HOW TO HAVE DAILY DEVOTIONAL TIME
I. Should you have a daily time studying Scripture and praying?
The example of those in Scripture is clear. King David said, “LORD, I have called daily upon You; I have stretched out my hands to You” (Psalm 88:9). Those at Berea “received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). Scripture also promises that God wants to daily load us with His benefits and blessings (Ps. 68:19). Without the study of God’s Word or consistent prayer we couldn't know these blessings nor would we appropriate them. Therefore, to truly grow in your Christian life you must learn how to have a daily quiet time with God.
II. A simple Bible study method
A. Discipline yourself to a certain time of the day to read. (Example: early morning, lunch time, or in the evening after others have gone to bed). Establishing the habit of a certain time of day, helps you to be consistent. Paul encouraged a struggling Timothy to, “Exercise yourself toward godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7). The word exercise means to train or discipline yourself.
B. Next, find a place where you will not be distracted by people or noise. This helps in concentration and your receptiveness to the Word of God and its message.
C. Begin by reading one chapter at a time. Don’t jump from place to place in the Bible, but read from the beginning of a book to the end. Start in the New Testament and read all the way through to the book of Revelation. When you finish, turn around and read the entire Bible again from the beginning. This enables you to grasp the full context of the Bible and its message.
D. After reading one chapter, pick out one or more verses that interest you. God will open your eyes to specific verses that He wants to use to reveal His truth to you. Solomon said that if you were open to God’s instruction, the Lord promised that He would, “Pour out my Spirit on you; I will make my words known to you” (Prov. 1:23). God makes His Word known to you in this manner. As you read, certain verses grab your attention and cause you to stop and observe them more carefully. This is the Holy Spirit revealing God’s Word to you. Write these verses out on a piece of paper. Leave space on your paper for answering the following questions.
E. First, write one sentence, describing in your own words, what you have observed the verse is saying. By doing this you are making an observation concerning exactly what God is saying. Why is this so important? If you don’t correctly observe what God has said, you cannot make a correct interpretation of what He has said.
F. With this same verse ask yourself, Why is this passage important? Does it reveal something about the character of God? Does it reveal a responsibility you have? Is there a promise given? Is this a command? Is this an example you should follow? This is how you begin to interpret what you are reading. Do the same with any additional verses.
G. Next, ask yourself how you can apply this truth in this one verse to your life. This requires careful thought and consideration. What action should you take? Do you need to confess a sin? Do you need to stop a certain behavior? Should you start doing a different behavior? Should you ask forgiveness? How will you obey this command? Must you surrender your heart? Specifically, how will you carry out these changes in your actions or attitudes? Write these conclusions on your paper.
H. Now pray and ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit and to put into your heart what is necessary to completely obey His Word.
I. Follow these steps with any additional verses.
J. For new believers, be sure to read through the New Testament several times before reading the Old Testament. This will help you to better understand the Old Testament.
K. If you desire to take a more in-depth approach to your Bible Study, go to the link below and take my free eight-week course in the Inductive Bible Study Method. https://calvarychapelag.libsyn.com/biblestudies/inductive-bible-study-seminar-part-1
III. Why do most people have a hard time praying regularly?
A. It takes real faith to speak regularly to an unseen God (Heb. 11:1, 27).
B. We get apathetic and lazy not seeing our need (Is. 43:22) (Luke 22:45).
C. We get independent and trust in ourselves, or in others (Is. 30:1-2).
D. A lack of discipline (1 Tim. 4:7).
IV. What are the benefits of regular prayer time?
A. In a regular prayer time is where you will be filled with the Holy Spirit, the joy of the Lord, and find communion with God (John 16:24) (Luke 11:13).
B. A regular prayer time will enable you to find release from the anxiety and worry of everyday life (Phil. 4:6-8).
C. Regular prayer will enable you to find victory over temptation (Luke 22:46).
D. Prayer will build you up in your faith (Jude 20).
E. Praying will make you strong in spiritual warfare (Eph. 6:10-18) (Mark 3:27).
F. Prayer helps others that you are interceding for (Phil. 1:19) (Rom. 15:30-32)
(2 Cor. 1:11).
G. Praying regularly will enable you to see "great and mighty things" (Jer. 33:3).
V. What should you pray about?
Jesus gave to His disciples a simple model for prayer. The most important issues are covered within this prayer. These are the basic elements of an effective prayer life (Matt. 6:9-13).
1. Acknowledge that God is your Father and ruler in heaven.
("Our Father in heaven")
2. Give praise to Him. ("Hallowed be Your Name")
3. Acknowledge that your desire is for His kingdom and will to be done in whatever you pray about. ("Your kingdom come, your will be done")
4. Pray about your specific needs. ("Our daily bread")
5. Ask for personal forgiveness concerning your sins. ("Forgive us")
6. Be sure you are granting forgiveness to others who have offended you. ("As we forgive")
7. Pray to be kept from temptation. ("Lead us not")
8. Acknowledge that you believe that God’s purpose will reign supreme. ("For Yours is the kingdom and power and glory forever")
VI. A simple method for your prayer time
A. Discipline yourself to a specific time of day that is devoted to prayer. This will help you to be consistent. (Example: before you start your day's work, before you study, or before you eat lunch.)
B. If you have a difficult time concentrating on what you are praying for, take these steps.
1. Find a place with the least amount of distraction.
2. Make a list of what and whom you want to pray for.
C. So you won’t forget your own need for change, make a list of every area you are failing in. This helps you to consistently ask God for His help in the areas where you are struggling (Prov. 28:13) (Ps. 32:5) (Ps. 90:8).
D. So you won’t forget what the Lord has done for you, make a list of answered prayers. This will help you to be continually thankful, even when things are not going well right then (Ps. 103:1-2).
"Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."