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quiet time

This tag is associated with 14 posts

Sledding And Praying

http://odb.org/2015/01/30/sledding-and-praying/

Sledding And Praying
Dave Branon
Mark 14:32-42

Now it came to pass in those days that [Jesus] went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. —Luke 6:12

When the snow flies in Michigan, I like to get my grandkids, grab our plastic sleds, and go slipping and sliding down our backyard. We zoom down the hill for about 10 seconds, and then climb back up for more.

When I travel to Alaska with a bunch of teenagers, we also go sledding. We are hauled by bus nearly to the top of a mountain. We jump on our sleds and, for the next 10 to 20 minutes (depending on levels of bravery), we slide at breakneck speeds down the mountain, holding on for dear life.

Ten seconds in my backyard or 10 minutes down an Alaskan mountain. They’re both called sledding, but there is clearly a difference.

I’ve been thinking about this in regard to prayer. Sometimes we do the “10 seconds in the backyard” kind of praying—a quick, spur-of-the-moment prayer or a short thanks before eating. At other times, we’re drawn to “down the mountain” praying—extended, intense times that require concentration and passion in our relationship with Him. Both have their place and are vital to our lives.

Jesus prayed often, and sometimes for a long time (Luke 6:12; Mark 14:32-42). Either way, let us bring the desires of our heart to the God of the backyards and the mountains of our lives.

Lord, please challenge us to pray constantly—both in
short sessions and long. As we face the valleys, hills,
and mountains of our lives, may we lift our hearts
and minds to You in constant communication.

The heart of prayer is prayer from the heart.

Prayer was the essence of Jesus’ relationship with the Father. He often withdrew to a solitary place to pray (Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16; 9:18). Sometimes He spent long hours communicating with His Father (Luke 6:12; John 17) and other times He prayed short, quick prayers (Matt. 14:19; Luke 23:34,46; John 12:27).

Bible in a Year:
Exodus 23-24; Matthew 20:1-16

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Battling Distractions

http://odb.org/2015/01/28/battling-distractions/

Battling Distractions
Bill Crowder
Luke 10:38-42

Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her. —Luke 10:42

Every day I drive the same highway to and from the office, and every day I see an alarming number of distracted drivers. Usually they’re talking on the phone or texting, but I have also seen people reading the newspaper, putting on makeup, and eating a bowl of cereal while trying to maneuver a car at 70+ miles per hour! In some circumstances, distractions are fleeting and harmless. In a moving vehicle, they can kill.

Sometimes distractions can be a problem in our relationship with God. In fact, that was the concern Jesus had for His friend Martha. She “was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made” for a meal (Luke 10:40 niv). When she complained about her sister Mary’s lack of help (apparently due to her devotion to Christ and His teaching), Jesus told her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her” (vv.41-42).

Martha’s distractions were well-intentioned. But she was missing the opportunity to listen to Jesus and enjoy His presence. He is deserving of our deepest devotion, and He alone can fully enable us to overcome any of life’s distractions.

Lord, I want a heart like Mary’s—that takes
time to sit at Your feet to learn from You and be
close to You. And I want a heart like Martha’s—
that takes time to serve You, the One I love.

If you want to be miserable, look within; distracted, look around; peaceful, look up.

Martha’s distractions in Luke 10 brought a loving challenge from Jesus. But after the death of her brother Lazarus (John 11:17-27), we see that she was fully focused on Him. She affirmed her confidence that Jesus had a special relationship with the Father (v.22) and then declared her belief in the coming resurrection (v.24). Ultimately, she voiced her clear conviction that Jesus is the Son of God (v.27).

Bible in a Year:
Exodus 19-20; Matthew 18:21-35

Quiet Time: A Simple Plan

http://bible.com/r/2B.56

Today I am reading day 316 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Quiet Time: A Simple Plan

Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

The main rule is this: Keep your plan simple.

Wait on God (Relax) — Be still for a minute; don’t come running into God’s presence and start talking immediately. Follow God’s admonition: “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) Be quiet for a short while to put yourself into a reverent mood.

Pray briefly (Request) — Ask God to cleanse your heart and guide you into the time together. You need to be in tune with the Author before you can understand his Book!

Read Scripture (Read) — This is where your conversation with God begins. He speaks to you through his Word, and you speak with him in prayer. When you read your Bible, try to do it –

Slowly — Don’t be in a hurry and don’t try to read too large an amount.

Repeatedly — Read a passage over and over until you start to picture it in your mind.

Without stopping — Don’t stop in the middle of a sentence to go off and do a doctrinal study. Just read that section for the pure joy of it, allowing God to speak to you. Remember that your goal here is not to gain information, but to feed on the Word and get to know Christ better.

