Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Quiet Time


As we approached the new year, some asked me about daily Bible readings and keeping their daily quiet time or devotions fresh. I can understand the concern of some in relationship to reading all the way through...Genesis to Revelation every year...and being able to keep up with it. I offer some encouragement in order to keep quiet time fresh and to be refreshed.

One...mix it up. Spend a couple of days a week reading one chapter each day out of an Old Testament book and accompanying commentary (excepting the wisdom literature of the OT, which I will explain). Spend another two days -- one chapter each day -- reading a New Testament book and accompanying commentary (excepting the gospels). On two other days read through the wisdom literature and the gospels several chapters at a sitting -- without commentary. It is good just to read a decent section...and Job, the Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are good books just to read and absorb them as they are. Finally, take a Saturday (or some other day) to rest from an explicitly focused time -- listen to some Christian music perhaps, or spend some time in a good spiritual book.

Two...while spending time in prayer and meditating -- focus on a host of different things. Many times our prayers end up sounding like a list of wants and needs...I know that mine have at times. Spend some time just thanking the Lord for all of the great and marvelous blessings He has given to you/us...particularly His Son, the Spirit, family and church family. Spend some time just adoring and respecting God for who He is. Do spend time praying for family and friends...and some specific prayer needs that you are aware of. Also, pray for outreach opportunities and how you can better serve others. Pray for spirituality...particularly for such virtues as humility, better faith, wisdom, strength, enthusiasm, selflessness, hope, compassion, courage, sincerity...and to be a good example, good communicator, good servant and have a good attitude. Pray also for discipline and diligence, love and commitment, holiness and a balanced life. Pray for your goals, for opportunities, for the fruit of the Spirit to be at work in your life. Finally, pray for church leaders, different age groups in the congregation, ministries, mission efforts, etc. God will listen and He will answer these prayers in His own way for your/our own good. Just some things to consider. Blessings,


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