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4th October 2016
So, I’m hungry to deepen my relationship with God and I’m expectant that God wants it to happen, but what am I actually going to do about it? Often we can love the idea of spending time with God, but when we actually come to do it, it’s hard to know where to start. Well here’s a little insight into my intentions for the next few weeks.
I’m really not a morning person (really!), but I always try to spend some time with God first thing because I know it helps me as I start the day. The days when I don’t do this are the days when I’m most likely to feel down or to get irritable with people.
The amount of time I have each morning varies quite a bit depending on what I’m doing that day. On a normal workday when I’m in the office for 9am I’ll spend 15 or so minutes reading the Bible while I eat my breakfast, and I’ll then use my walk into work to pray and worship. On a day when I haven’t got to go into work I’ll give more time to worshipping alongside reading the Bible and praying.
I’m also trying to make better use of my free evenings. I find it easy to rush through life and never really give time to be filled with the Spirit and listen to what God wants to say to me. I find the evening is a great time for me to do this as I’m usually quite alert in the evening and knowing I have nothing more to do that day helps me to avoid becoming distracted.
I’ve also picked a book to read over the 40 days, Desiring God by John Piper. It’s a long book and I’m a slow reader so it’ll probably take me longer than 40 days to get through it, but I’ve chosen it because I believe it’s going to fuel my desire to connect with God.
What does it look like?
So what does it actually look like when I say I pray or I read the Bible? Here’s a bit of what I’ve been doing and what I want to start doing:
Reading the Bible – I’m currently using a book called For the Love of God by D.A. Carson (also available as a blog for free here) which combines a reading plan giving me chapters of the Bible to read each day with a page of comment about one of those chapters. I find the reading plan helpful for giving me structure and the page of comment helps me to understand and apply what I've read. I usually try to follow a reading plan but rarely actually keep up with them or finish them. I don’t see this as a problem; if a plan helps me to be more consistent in my Bible reading for a time, it’s done its job! You can read some tips on starting to read the Bible here.
Prayer – I’m learning to pray in line with how God has created me. I’ve a very organised and structured person so I need structure in my prayer life, and I’m not a very talkative person so I don’t try to pray lots of long prayers. I often struggle to pray for things because I feel I have too much to pray for and don’t know where to start. I’m therefore trying to assign different things to different days of the week (e.g. Monday: the coming week; Tuesday: my work; Wednesday: the church etc.). Another thing I’ve often done is to pray through the Lord’s Prayer, using it as a structure for my prayers.
Worship – If I’m at home, I tend to go to YouTube (you can find almost any worship song on YouTube!), pick a song to start, crank up the volume and see what happens. Sometimes I’ll sing along to the songs, sometimes I find myself wanting to talk with God, sing in tongues or just sit quietly. If I'm worshipping while walking or somewhere without music I'll sometimes still use worship songs - sometimes singing them sometimes praying through them - or I might express my worship through prayer.
Hopefully this window into my walk with God might give you some ideas and inspiration, but we’re all different and different things will work for each of us. Why not ask friends how they’re hungering after God during the 40 days and what their walk with God looks like?
Posted by Andrew Bunt