Aloud but quietly — Reading it aloud will improve your concentration. It will also help you understand what you are reading better because you will be both seeing and hearing what you are reading.

Systematically — Read through a book at a time in an orderly method. You’ll understand the Bible better if you read it as it was written – a book or letter at a time.

Quiet Time: A Special Place

http://bible.com/r/2B.55

Today I am reading day 315 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Quiet Time: A Special Place

Luke 22:39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.

The location where you have your quiet time is also important. The Bible indicates that Abraham had a regular place where he met with God. Today’s verse tells us that Jesus had a custom of praying in the garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives.

Your place ought to be a secluded place. This is a place where you can be alone, where it’s quiet, and where you will not be disturbed or interrupted. In today’s noisy world, this may take some ingenuity, but it is necessary. It ought to be a place – where you can pray aloud without disturbing others; where you have good lighting for reading; where you are comfortable.

Your place ought to be a special place. Wherever you decide to meet with the Lord, make it a special place for you and him. As the days go by, that place will come to mean a lot to you because of the wonderful times you have there with Jesus Christ.

Your place ought to be a sacred place. This is where you meet with the living God. Where you meet the Lord can be just as holy as the place where Abraham met God. You don’t have to be in a church building. I know people have had their quiet times in their cars parked in a quiet place, in an empty closet at home, in their backyards, and even in a baseball dugout. Each of these places has become sacred to them.

Quiet Time: Specific Time

http://bible.com/r/2B.54

Today I am reading day 314 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Quiet Time: Specific Time

Mark 1:35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

The specific time has to do with when you should have your quiet time and how long it should be. The general rule is this: The best time is when you are at your best! Give God the best part of your day, when you are the freshest and most alert. Don’t try to serve God with your leftover time. Remember, too, that your best time may be different from someone else’s.

For most of us, however, early in the morning seems to be the best time. It was Jesus’ own practice to rise early to pray and meet with the Father.

In the Bible many godly men and women rose early to meet with God. Some of these were: Abraham, Moses, Job, Hannah, Jacob, and David.

Whatever time you set, be consistent in it. Schedule it on your calendar; make an appointment with God as you would with anyone else. Make a date with Jesus!

Then look forward to it and don’t stand him up. A stood-up date is not a pleasant experience for us, and Jesus does not like to be stood up either. So make a date with him and keep it at all costs.

If you’ve never had a consistent quiet time before, you may want to start with seven minutes and let it grow naturally. You should aim to eventually spend at least 15 minutes a day with the Lord.

Quiet Time: Proper Attitudes

http://bible.com/r/2B.53

Today I am reading day 313 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Quiet Time: Proper Attitudes

1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, Look not on his appearance or at the height of his stature, for I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.

Psalm 63:1 O GOD, You are my God, earnestly will I seek You; my inner self thirsts for You, my flesh longs and is faint for You, in a dry and weary land where no water is.

Habakkuk 2:20 But the Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth hush and keep silence before Him.

John 7:17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.

In God’s eyes, why you do something is far more important than what you do.

1 Samuel shows us it is quite possible to do the right thing but with the wrong attitude.

When you come to meet with God in a quiet time, you should have these proper attitudes:

Expectancy – Come before God with anticipation and eagerness. Expect to have a good time of fellowship with him and receive a blessing from your time together: “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you.” (Psalm 63:1)

Reverence – Don’t rush into God’s presence, but prepare your heart by being still before him and letting the quietness clear away the thoughts of the world: “The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.” (Habakkuk 2:20)

Alertness – Get wide-awake first. Remember that you are meeting with the Creator, the Maker of heaven and earth, the Redeemer of men. Be thoroughly rested and alert. Get to bed early so you will be in good shape to meet God in the morning.

Willingness to obey – Don’t come to your quiet time to choose what you will do or not do, but come with the purpose of doing anything and everything that God wants you to do. Jesus said, “If anyone chooses to do God’s will he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.” (John 7:17) Come to meet the Lord having already chosen to do his will no matter what.

Spiritual Habits: Quiet Time

http://bible.com/r/2B.3Q

Today I am reading day 212 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Spiritual Habits: Quiet Time

Getting time with God each day is one of the spiritual habits of effective people. We develop spiritual fitness by having a quiet time each day for Bible reading and prayer.

What’s the reason for that? To get direction from God: “Show me the path where I should go, O Lord; point out the right road for me to walk.” (Psalms 25:4 TLB)

Sometimes we can get so busy in life that we can forget the direction we’re going. Like the pilot in World War II flying over the Pacific who radioed back, “I have absolutely no idea where I’m going. I’m lost. But I’m making record time.”

