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From Duty to Delight

posted Jun 16, 2014, 11:29 AM by First Baptist



What is prayer to you – a duty or a delight?


One of the things God impressed on me during my SonScape retreat is the need to continue relating to God outside of my “religious” duties. It’s not unusual for pastors (and perhaps Christians, generally) to allow their church responsibilities to BECOME their relationship with God.


For the past 10 years at least, my “quiet time” with the Lord has been 5:15-6:15 in the morning. I love that hour. It’s so quiet and peaceful. Unfortunately, I had fallen into two bad habits: First, I had stopped journaling, or writing down observations & thoughts about the Biblical text I had just read. And second, my quick checking of the weather forecast (online) had evolved into also checking sports scores, email, breaking news, etc. It had gotten pretty ridiculous!


Since SonScape, God has renewed my passion for spending time with Him. Most mornings, the hour flies by. I usually read & journal for about 20 minutes, and then for the next 40 or so, I pray.


My prayer time usually includes some common elements:


§  I talk to God about the passage of Scripture I just read.

§  I pray through my day (my appointments, tasks, etc.).

§  I pray for my wife & children, as well as other family members.

§  I pray for people in the church who are going through struggles or difficulties.

§  I pray for the family in the church that I committed to pray for that week


After that, I may just sit in silence, or respond to what I sense the Holy Spirit saying to me. Often, there is a matter of sin in my life that needs to be acknowledged and repented of. Or, I may be particularly grateful for something.


I pray you have a vibrant & meaningful prayer life. Praying “on the go” about this-or-that need is a great privilege, but there’s no substitute for unhurried time alone with God. The ideal time is first thing in the morning. We can always get up an hour earlier (although that may require going to bed earlier).


The Scripture says God’s compassions are new every morning (Lam 3:23). Why not “capture” them right away?


Pastor Dan