When I was a teenager, my mentor, Barry, taught me to have a daily devotional time with God. This has become the single most important habit in my life, and I’m convinced no one can grow as a Christian without it.
I memorized Proverbs 8:34 when I was just 18: “Blessed is the man who hears me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.” I started getting up early and praying in my college dorm room. I discovered that God promises a blessing to those who spend time with Him! More than 40 years later I’m still setting aside that special time with God.
But how do you structure a daily quiet time in today’s overscheduled culture? Many Christians today say they are way too busy to set aside time to pray and read the Bible. Instead, they multi-task their devotional lives by listening to Christian podcasts while commuting to work or praying under their breath while showering or brushing their teeth.
There’s nothing wrong with doing those things, but if you never set aside time to focus wholeheartedly on prayer or the Bible, your relationship with God will feel cluttered and superficial. It’s not too late to develop new habits. Here are a few ways you can make your time with God richer and more intimate.
Set a regular time for your “date” with God. There is no rule about when to pray. Some people prefer mornings; others find prayer easier in the evening hours. Devotional time works better for me early in the morning, before life’s pressures crowd my time. Once you develop your unique habit, and you realize how much you benefit from it, you’ll find you simply can’t live without time with God.
Choose a special place that gives you privacy. Jesus reminded us that seclusion is a secret to effective prayer. He said: “But you, when you pray, enter your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret” (Matt. 6:6a). This doesn’t mean you can’t pray while driving to work. But you need a quiet place in order to focus. My favorite chair in my study at home is where I’m most centered.
Turn off your phone. Would you talk to friends, reply to texts or answer emails during a date with your spouse? Not unless you trivialize that relationship. The same principle applies when you spend time with the Lord. We need to reclaim the art of undistracted devotion.
I love my phone, but I’ve found it necessary to silence it during my times with God. And if you use your phone to read the Bible, consider switching to an old-fashioned hard copy of the Scriptures. The temptation to check messages or post Instagram photos can waste time and ruin your devotional life.
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SOURCE: Charisma News