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9th October 2016
I recently heard that 15 minutes a day (1% of your day) is all you need to grow a healthy relationship. Having said that, it is 15 minutes of undistracted quality time! I was struck by the fact that it didn't seem very long, but as I pondered it, I realised how easy it is for us to fail to do even this. It’s easy to spend much longer than 15 minutes with someone and yet never really engage with them, physically present but our minds are somewhere else.
It can also be really difficult to get good time with God to build a friendship with Him. Life is busy, and how do you start anyway! So I want to propose a simple habit that will only take 15 minutes a day from which you can start building the most important friendship you will ever have.
Firstly, I'm going to take the 15 minutes and split it into three 5 minute sections. Each section will have a different focus and you may not be able to do them all everyday.
The first 5 minutes is for worship.
• Worshipping God can come in various forms, but when starting out I'd recommend the following:
- Download or stream some Christian worship that you can listen to and join in with. Matt Redman, Newday, Tim Hughes, Worship Central, Rend Collective, Bethel and Bethel Without Words.
- Play one of the songs and either listen to it or sing along to it and engage with God.
- Pray something from the song in praise, worship and thanksgiving.
The second five minutes is for prayer.
• We can pray in many different ways, but it can be helpful to have support as we find our feet. Jesus gave us a pattern for prayer which we find in Matthew 6v9-13.
- We start prayer by coming before our Father in heaven in worship, thanksgiving and praise. (Which we have just done.)
- Then we ask that God's rule and reign (kingdom) will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (This affects us personally, our family, work, church, nation & world.)
- Next we make personal requests, asking that God will provide for us and help us in whatever we face today. - Then we ask for forgiveness where we have sinned against God or other people. (Sometimes it’s good to pause and ask God to show us what we need to ask forgiveness for.)
- We also need to forgive others who have offended or hurt us. This can be challenging (See Matthew 6v14-15)
- Lastly, we ask God to keep us from temptation and evil so that we can follow Him. It may be that you have a particular area of weakness that God needs to help you with.
The third five minutes is for reading the Bible.
• Start by praying, 'Holy Spirit, thank you for being with me, please would you help me to understand the Bible and help me to apply it to my life.' Amen .
• Read the first chapter of The Gospel according to Luke. Consider the following questions:
- What has stood out to you from what you have just read?
- Is it something to ponder throughout the day or to look to apply to your life?
- Finish by asking God to help you follow Him.
• The following day, read the next chapter. Once you have finished that book, start reading The Acts of the Apostles.
As you do this day by day you will find your friendship with God growing. It’s also helpful to get advice and support from your Community Group leader or Small Group leader; they can help you if you have any problems.
It’s so important to invest in friendship and your friendship with God is the most important relationship you can have.
Why don't you start by giving him 1% of your time today!
At last Wednesday evening's Hunger meeting we offered an activity to help engage with the Lord's Prayer. You can download that activity here.
Posted by Paul Mann