As we embark on a new year, I think it is a good time to make a fresh commitment to strengthen our prayer life. I find that with most people it is a struggle to be consistent in this area. Over the years and especially the last year I have discovered a devotional time that works for me. Let me say that what works for me doesn’t always work for others, but we can learn from one another.
1. I begin my prayer time with the reading of the Word of God. I use Robert Murray McCheyne’s reading plan that I use to systematically go through the Bible.
2. As I am reading through the various chapters I ask God to reveal to me His Word. I look for Scriptures that “jump out” to me.
3. When there is one that speaks to my heart, I generally highlight it and continue to read through the rest of the chapters.
4. Once I have finished reading all the chapters, I go back to the texts that spoke to my heart most and begin to meditate on them.
5. I ask 3 questions and then meditate on these: 1) What does this text mean? 2) What is God speaking to me? 3) What will I do with it? or What does God want me to do?
6. I let this meditation begin my time of prayer as I ponder on God’s Word and what He is speaking to me.
7. I will then take time to pray. After the meditation portion of prayer, I generally begin to thank God for His goodness, I confess my sins, pray for my family and church, and intercede for those who God brings to my heart.
8. Many times after I finish my time of prayer, I will take the text that God has been speaking and I will study it a little more in depth. I make notes in my notebook (note the picture) that I use only for devotional thoughts. I will go back and read these notes again from time to time.
This is what works for me. I have used many different “methods” for prayer, but this process seems to enrich my relationship with God and His Word more than any other form of prayer.
What works for you?