Many times we get very busy. We need to slow down and get direction from God. This means we spend time with God on a daily basis; we talk to God in prayer; we let Him talk to us from His Word; and we listen for his direction.

Jesus is our model; he “often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (Luke 5:16 NIV) You can’t get to know God if you’re always in a crowd. You get to know God in a one-on-one encounter.

Notice the Bible says Jesus withdrew often; his quiet time was His source of strength.

And Jesus teaches that we are strengthened as we develop a deep and intimate relationship with him: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” (John 15:7 NIV)

Quiet Time: A Simple Plan

http://bible.us/r/2B.v

Today I am reading day 57 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Quiet Time: A Simple Plan

Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

The main rule is this: Keep your plan simple.

Wait on God (Relax) — Be still for a minute; don’t come running into God’s presence and start talking immediately. Follow God’s admonition: “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) Be quiet for a short while to put yourself into a reverent mood.

Pray briefly (Request) — Ask God to cleanse your heart and guide you into the time together. You need to be in tune with the Author before you can understand his Book!

Read Scripture (Read) — This is where your conversation with God begins. He speaks to you through his Word, and you speak with him in prayer. When you read your Bible, try to do it –

Slowly — Don’t be in a hurry and don’t try to read too large an amount.

Repeatedly — Read a passage over and over until you start to picture it in your mind.

Without stopping — Don’t stop in the middle of a sentence to go off and do a doctrinal study. Just read that section for the pure joy of it, allowing God to speak to you. Remember that your goal here is not to gain information, but to feed on the Word and get to know Christ better.

Aloud but quietly — Reading it aloud will improve your concentration. It will also help you understand what you are reading better because you will be both seeing and hearing what you are reading.

Systematically — Read through a book at a time in an orderly method. You’ll understand the Bible better if you read it as it was written – a book or letter at a time.

Quiet Time: A Special Place

http://bible.us/r/2B.u

Today I am reading day 56 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Quiet Time: A Special Place

Luke 22:39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.

The location where you have your quiet time is also important. The Bible indicates that Abraham had a regular place where he met with God. Today’s verse tells us that Jesus had a custom of praying in the garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives.

Your place ought to be a secluded place. This is a place where you can be alone, where it’s quiet, and where you will not be disturbed or interrupted. In today’s noisy world, this may take some ingenuity, but it is necessary. It ought to be a place – where you can pray aloud without disturbing others; where you have good lighting for reading; where you are comfortable.

Your place ought to be a special place. Wherever you decide to meet with the Lord, make it a special place for you and him. As the days go by, that place will come to mean a lot to you because of the wonderful times you have there with Jesus Christ.

Your place ought to be a sacred place. This is where you meet with the living God. Where you meet the Lord can be just as holy as the place where Abraham met God. You don’t have to be in a church building. I know people have had their quiet times in their cars parked in a quiet place, in an empty closet at home, in their backyards, and even in a baseball dugout. Each of these places has become sacred to them.

Quiet Time: Specific Time

http://bible.us/r/2B.t

Today I am reading day 55 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Quiet Time: Specific Time

Mark 1:35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

The specific time has to do with when you should have your quiet time and how long it should be. The general rule is this: The best time is when you are at your best! Give God the best part of your day, when you are the freshest and most alert. Don’t try to serve God with your leftover time. Remember, too, that your best time may be different from someone else’s.

For most of us, however, early in the morning seems to be the best time. It was Jesus’ own practice to rise early to pray and meet with the Father.

In the Bible many godly men and women rose early to meet with God. Some of these were: Abraham, Moses, Job, Hannah, Jacob, and David.

Whatever time you set, be consistent in it. Schedule it on your calendar; make an appointment with God as you would with anyone else. Make a date with Jesus!

Then look forward to it and don’t stand him up. A stood-up date is not a pleasant experience for us, and Jesus does not like to be stood up either. So make a date with him and keep it at all costs.

If you’ve never had a consistent quiet time before, you may want to start with seven minutes and let it grow naturally. You should aim to eventually spend at least 15 minutes a day with the Lord.

Quiet Time: Proper Attitudes

http://bible.us/r/2B.s

Today I am reading day 54 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Quiet Time: Proper Attitudes

1 Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Psalm 63:1 You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.

Habakkuk 2:20 The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.

John 7:17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.

In God’s eyes, why you do something is far more important than what you do.

