I prayed this morning, and I’m kind of excited about it. I guess it’s sad that I’m so very happy, as though it’s such an unusual thing. But I can’t help it. I’m rejoicing!
Even before today, I usually prayed every morning. You know, I offered up the typical “bless this day,” and “help me to have a good day,” and “thank you for your Word” kind of prayers. Not wrong, but not much more than a habitual, thoughtless offering.
And God, through His sometimes painful grace, regularly keeps me falling to my knees, crying out to Him countless times during the day. These prayers (and the trials that force them on me) are gifts from God, but they tend to be reactionary. It’s a great reaction, but those shouldn’t be the only times I have intimate conversations with God.
I’ve found myself procrastinating my prayer time. I’ll decide to start packing lunches, or look up something online, or even work a little more on my Bible reading plan in order to avoid praying. Using scripture reading to put off praying? Crazy, huh?
So, when I started thinking about my new Bible reading plan and my goals for spiritual growth this year, I knew I needed to give some attention to my prayer life. I’m not sure why it’s been such a difficulty for me, but maybe it’s because God wants to work through it so the Enemy wants me to avoid it.
Whatever the reason it was such a problem, I decided to take action to deal with it. I committed to setting a timer for ten minutes and purposely praying. No thoughtless prayers; only words that involved both my heart and my mind.
That’s what I did this morning. I set a timer and prayed for ten minutes. Then I prayed for twenty more. Once I got started, I was surprised at how quickly the time flew by. It was amazing!
Some lessons to learn from disciplined action:
~ Sometimes we need to force ourselves to do the right thing, even if it doesn’t feel natural or comfortable. Making ourselves do it doesn’t make it wrong.
~ Discipline takes discipline. There’s a reason we call them “spiritual disciplines.” Don’t wait until you feel like doing it.
~ Start small. Don’t try to jump to your end goal on the first day. It’s fine to build up your endurance, and a timer can help keep you from feeling overwhelmed.
~ Resist the obstacles. This morning, I tried to make another pot of tea, check Facebook, and do some extra Bible reading instead of setting the timer and praying. I had to refuse the distractions tempting me and just do what I knew I should.
What is a spiritual discipline in your life that needs a boost? Would you benefit from setting a timer to help keep you on track?
A Helpful Resource to Get You Started
If you’re wanting to spend more time in the Word of God, but are struggling to make it happen, my friend Leigh Ann has a helpful resource to get you started. It’s a 7 day Bible study about living intentionally called Live for Him: A 7-Day Scripture Study.
Through it, you’ll answer the questions:
- Who should live intentionally?
- What does it look like to live intentionally?
- When should I live intentionally?
- Where should I live intentionally?
- Why should I live intentionally?
- How should I live intentionally?
Knowing your “WHY” behind living intentionally, having a biblical framework to stand on, could be the catalyst you need to start being intentional every single day.
It might be just the thing you need to propel you into a deeper walk with God this year!
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