By Lisa Amrhein
Most of us enjoy studying about something that we love and learning new things. We tend to dive right in eager to learn as much as we possibly can. It is the same way when we focus on learning more about God. We can all agree that the Bible holds a wealth of information about our God and offers us instruction and assistance regarding any issues or problems that we may currently be facing.
“For the word of God is alive and active…” Hebrews 4:12
Scheduling time for Bible study and devotions is usually not an issue because we tend to make time for the things that are closest to our hearts. But what about daily prayer and quiet time in God’s presence? Both are a necessary part of our walk. Even Jesus, after a day among the crowds teaching and healing, went off to be alone in His Father’s presence.
“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16
Even in the Garden, as He was feeling the pressure of the terribly painful events that were to later unfold, He went off alone to pray to the Father. Prayer and time alone with God is so important that Jesus would give us instruction on prayer and even give us a daily prayer, the Our Father.
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask. This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven…” Matthew 6:6-9
Why is it that many us struggle to make this time with God? Why do we push it aside as the things and tasks of this world enter our day? We tend to push it off to later which often results in a quick prayer or nothing at all. Many of us are “doers”, like Martha.
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made…” Luke 10: 38-40
We study, worship, and gather all the knowledge we can about God. Our minds are prepared to receive Him, but what about our hearts? We need time at His feet, in His presence, so that our hearts will be opened and ready to receive to Him. We need a balance of being both like Martha and like Mary. The kingdom needs workers (doers), but these workers must be filled with both knowledge and convicted hearts that seek God and His righteousness.
Ask yourself when would be the best time of day for you to meet with God? Schedule it at first if necessary. Early bird? Maybe before the day begins would be the best time for you. Night owl? Maybe a time later at night would be best. The timing is up to you. There is no right or wrong time, just make the time. You will never regret time spent with God. It may seem unusual at first, but you will soon look forward to it and even run to it. It will change you. The closer you become to God, the deeper He will penetrate your heart and life. Your heart with peace, a true peace, one that the world can not provide. You will be able to access it more readily when the troubles of this world come knocking at your door. Your faith will be energized! Take the time to be in God’s presence. Take it all in. Then, get into your Bible and learn even more. Let God’s promises not only live in your mind, but in your heart.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
Read Luke 10:38–42, the story of Martha and Mary. Who do relate to? And Why?
Read Psalm 139:23. Is there anything keeping you from opening your heart up to God? Remember there is no amount of brokenness that will surprise Him. He often uses our brokenness to help others through our testimonies.
Does worship music speak to your heart? Create a playlist that you can use during your time with God. It can and will change over time. It is a great way to set a tone.
Read Romans 8:26. What does it say about when we struggle to find the right words when we speak to God. Are words always necessary? How is this part of scripture a comfort?