Personal Devo Development
Some people have asked me over the last while how I approach GOD, experience HIM and how do I daily and weekly prepare to teach, preach and/or do ministry. The funny thing is that when I was 9 years in some kind of more full time ministry or even in an established church, it was easier to focus and simply spend a whole week focus to develop my prayer life and/or the sermon I was preaching.
Now since I pastor a smaller church plant for the last 7 years (which is becoming a church that is self sustaining), I find it much more difficult with the addition of kids and a second full time job that is 40+ hours a week not to mention the 35 to 45+ hours I put in for the church sometimes through the night. And rather than becoming too busy to pray, I have become too busy NOT TO pray.
I have found that it is the most important thing for me to survive with praying and reading the word. I DRINK PRAYER & THE WORD now. I cannot survive without daily communion and when I go a day without hearing precious whispers, I feel my chest seize up, my back tighten, I get short with people, cannot breathe well and get overwhelmed. However, when I abide in HIM and stay in communion, listening and praying through the day, a habit developed from this discipline I outline hear, life no matter how difficult is VERY DOABLE!
And I find that instead of over the last 16 years my getting burned out, I am gaining maturity, patience, perspective and a larger capacity for life’s challenges… Hey, I guess I am growing up before I grow old!!!!!
So, I have taken this from an email I sent someone I love dearly that I am training in leading and speaking…
Developing The Faith Life
So, let’s let our simple benchmark be making sure that we have specific concerted prayer for 15 minutes (literally forcing ourselves to stay still if we feel driven) every night. I think you are like me and are more of a night owl, so, let’s say night instead of morning.
The catch is that I only know how to give you what I do. So, make this your own. However, the truth is that I have been going back to this old model since January (2011). I had changed my style of prayer ministry and Bible reading after I went to Blood n Fire and this is the way I used to do it in college. So, I am back to my old ways from college when GOD moved. I don’t think it is the WAY or STYLE of the things we do that attract GOD, however, we know in Jeremiah that there are ancient paths that cause GOD’s Presence to be drawn to us and us to be drawn to HIM. These are the Ancient Paths that I walked while the movement of revival stirred up.
When you pray, try this:
1 – Start by making your thoughts, plans and will be placed at the cross. Literally state something like, “Jesus, here is this thing, this thing and this thing. They are yours. If you tell me to walk away from the or let them die, I will. I leave them at the cross. They are your problem now.” I think for you and for the purposes of where you are starting from, two of the things should be 1 – PM Services. 2 – Your business. (Even if you already do this, still do it here daily. It sets us up right to start the time with HIM). Actually, it is wise to run this routine in your mind before you start your day too.
2 – Then pray, “GOD, show me your will…”
3 – Then wait and listen and write down EVERYTHING HE says or that pops in your mind. (It could be anything from marketing to personal prayer plan to next steps tomorrow, etc.)
4 – Find one verse in the Bible you will meditate on all week. Place it on a card, write it on your hand or something that makes you see it over and over. (These verses usually go into my daily life-practice and end up being my sermon during the weekend. HE always teaches me something new before I preach).
This precedes my preaching, studying and planning.
Sometimes I even just take a Bible and open it up while I worship and read to GOD out loud as I worship and let the words soak into me.
5 – Worship on purpose. Make a five of these 15 minutes for worship. Where you FOCUS on the singing. YOU SINCERELY pray the lyrics. Don’t just blow through it.
For the morning and on during your day:
6 – Turn on the Bible as you get ready for the day. Let the WORD wash over you. It gets into your subconscious.
7 – Every time you hear Jesus say, “bow to me…” or “pray right now…” or “Stop what you are doing and do what I show you…” Do exactly what HE says right away. Try to do it in secret.
8 – It’s time to designate a closet space for GOD. So, pray about taking a closet in your house even though it is going to steal space from your storage and devote it to the LORD. A room can be too big. I really draw from that passage where Jesus says, “Go into your closet…” And it feels like erecting an altar to HIM and making a Temple for HIM to come. I have a new closet that I don’t know if I have ever shown you. It is hidden in my room. I am completing it this month and I am awaiting the Presence. (It’s time to get SERIOUS and AGGRESSIVE about this. All my friends in college began to build their closets too after experiencing the closet at “the Green House” at UNC. That is where GOD first came.
I will add a later page on studying your Bible and Journaling. I hope these help. I can only teach what I do. It may not be the best for you, but it is a start for you to build on! Now my times go so much longer, but starting with 15 minutes a day is totally doable!