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Let God talk first

July 28, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, I had the joy of sharing my quiet time spot with you. I even posted a photo of my desk! (See that post here.) In that post I gave a fairly general overview of the components of my time with God. Today, I’d like to linger a bit on how my Bible reading and prayer go hand in hand.

Occasionally I go to my desk to spend time with God with something specific weighing heavily on my heart. Those days I have to pour out my heart to God in prayer before I can do anything else. But those days are the exception.

Most days I begin my time with God by seeking to hear what He has to say to me through His Word. I ask Him to speak to me and to open my ears to hear. Then I begin to read the Bible. My goal is to make what God has to say my priority. I work to let Him begin and guide our conversation.

Because I’m a Type A personality, it’s easy for me to fall into the mistake of reading too quickly to make sure I “finish” the day’s reading assignment. So I have to remind myself that the purpose of reading is for God to speak to me. I need to stop when God prompts. When a verse or phrase “jumps off the page” I pause and linger there, meditating on that passage.

About a month ago, I wrote a post about meditating on God’s Word. (You can review that here.) Biblical meditation is not emptying your mind, but filling it with God’s Word. It includes asking God questions about the passage. For instance, does this text reveal something I should…

  • Believe about God?
  • Praise or thank or trust God for?
  • Pray about for myself or others?
  • Have a new attitude about?
  • Make a decision about?
  • Act on for the sake of Christ, others, or myself?

As I think deeply on the passage and ask God questions I “listen” for His answers. I want to understand what He is saying to me through His Word. I record what He says in a journal. This process is the heart of my daily time with God.

Usually there is additional prayer time to talk with God about things that have not already come up. And often there is also some “follow up.” Something I need to do, someone I need to talk to, something I need to make right. In other words, I need to be obedient to something God has told me during our time together.

Donald Whitney, author of “Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life,” writes that “meditation is the missing link between Bible intake and prayer.” He explains that meditation helps us digest what God says to us in His Word and then speak to Him about it in a meaningful way. He also quotes from several Puritan writers who passionately wrote about the same thing.

Although this type of interaction with God is my goal, I still sometimes struggle to let Him speak first and guide our time together. Some days my own schedule or own agenda gets in the way. Maybe you can relate. I forget that it’s not all about me! What about you? How do you focus on what God has to say to you?

Blessings,     Kathy

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. July 28, 2010 7:31 am

    Great post, thanks so much for sharing this. I agree that meditation on the Word of God and listening is such an important part of our relationship and so often missed because it is hard to make it not all about me 🙂

    • July 28, 2010 2:00 pm

      I think many of us struggle to put even God before ourselves. Thanks for writing!

  2. July 28, 2010 8:47 am

    I too, “sometimes struggle to let Him speak first and guide our time together.” But when I am quiet and listen, I hear so much more. During my daily quiet times (early morning) I read His word, sometimes follow parts of a study or read a devotional. Then, I write in my prayer journal. For me, my prayers flow better when I write them. But each day, I long to go even deeper. Your post has encouraged me to get out of His way, to meditate on His word and to listen for His voice. I’m heading downstairs now to have my quiet time. The words of your post on my mind – I will ask Him to open my ears so I can hear what He is saying to me this morning…

    Living for Him, Joan

    • July 28, 2010 2:01 pm

      Thanks for sharing with us Joan. I love the anticipation I “hear” in your voice.

  3. July 28, 2010 9:35 am

    I really enjoy your blog! Thank you. I am trying to implement a bible time for myself in the morning. I have a 2 year old and it can get tough because just when I think I have gotten up early enough to do it, she decides to as well, but I am not giving up on this.

  4. July 28, 2010 10:47 am

    Kathy, I so enjoyed seeing how you ingest all that God has for you in your quiet times. I love the idea of keeping a journal handy while reading. I find that I just don’t have enough room to write in my bible the way I would like to. A journal would help solve that problem. Thanks for sharing today.

    • July 28, 2010 11:26 am

      Thanks Cherie! I love the way we can all encourage one another on Scripture Dig.

  5. July 28, 2010 7:57 pm

    I recently started using the Lord’s Prayer as a guide for my morning devotions/prayer time (when I’m faithful enough to have it!), and I start with acknowledging who God is. Sometimes there’s an obvious name/character of God that I need to claim that day, but other days I need a little assistance to choose a name/character to reflect on. Those days, I pick a passage to read, reflecting on the passage and what it tells me about who God is. Then I ask myself, “And why do I care?” This helps me to personalize the truth, and not just leave it as an academic exercise.

    • July 28, 2010 8:03 pm

      Ashley, thank you for the great insight! I love that you ask yourself why you should care about an aspect of who God is!

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