach and lead you.
Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground. Psalm 143:10
The most important heart warm up is confession. Beth More once said that before she ever begins her prayer time, she falls on her face before Almighty God, acknowledging her sins to Him. Whether or not I am physically on my knees or face before Him, my heart is pouring out to Him. Mentally and spiritually I am telling Jesus: “I messed up yesterday. My heart and motives were wrong. Forgive me, Lord!”
“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;” Acts 3:19
Be open with God, bringing everything to Him. Confess, repent and return to Jesus. Refreshing will come as you spend time in His presence.
Keep trying until you find what works for you. Remember to give yourself grace. But do start! Today is a great day to begin a habit of meeting with the Lord.
Next week we’ll discuss reading scripture to move our prayer times from Ordinary to Extraordinary. In the meantime, I have a list of “7 Scriptures to Ignite Your Prayer Time“. Click Subscribe for Updates (top right) to receive this free gift!
Grace be with you,
Betsy de Cruz says
Hey, Ellen! This is a great post, friend. I love the encouragement to spend time with God. I like the idea of prepping the night before. If I wait until the morning to gather my materials, it takes my groggy self twice as long as it does when I do it the night before.
Oh, I’m with you Betsy! It’s hard waking up so early, so I must prepare the night before!
Carmen Horne says
Girl, I am not a morning person either. It takes discipline for me to meet with God early, but I love our time together once we have met. I love these steps. These are just the things we need to help us get started. Good stuff!
Thank you friend!