Creating Healthy Habits
You know, some habits are actually good for you. I have never quite understood why some people question the routine of the Christian life. For example, we are told that, for ideal physical health, we are to exercise on a regular basis. What is it that say? Exercise four times a week with your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes? And, what about sleep? We are to have uninterrupted sleep for 7-9 hours each night, no matter our age. Now, we don't always fulfill these ideals perfectly. However, they are certainly goals for which to strive toward.
My intention with that introduction is to remind you that some habits are healthy for you. The same is true of your spiritual life. I am sure my own personal habits are just as poor as any other at times when it comes to regular, routine spiritual practices. Yet, I am constantly working on it and battling to do what I already know is best (just like that ongoing, lifelong battle against weight-gain!!!). Let me tell you what I have started recently in hopes that it may encourage/inspire you in your devotional practices.
Recently, I have made up my mind, again, to begin each work day with simple Bible reading and prayer time (I say simple reading and prayer time because this is different from biblical studies for lessons and sermons and the rapid prayers I fire off throughout the day). For the reading, I selected the book of Acts, and I am reading half a chapter or a whole chapter each time. I am also doing the reading out loud. There is something different about it that way. I am also getting down on my knees to pray afterwards. My prayers have been fueled by what I have just read in the book of Acts. I'm praying for myself, my family, my ministry, members of our church, and, especially, for the salvation of a few key people that I know and am working with in various ways. *We need to spend significantly more time praying for souls to be saved than for colds to be cured. This is just the simple truth of the matter.*
Now, I have been interrupted a few times, even though I am doing this first thing in the morning when I get to the office. Phone calls, text messages, and people coming over are things that are always going to happen, but I have made sure to go back and finish the reading and/or finish the prayer just afterwards or even a little while later. The Lord knows our hearts, and He knows our lives. We are all busy and find ourselves in all kinds of situations. Sometimes our prayers are short and sometimes they are longer. The vital thing is to have our thoughts set on the Lord.
So, I have not written this to put myself on any pedestal. If anything, I am confessing my sins of omission, and my recently renewed commitment to Scripture reading and prayer. I hope that you will brainstorm after reading this post and put a plan in place to set aside even just a few *concentrated* minutes each day to worship our Lord by reading the Word of God and by calling out to Him in prayer.