Recently I have been more intentional in spending time with God. I have been getting up earlier to spend an additional hour in the word, in prayer and worshiping Him. Today I wanted to share some of what God has been teaching me during this time.
When our time with God is in order, so is the rest of our world.
As soon as I became more intentional with God and really got my time with Him in order, I realized that the rest of my world / life became more organized. I don’t mean that my room got cleaner or that the paperwork on my desk completed itself or anything like that, what I am talking about is the prioritization in my mind. As my time with God became more orderly, so did my perspective on the importance of other items in my life. I began gaining knowledge of greater prioritization. I felt a shift in my mind and a new wisdom that helped me stay positive and less stressed no matter what was going on in my outside world. As long as my relationship and time with God are in order, it doesn’t matter what happens on the outside!
Our time with God should be different every day.
Although I have a specific time that I spend with God in the morning; I do not have an agenda going into that time with Him. I do not have a piece of paper that says “15 minutes praying, 20 minutes reading the Bible…” Instead, when I enter my time with God, I let Him lead me. Yes, I am going to read the Bible and spend time praying, but I will do it in His order, not mine. Some days I may read for an hour before doing anything else, other days I may only read a verse or two.
If we’re doing all of the talking, we’re doing it wrong.
Prayer is how we communicate with God; communication takes more than just one. It isn’t supposed to be a one way conversation. We should be listening in our prayer time, not just going into our time with God full of words. Years back, I was listening to a mentor of mine preach. He started talking about the importance of listening during our time in prayer. He challenged the audience to stop talking and just listen for 5 minutes. I’m the type of guy that loves a good challenge, in my head I immediately said “That’ll be easy.” Well, I was wrong… Not only was it a struggle for me to quiet my mind for 5 minutes, it seemed impossible. It took me over a year to be able to do that. I started with only being able to get quiet in my mind for 10 seconds! But today, my relationship with God is much stronger because am always sure to listen to Him, not just do all of the talking. And what He says is always better than what I say.
With God, we have a personal relationship, not a genie.
The majority of our prayer time is focused on praying for our friends, family and the circumstances we are facing. These are great things to be in prayer about, and we should all be praying about them. However, if we go to God with a checklist of things to pray for then we aren’t really gaining a personal relationship with Him; we’re more treating Him like a genie. The Bible says that God knows the desires of our hearts. God already knows the things that we need and that we will pray about. Let Him lead you in prayer. If you get quiet and listen, often He will lead you to pray for certain things that are on your list. When God brings something to your mind or places it on your heart, that normally means that something is about to happen in that area and it is really time to pray about it!
Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances.
One of the biggest parts of getting our lives with God in order consists of really understanding 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. God is with us even when we are not praying. Because of that, we need to always be rejoicing and giving thanks. Most importantly, we need to be praying continuously. I am a little bit OCD and I do not have anything on my walls around my desk except one little piece of paper with the words “Remember to pray.” on them. This is a reminder to me that no matter how busy I get, I need to remember to acknowledge God… Even if it is just a “Thank you God that I am getting a lot accomplished today.” I need to remember Him in everything that I am doing.