This week at Toronto City Church we are kicking off a week of prayer and fasting and I wanted to post this worksheet on growing in the basics of a devotional life, reading the Word and prayer.
Developing a Daily Devotional Life
I The foundation of being a Christian is that we are following Jesus and so you want to develop daily time with Him – where you read the Bible and you pray.
II Oswald Chambers said, “Get into the habit of dealing with God about everything. Unless in the first waking moment of the day you learn fling the door wide back and let God in, you will work on a wrong level all day; but swing the door wide open and pray to your Father in secret, and every public things will be stamped with the presence of God.”
III To have an effective devotional time you want to make sure that you have the following:
A) Have A Time – pick a consistent time when you will read your Bible and pray. It doesn’t always have to be the same time but if you have a regular time you will be more consistent.
B) Have a Place – pick a consistent place. Again, you don’t have to have one place all the time but if you have a regular place it helps.
C) Have a Plan – there are so many ways to read the Word of God and pray. It’s important though to have a plan rather than just being random.
IV I have found that it is very helpful to have a personal journal (I call it my “Prayer Journal” but you can call it whatever you want) where I write down the things that God shows me.
V There are a number of different patterns that can work well for journaling. One popular approach is the S.O.A.P. method:
A) S.O.A.P stands for Scripture, Observations, Application, Prayer.
B) You can learn more about this method here.
Digging Deeper into the Scriptures
I Reading and studying the Bible must be the foundation for every single believer. Here are some tips and resources for growing in you study of the Scriptures:
A) Take time to prepare your heart before reading. Ask God to speak to you and expect Him to do it.
B) Remember it is not just about quantity but quality.
C) Have a plan of how you are going to read. As John Maxwell says “if you fail to plan you plant to fail”.
D) If you miss a few days or fall behind don’t stress about it, just get started again!
II If you are not sure where to start the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are a great place to begin. After that – it’s good to study Acts as it’s an account of the early church. The Psalms and Proverbs are also a good starting point (Proverbs has 31 chapters so many people read a ‘Proverb a day’ as part of the Bible Study).
III YouVersion (www.youversion.com) is a great resource for reading the Bible – it has so many plans, ideas and resources and you can take it with you wherever you go.
IV BibleGateway.com (www.biblegateway.com) is another excellent resource. One of the main things I use with it is the ability to search for different topics.
A) So for example, if you want to learn more about what the Bible says about “LOVE” go here, type in “LOVE” and it will pull up every time it is mentioned in the Bible.
B) You may want to go more specific and you can refine your search to maybe see all the times “Love” is mentioned in the New Testament.
V This two-part YouTube Series gives some excellent insights on how to dig a little deeper in your study (it is done in a real fun/creative way):
VI Here are few more resources on how to study your Bible:
A) Article: How to Study the Bible by Joyce Meyer
B) Bible Study Action Plan by Mike Bickle
C) PDF Notes: Bible Study Action Plan by Mike Bickle
Digging Deeper in Prayer:
I Prayer at it’s simplest is “talking and listening to God”. Many people feel intimidated by “prayer” but if you can talk and listen then you can pray!
III Practical: If you want to learn to swim you need to get in a pool and there is much about prayer that is learned by praying – particularly by getting into prayer meetings with more mature believers.
IV The International House of Prayer based in Kansas City, MO has a 24/7 Prayer Room that is streamed online so that is another great resource: www.ihopkc.org
V As prayer is about talking AND listening to God it’s important to grow in our confidence and ability to hear from God
A) Here are some great resources:
1) How to Hear God’s Voice by Shawn Bolz
2) How to Be Led By the Spirit by Kenneth Hagin
3) 4 Keys to Hearing God’s Voice by Mark Virkler
Thanks for taking the time to read. Feel free to leave a comment below. If you would like to have new posts delivered directly to your e-mail please click on the folder icon in the menu bar above and enter your e-mail address to subscribe.
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash