We can do without ministry, music, songs, technology etc. but never without our personal time with God.
I am talking dedicated silent time set apart every day minus all distractions.
Though I’ve covered it in brief in previous posts like this one, I’m starting a new series of posts on silent prayer – specifically on what to do during this time of silence.
This first post in the series is a guest article by my brother, Babu Victor. He’s a full-time missionary living in Bangalore who loves to preach the Word and belongs to the People of Praise Covenant Community:
“He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, and to have authority to cast out demons.” - Mark 3:13-15.
You see, the goal, ultimately of being called to discipleship is to be with the Lord.
Being with the Lord is more important than anything we can do for Him in this world. In fact, how well we do whatever we can for Him in this world (for example – to proclaim Him or cast out demons) depends upon how well we be with him. And this is good because the one thing we can do for the Lord that we will be doing for eternity is this: being with Him! For in heaven, we will not preach his word or cast out demons but we will simply be with him (1 John 3:1-3).
The gospel of John brings this out so well: “In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.” - John 14:2-3.
Jesus preparing a place for us in His (and our) Father’s House is the fulfillment of what began on earth: being with him. This is what all of us believers need to realize: that Our Lord longs to be with us and nothing gives Him more joy than the time we spend being with Him.
This truth should lead us to make sure that nothing and no one comes between us and our time of prayer or quiet time with the Lord. Nothing, not even ministry, no matter how noble it is, can ever bring greater joy to the Lord than His beloved seeking to be with Him…daily. A consistent personal prayer therefore is a foretaste of Heaven itself.
In fact, a good test of our love for the Lord would be what we treasure more: being with Him or doing things for Him.
For those of us who are starting this journey of being with Him, I think the kind of “being with Him” that the Lord enjoys most is not us “talking to Him and being with Him” but a “listening to Him and being with Him.” That’s what the prophet Samuel did (1 Samuel 3:10).
Now let’s apply it:1. Fix a time and place of daily silent prayer preferably in the morning (Mark 1:35).
2. Start with 15 minutes and increase by 5 minutes every month – the goal is 60 minutes or more.
3. Turn off all potential distractions during this time (mobile phones, laptops etc.)
4. Read the Bible attentively and let the Word speak and minister to you – listening is the key here. A wise man once said “you cannot possibly read 2-3 pages of the gospels and not be challenged by it.”
5. Plan your Bible reading – there are many free Bible reading planning tools available online.
6. Silence will seem difficult at first, but persevere and keep at it. In a few weeks, it’ll become easier and then enjoyable.
What do you do during your time of personal prayer?
Can you share the habits that work well for you?
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