Jesus met with God
Just as we need physical food each day, so we also need spiritual food each day. This time is often called a devotional time or quiet time. The length of time we spend and what we do can be governed by our circumstances. A doctor working 16 hour shifts might just have time to look at a verse while taking a five minute breather. A student on holiday might take two hours. A young believer might find 10 minutes a struggle. A more mature believer might find anything less than half an hour rushed. Here is an example of Jesus from Mark
Mark 1:35-37 35 Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.36 Later Simon and the others went out to find him.37 When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.”
- When did Jesus pray?
- What choice did Jesus make in order to have space to meet His Father?
- What choices would you need to make?
Meet with God – a pattern
- It is good to find time to meet with God every day. This sort of regularity does not just happen. It is good to think through your day and come up with a plan so that it can happen regularly.
- Choose a time of day that you can make a consistent pattern. Personally I prefer the early morning because the later I leave things, the more I resent them taking away from all the ‘urgent things I have to do. The more tired I am and less able to focus.
- Choose a place which is conducive to quiet and reflection. If you are surrounded by “things that need to be done” it is quite likely that you will slip into doing them. If you choose a place with many distractions, you may well end up distracted. If you choose bed, it is quite likely you will fall asleep.
- If people ask to meet you at that time, explain that you are busy then. You don’t need to give an explanation. Few will understand it, being busy is usually sufficient of an explanation.
- Have your Bible, a note book or journal and maybe any devotional book to stimulate your thoughts. I find it helpful to have Bibles sprinkled around the various places that I like to pray.
- Pray for God to protect this time and place. It seems that often something or some one comes along to interrupt. God is faithful and is well able to protect the time if we ask Him.
Meet with God – Pray
In a meeting we usually talk with the person we meet with. In prayer we talk with God. This prayer that Jesus gave us is a starting point from which you can develop a conversation with God.
Start off with the words as they are. As you become more comfortable then you can develop it, each phrase becoming a prompt to develop your own prayer.
- Who are you praying to?
- How does that influence the rest of how you approach God?
- What range of needs are presented?
- Do you feel comfortable asking for these?
Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.
- Consider what you know about God.
- Tell Him how you think and feel about who He is.
10 May your Kingdom come soon.
- Thinking about who He is, go on to think about how He wants the world to be. Pray that He would work to change the world that way.
May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
- Thinking about the difference between how God does things, and how people do things, pray for God’s will to be done, God’s way.
11 Give us today the food we need,
- Each day we have needs. Pray that God would provide for what you need at this time.
12 and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
- Review the last day, considering how you have fallen short of God’s love and goodness. Ask God to forgive you.
- Consider whom you might be angry with, or hurt over. Ask God to help you to forgive them.
13 And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.
- We live in a spiritual battle, ask God for protection from spiritual attacks.
Meet with God – Word
When we meet with someone we listen to them. A good way to start is through reading the Bible and thinking about how it relates to your life. Here is a simple method of reading with your spiritual senses aware.
Pray Ask God to meet with you as you spend time reading His book.
Lord please show me something of yourself in the Bible, and something you might want me to do. Amen.
Start off with a gospel – John for example.
Read a short passage.
If your Bible has them, read between two headings.
Read a couple of times.
Think about what is in the passage. Sometimes it helps to come with questions. Two questions from Acts 22 are –
- “‘Who are you, lord?”
- What should I do, Lord?’
Finish by praying to thank God for what He has shown you, and asking for grace to live the way He has shown you.
Study is a bit deeper than reading. The mark of it is that it involves thoughtful reflection and writing out the results of the study. This takes us from a casual knowledge of the Bible to a depth that will help us to engage with God in our reality. Here is the command given by God in Joshua 1
Joshua 1: 8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.
- What value is there in approaching the Bible in this way?
- How could I go about doing this?