Honest question,... How much time on average do you spend in fellowship or prayer or perhaps simply studying the scriptures per week? BTW this is not to “condemn” you for falling short of some fictional time requirement, but is an honest question- Thanks Fletcher
Hey FletcherIt's a fair question.Fellowship - I'm part of a local church to which I attend every Sunday as well as a midweek bible group. I also meet with three other men every 2-3 weeks to pray for each other.Prayer - I admit I struggle with prayer, and can never manage more than 5 minutes at a time. Part of it is that I get the idea that God isn't listening or is angry with me, which I find discouraging. Many talk about prayer in more experiential terms such as "communion" and "presence". Such experiences are foreign to me.Bible Study - I have, a fairly good knowledge of scripture, though my reading is not consistent. Often I get discouraged at things I don't understand. I certainly find it interesting, and find theology fascinating (I have many books). However, I find it hard for anything I read in the Bible to really penetrate at the heart level (apart from sometimes a vague gloom and dread).I would like a better approach to prayer and bible study - any suggestions would be very welcome
Brother, pray for a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowing of Jesus and His deep love of you. Once your knowing of Jesus, your devotion to Jesus and your treasuring of Jesus as supreme above all else is growing, you won't have any assurance issues for as Scripture says, you will be filled with all the fullness of God and you will grow in maturity. Also, the Bible says we can be assured of our being in Christ and born again by several tests. 1 John is an excellent book to pour over and pour into your soul in this regard.
Well it sure sounds like you’re in position and ready to take the next step:)))Your current testimony is probably far more familiar to those on SI than you might imagine, we all have to come to that place (in one way or another) before we look for a deeper relationship and understanding with the Lord. Prayer is different for everyone, some keep it formal and others more a casual endeavor and others still somewhere in between- Usually that is based on our view of God and our relationship with Him- Personally, I don’t see it as a “right or wrong” issue but it is important that we spend time with Him, you can’t “know” someone you don’t spend time with, right? And prayer is one of the primary means to that ends.... One prayer model that really helped me get in shape (prayer is like unto a spiritual exercise in that we learn to “labor” in prayer) was the ACTS model- A-adoration C-confession T-thanksgiving S-supplication In part A, you can just begin by proclaiming the attributes of Gods greatness - In part C, you confess any known sin, or struggles and then give space for Him to point out things to you that He sees that are inhibitors, being sure to confess or agree in those as wellIn part T, just literally name everything you’re thankful for... this will take a long time (like- Lord I thank you that my eyes work and I get to behold the beauty of your creation, cause some people have never seen it.... Lord I thank you that my legs work and I get to experience running- etc...) In part S, you just talk to Him about your needs and again be open to Him giving light on things He wants you to ask for/to give you so you can grow stronger in your spiritual man:) If you do this for 20 minutes a day you’ll be amazed at how quickly you will grow- the point is to be deliberate so make sure when you do this that you’ve “set aside” this time and not allow yourself to be distracted- much like a workout physically. Also ask Him to give you ears to hear Him, and to help you hear and distinguish His voice so you can obey it (act in faith) - ask and He will give liberally:)) It’s a decent place to start being more deliberately active in your spiritual growth,... draw near to Him and He will draw near to you 😇Hope that helps... and anytime you might want to fellowship my email is in my profile-
Fletcher & Robert,Thank you for your advice. I have been trying to put it into practice this last week, especially the ACTS prayer order. I still find it difficult - please pray that I would have the resolve to persevere and that I'd genuinely find deep joy in prayer and scripture.Mark