I tend to be a very regimented person. Every Sunday I sit down and plan out what my priorities for the week are and then plan out every second (no exaggeration) of every day. This helps me be intentional and purposeful with my time throughout the week. Scheduling this way helps me see on paper how I am spending my time and how well I am giving time to my priorities.
Every morning I have one priority: Time with God alone. This time is special because I am able to wake up and focus on the very One who has given me life and has given me a mission to make disciples and bring Him glory. He shapes me, molds me, breaks me, and teaches me in that time. Therefore, there is absolutely nothing more important to me each day than the time I spend with Him.
What does that time consist of? There are five things that I do every morning when I spend time with God. Here they are:
I wake up and instantly thank God for life, both physically and spiritually. I thank Him that through Christ there is nothing I can do to make Him love me more, and nothing I have done that makes Him love me less. I thank Him for my wife, my church, the people I lead, and anything else that comes to mind.
2. Bible Reading
I sit down at my desk and read God's Word, the Bible. I work through the Psalms and Proverbs consistently and work my way through a new book of the Bible every couple of months (depending on the size of the book). I read one Proverb, Psalm, and chapter out of whichever book of the Bible I am currently reading at the time (right now it's John). I need God's Word to shape my mind, affections, and desires. I need it to reveal to me what I am worshipping and treasuring. I need the Bible (and so do you!).
After reading the Scripture, I sit in silence and ponder what I just read. I ask the questions 'what is God saying to me?' and 'how is God trying to change me through what I have just read?'. Meditation is wrestling with what God has said and applying it to my life.
After mediation, I move to prayer. I pray about the things God has displayed to me through what I have just read and then pray through the Psalm I read that morning. After praying through those things, I then pray through my 'prayer list'. I have names of many people from my church, family, and friends on that list. I then pray for things God has laid on my heart (such as aspirations for the future, people, situations, burdens, etc.). I then close and pray for myself. That God would grow me, shape me, and sanctify me by His truth.
Last but not least, I journal. I write down things I am excited, discouraged, burdened, and hopeful about/for. I write down what I am learning, what I want to learn, and how I want to change. My journal is my mind on paper. This time helps me understand what my heart desires as well as what I truly treasure.
What do you do in your time with God? Comment and let me know!
I am a Husband to Clarissa, Pastor at Liberty Baptist Church, reader of many books, and tweeter at @brad_merchant.