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Anatomy of Pursuit – pt 1

April 16, 2009

Developing a Ritual

One of (if not THE) most important things in the Christian life is developing the habit of  personally pursuing God.  All the men and women’s lives that God uses in The Bible are marked by habitually getting away from the world and spending time seeking to know God.  The problem is that most people find it hard to figure out what to do and when they’ve tried they didn’t feel like “it worked” – they were distracted, didn’t understand what they were reading, didn’t “feel God”, etc.

Developing a ritual that leads your heart to God in prayer and Scripture is the most foundational (and often hardest) part of Christian Spirituality.

Hopefully to help, here’s my ritual and why I structure my time in the morning this way…

1.  Journal

When I first wake up my mind is tired.  Quickly journaling what God is doing in me (or not doing) and teaching me helps wake my mind up to prepare it for prayer and Scripture.

2.  Quick Devotional

Two of the best are “Morning by Morning” by Charles Spurgeon and “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers.  They’re half-page devotional thoughts to continue the process of waking my mind up and focusing my heart on God before prayer and Scripture reading.

3.  Prayer

Don’t focus on trying to pray for a certain amount of time, saying “the right things”, or get discouraged if your mind wanders at first.  Genuinely pour out your heart to God.  Pray out loud (whisper) or else your mind will wander to when UK’s next basketball game is or your To-Do list.  Nothing prepares your heart to hear from God as you read Scripture like prayer.

4.  Scripture/Prayer

Again, don’t focus on how much you should read or get discouraged if you don’t understand what you’re reading.  When you find something in Scripture that touches your heart, pray it.  For instance, today I read in 2 Kings about Namaan being cleansed of his leprosy by washing in a river.  I stopped and asked God to wash my heart today and thanked him for washing me clean at The Cross.  I suggest reading at least until something pricks your heart.

5.  Pick a verse or story for meditation for the rest of the day

The purpose of spending time at the beginning of the day seeking God is to set your heart on God for the rest of the day.  Pick something that touched you from what you read and spend the rest of the day thinking about it whenever you get a chance.

This can take 15 minutes or it can take 2 hrs.  Don’t get distracted by how long it takes.  Just focus on developing the habit of starting your day spending time drawing near to God.

_____________

What have you learned in trying to develop rituals that lead your heart to God?

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. April 16, 2009 2:43 pm

    Same time every day, same place every day, before anything else can interfere.

  2. Sue permalink
    April 17, 2009 7:52 am

    I don’t think my mind has ever wondered to when the next UK basketball game is, but thank you for this blog entry…it’s definitely helpful.

  3. josh permalink
    April 17, 2009 10:26 am

    @Sue – your day cometh.

  4. Sue permalink
    April 17, 2009 11:53 am

    Not unless they’re playing the Gamecocks.

  5. Susan Howerton permalink
    April 17, 2009 1:46 pm

    Great suggestions, Josh! Thanks.

  6. Heather Perkins permalink
    April 17, 2009 3:16 pm

    Hey howerton, thanks for this blog. What a blessing it is to know you & Jana. I’ve been trying to give tips to a friend about quiet time, but mine does not work for them. Mine is really strict because I’m so hard headed. haha

Trackbacks

  1. Anatomy of Pursuit (pt 2) « .. josh’s blog ..
  2. Pursuit (part 3): Prayer « .. josh’s blog ..
  3. Pursuit (part 4): Scripture Intake « .. josh’s blog ..
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