“After (Jesus) had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone.” Matthew 14:23
Jesus regularly demonstrated the importance of spending time alone with God. Whether it was getting up early to start His day with prayer, or going to His Father in the midst of incredible stress and uncertainty –Jesus believed in the importance of putting His Father first. And if Jesus did it, so should we. But, where do we start?
- PRIORITIZE: If tomorrow you had an important meeting with your boss, wouldn’t you make every effort to show-up? So why do we regularly ignore or postpone our appointments with God? Is it because we are too busy, easily distracted or maybe just lazy? I love what the late Justice Scalia said to his clerk when he invited him to church. “I’m just too busy,” his clerk said. Scalia replied, “Well, I’ll tell the creator of the universe that you were too busy to see Him.” Ask God to give you a desire to show up and meet with Him.
- TIME & PLACE: For Jesus, the time was in the morning before the day even got underway. For many with young kids, the mornings can be chaotic. Maybe the ideal time is during nap time or in the evenings. Choose a place that is quiet and free from distraction: maybe an office, study, or bedroom.
- PLAN: Choose a devotional guide to get started. Think of it like a spiritual warm-up – to help you focus. Check out a book by a Christian authors like Oswald Chambers, Sarah Young, Tim Keller or Max Lucado. Hey, even these morning devotions from RFTH can be your ‘warmup.’
- PRAY: Prayer is simply pouring our hearts out to God. The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6: 9-13) is a great model to get started: it involves praise, praying for others, confession, telling Him our needs, and asking for forgiveness and strength in the face of temptation.
- LISTEN: Are you listening? Or simply doing all the talking? If we want to hear from God, we have to listen. God speaks to us through His Word.
Now what? Take the ’30 Day Challenge.’ Beginning today, commit to a daily time with God for the next month. Don’t let distractions or responsibilities get in the way; make God your first priority and see what He has to say. It can literally change your life!