How to Spend an Hour With the Lord
This past Sunday I challenged our church to spend an hour sometime this week alone with the Lord. To some, that might not seem like a long time. To others, it sounds very intimidating. Let me answer a few questions.
Why Should I?
Most believers have heard about the importance of having a ‘quiet time’ with the Lord. You see this practice in the life of David (Psalm 5:3); of Daniel (6:10); and of the Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 1:35). This daily time for prayer and meditation on the Word of God is indispensable to the growing healthy Christian.
There are also examples of extended times with God. Jesus spent whole nights praying. Nehemiah prayed “certain days” upon hearing the plight of Jerusalem. Three times Moses spent 40 days and nights alone with God.
While an hour is not necessarily an ‘extended time,’ it is longer than most Christians in the West are used to. As you will see, an occasional extended time can be one of the most refreshing times in your spiritual pilgrimage.
What Do I Need?
Set up a time when you are least likely to be disturbed. Minimize distractions by turning off your cell phone, etc. Many find it helpful to do this early in the morning before the day kicks off. (I also like a great cup of coffee by my side. )
Have a Bible and a notebook, and maybe a few worship songs on an iPod.
What Do I Do For an Hour?
Below is just a suggestion. Divide up however you feel works best for you.
- Spend first 10 minutes (or longer) waiting on the Lord quietly. Quiet your heart and ask Him to teach you. Ask Him to search your heart like Psalm 139:23-24 suggests. When the Holy Spirit brings things to your attention, confess and forsake them and begin to sense God’s mercy (Proverbs 28:13). If you’ve realized you’ve sinned against a brother, make a note of it so you won’t forget to set it right. Psalm 51 and Psalm 32, David’s songs of confession, will help you.
- Spend 10-15 minutes or so in worship. Psalms 103, 111 and 145 are wonderful portions to follow as you praise God for His greatness. Incorporate a song here if you like. This will naturally lead to thanksgiving. Spend some time thanking God for the things He has done for you – your basic stuff (air, food, shelter, etc.), to big things (salvation, grace, family, friends).
- Spend 15 minutes or so and read a chapter in the New Testament Gospels or Epistles. Pray Psalm 119:18as you begin. Read slowly and deliberately. As with any Bible study, ask:
- What did this mean then? (Original recipients)
- What does it mean now? (Explanation)
- What does this mean to me personally? (Application)
- Spend the rest of your time
- Praying for yourself (big decisions you have, the upcoming day, to apply the Scriptures you just read, etc.)
- Praying for others
- Pray specifically for your family, friends, people at work or school, your church and her pastors, people in your life who are lost without Jesus, etc.
- End your time telling God you love Him and you commit the day to Him.
Time flies when you are having fun!