So, it’s that time of the year again, and yes I’m going to ask again, how are your disciplines going? Our time with the Lord is very appropriately called disciplines because as you’ve probably noticed it can be difficult to maintain any and all the disciplines. I will speak briefly of some of the disciplines–bible reading, prayer, memorization, meditation, and study. These disciplines are the best thing that we can do for ourselves and for His glory!
We are commanded over and over to be in God’s word. Psalm 119 is a very long psalm discussing the benefits associated with knowing His word as well as problems we can avoid if we are faithful to read the Bible. This psalm also includes prayers we can pray before we read. John 15 speaks of the necessity of abiding in Him — if you don’t read, study, memorize, and meditate on the bible how will you abide in Him? Hebrews 2 says that we must pay closer attention to what we’ve heard, warning that if we don’t, we could drift away. God is our comfort, our hope, our strength, and our peace. We are foolish if our pride leads us to imagine that we could bring Him glory without knowing His word. There are many bible reading programs: YouVersion, Bible Gateway, Olive Tree, etc. I have some printed that, if you ask me, I will gladly give you.
The bible also tells us that we need to pray without ceasing. I pray two types of prayer: formal and informal. Informal prayer is simply the time that I talk with Him throughout the day. Formal prayer is a time that I set aside to speak with our Father. I use an acronym to help me to pray:
A is adoration, which is simply telling God the things that I love about Him. Psalms are a good place to find His attributes, but I strongly recommend that as you read through the bible you mark all the verses that tell you about Him.
C is confession. After I confess everything I can think of, I ask Him to show me the rest of my sin so that I can confess all of it (1 John 1:9) and work to repent.
T is thanksgiving. I also include different aspects of all that I’ve been given because of the gospel. Keeping the gospel forefront in your mind by including it in prayer causes so much joy and keeps it ready on your lips to speak to those without Him.
S is supplication, which is just taking your requests to Him. There are many prayers included in scripture and many times what you read that day will cause you to think of things to pray.
Nichole recently wrote an excellent article on memorizing — it’s not too late to join us! Everyone should have gotten the bulletin insert a few weeks ago with memorization tips. Meditation is easy if you are memorizing.
Matt offers an Acts study on Tuesdays at 6:30p and Thursdays at 9p. The only homework is reading the chapter discussed prior to the study.
This is my prayer for you: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. But you have to do the work and stay in the battle!