Spiritual Discipline of Prayer and Word

— Tom Sine —
(re-purposed from 2013)

January 1 I asked, “Are you ready to embrace new disciplines to follow Jesus in living on purpose in 2015?”

Return to our senses picThis week I am asking, “Are you ready to embrace the new discipline of daily time in word and prayer as the first step in Living on Purpose in 2015?”

Remember the research about how to succeed in establishing new disciplines included in the new book Take the Stairs: Seven Steps to Achieving True Success by Rory Vaden that we shared last week.

As we race into this new year most of us will fail to keep our resolutions but “… a new study offers hope, revealing that you are three times more likely to achieve your resolution if you do one thing: stick with it for the first 30 days.

As Christine and I have the opportunity to work with Christians in a number of different countries a surprising number confess they have no regular times for prayer or scripture. We often hear that they are so exceedingly busy they simply don’t have time. But I have found that most people I talk to can find 15 minutes a day. The reality is that as we get busier and our world becomes more volatile taking time to be present to our God really needs to become a much more vital part of our lives.

So here is what I propose the first new discipline you begin this new year:

Find a time and place every day where you can be fully present to God in word and prayer.

  • Find a quiet place in your home, car, in a park or even a quiet coffee shop where you can be still before God at least 5 days every week
  • Find the best time in your schedule where you can be fully present to God…before work…during lunch…after the kids are in bed
  • Set your cell phone to remind you of your appointment with your creator
  • Protect your time and place…with rigorous devotion
  • Before you enter your sacred space turn off your cell phone or lap top so there are no distractions
  • Start by quieting yourself before God for your first 3 to 5 minutes…releasing all the issues and all the buzz inside you to God
  • Then start by reading a psalm each day that offers a bit of inspiration or focus to where you are at in your life. Ask God to instruct you through psalm
  • Start your time of prayer time with words of gratitude towards God. Research shows that people become happier over time if they give much more expression to what they are grateful for and much less expression to their complaints
  • Then pray for the needs in your life and those in your family or congregation. Also find one issue where people locally or globally struggling with tough challenges
  • Start reading a book on how to grow your inner life {beyond your 15 minutes a day} I enthusiastically suggest Christine’s book, Return to Our Senses. This book offers a rich array of ways to make prayer more experiential and vital. There is also a free study guide on our site to study the book with others
  • Find a soul friend that you can share with over coffee or tea every week to hold one another accountable but also share what God is stirring up in your life

Remember if you can sustain this new discipline for 30 days there is a very good possibility that this new discipline may become a permanent part of your life. Please write and let us know how well you do for us to share with others.