1 Samuel shows us it is quite possible to do the right thing but with the wrong attitude.

When you come to meet with God in a quiet time, you should have these proper attitudes:

Expectancy – Come before God with anticipation and eagerness. Expect to have a good time of fellowship with him and receive a blessing from your time together: “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you.” (Psalm 63:1)

Reverence – Don’t rush into God’s presence, but prepare your heart by being still before him and letting the quietness clear away the thoughts of the world: “The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.” (Habakkuk 2:20)

Alertness – Get wide-awake first. Remember that you are meeting with the Creator, the Maker of heaven and earth, the Redeemer of men. Be thoroughly rested and alert. Get to bed early so you will be in good shape to meet God in the morning.

Willingness to obey – Don’t come to your quiet time to choose what you will do or not do, but come with the purpose of doing anything and everything that God wants you to do. Jesus said, “If anyone chooses to do God’s will he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.” (John 7:17) Come to meet the Lord having already chosen to do his will no matter what.

Meet God Every Day

http://bible.us/r/2B.I

Today I am reading day 18 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Meet God Every Day

Proverbs 8:34 Those who listen to me will be happy— those who stay at my door every day, waiting at the entrance to my home.

James 1:25 But if you look closely into the perfect law that sets people free, and keep on paying attention to it and do not simply listen and then forget it, but put it into practice—you will be blessed by God in what you do.

Psalm 31:19 How wonderful are the good things you keep for those who honor you! Everyone knows how good you are, how securely you protect those who trust you.

God promises to bless your life if you meet with him every day. We like to call this a “quiet time.” I don’t care if it’s five minutes, ten minutes, thirty minutes, whatever. And it doesn’t matter what time of day you do it, just as long as it’s a time when you are at your best.

You need to set a date with God every day where you say, “God, I’m checking in with you. Anything you want to do in my life today, anything you want to tell me.” Just sit there and be quiet. Read the Bible a little bit, talk about whatever is worrying you, unload your burdens, and listen for God’s direction.

The Bible says, “The man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it – he will be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:25 NIV)

God says if you will do this, he will bless the things in your life. “You have stored up great blessings for those who honor you. You do so much for those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world” (Psalm 31:19 NLT).

Gifted for This Time

http://bible.us/r/2B.D

Today I am reading day 13 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:

Gifted for This Time

Esther 4:14 If you keep quiet at a time like this, help will come from heaven to the Jews, and they will be saved, but you will die and your father’s family will come to an end. Yet who knows—maybe it was for a time like this that you were made queen!”

God doesn’t recruit you without a calling. God calls everybody to use the gifts and the passion that they have, but not everyone picks up the phone.

The only way you’re going to hear is if you listen. You’ve got be quiet, you’ve got to get alone and spend time with God.

When Mordecai sends Esther word that the Jews are going to be annihilated, he essentially says, “Don’t think that you can just ignore this disturbing trend. Yeah, I know it’s been tough, but this is your destiny. God put you here. It’s no accident that you are a Jewish girl and now the queen of Persia.’

It’s important to read on and see Esther’s response to Mordecai in Esther 4:15, “Go, gather together all the Jews and fast for me. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law” (NIV).

Esther knows confronting the king is likely to mean certain death. She’s going to have to use her gifts of beauty, brains, and personality to persuade him. But before she goes to see him, she sets aside three days to fast and pray before God.

When you are seeking God’s call on your life, follow Esther’s example. First, get all the support you can. Second, you need extended time alone with God. I want to encourage you to schedule a retreat with God. Whether it’s an overnight, a weekend, or longer if you can, you won’t hear God’s call on your life if you don’t get alone with him.

God Rewards Your Quiet Time With Him

http://bible.us/r/6q.8.L

Today I am reading day 8 of NIV Once-A-Day Promises Devotional:

God Rewards Your Quiet Time With Him

Matthew 6:6 But when you pray, go to your room, close the door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what you do in private, will reward you.

There is a thriving breed of people in America known as the Coffee Shop Writers. They cannot work anywhere else except in the bustling coffee shop of their neighborhood. They settle in, get their coffee and work tirelessly on their novel, article or screenplay. They seem to believe that their work needs an audience—both before and after publication.
Even though this is a specialized group, in reality you can find people with a similar perspective in all walks of life: lifting weights, taking pictures, cooking, running, working or even eating. People are beginning to find it difficult to do anything without an audience.

The last thing God wants our spiritual life to become is a show we put on for others. Prayer should be a time of personal reflection and divine conversation. It needs to be between us and God. That’s it. Even when you’re not on your cell phone, your webcam is off and you’re not engaging in social media, you still have an audience of One—and he knows your heart.

God’s Promise to Me
• I will always be personal, and I will always be with you.
• Others look on the outside, I will always look at the heart.

My Prayer to God
Lord, thank you for always listening to me. Help me to remember that even though I follow you in deed and in word, our relationship is a personal one.

My journey with Christ

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