Written By: Tamika Mahomes
3. Connect With God Through Prayer
While we have journeyed through the importance of meeting with God through daily devotion and keeping his word through meditating on the word, prayer is another vital piece in our journey as believers.
We often make prayer seem like a task or something daunting, but the truth about prayer is that it is simply talking to God. We spend much of our day talking to people, such as our co-workers, friends and family. For most, these conversations are not approached with fear but rather confidence and freedom in expressing ourselves. The truth is that meeting with God is no different.
Prayer allows us to meet with God just as we are, understanding that just as we are is how he accepts us. When we undersand that God accepts us with our flaws, we know that we do not have to go to God pretending to be someone/something we are not.
The Necessity Of Prayer
In prayer, we communicate with God. We share our heart's desires and emotions. Through prayer, we draw near to God and open our hearts to be met and transformed by the Heavenly Father. Prayer is a two way conversation. It not only allows us to talk to God, but also allows God to speak to us.
What Does The Bible Teach About Prayer?
1. We Are To Pray Always
"Never stop praying" 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NLT)
The Bible is simple in its explanation, NEVER STOP PRAYING! Prayer, is not meant to be something we only do to start our day, rather it should be a continual conversation throughout the day. In these continual pockets of prayer, we show our dependence and trust on and in someone bigger than us. Let God be a part of your day, never stop praying!
2. We Are To Pray About Everything
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
With God, nothing is off-limits. When we pray throughout the day, we should pray about everything. When we learn to pray about everything, we begin to exchange our anxieties and worries for God's strength. He is our listening ear.
3. In Prayer We Trust Gods Will
God is not a magic genie. He is our Heavenly Father. And when we meet with him, we must understand this truth, God's will, supersedes ours.
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42 (NIV)
When Jesus prayed before his death, he asked God to take his suffering away, only IF it was his will. In his human nature, Jesus did not want to suffer, but rather than demand God do things his way, he chose to trust in God. Trusting God and his will can be hard. And while we often approach God with our list of prayers and desires, we must realize and trust that his will, not ours, prevails. In prayer we share our heart's desire, but, ultamitely, God's will is over all!
4. There is No Formula To How We Pray
Pray does not have to sound well poised and put together. Prayer does not require that we follow a formula or script. Rather, we approach the Father, as we are and let him do the rest. Prayer lets us share our hearts to the Father, trust his plan for our lives, and allow him to move according to his will.
Connecting with God in prayer is necessary in our journey as believers. While prayer does not change who God is or what he does, God changes who we are and what we do. In prayer, we grow, change and become more like our Heavenly Father.
Join us back here next week for part 4!
Written By: Tamika Mahomes
In the last blog we covered the importance of making devotion a daily habit. Whether for 5 minutes or 5 hours, showing up and connecting with the word of God is necessary for finding God's direction and insight for our lives. In paired with daily devotion, it is not simply enough to read the word and walk away, rather, we have a call to meditate on the word.
2. Meditate On The Word
"This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth;you are to meditate on it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do." Joshua 1:8 (CSB)
To produce growth in our walk with God, we must learn to let the word lead us, keep us and guide us. This practice begins with meditating on the word.
God's word helps to lead, guide, and become a compass for our life. God's word will never return void. God's word will never lead us in the wrong direction. In order to be lead by God's word, we must know God's word.
Meditating on the word helps us understand and apply it to our lives.
How Do I Meditate On The Word Of God?
Meditating on Gods word requires that we
1. Learn what it means
2. Apply it to our lives
How To Make Meditating A Daily Practice:
1. Pause and Reflect
When reading a passage, pause and reflect on what the word is saying. Reading God's word is where God is speaking to us. God's word is not to be rushed through, it is meant to be understood. Taking a few minutes after reading to reflect helps to undestand what the text means and how it applies to you. Take these moments to reflect and let the Lord speak to you.
2. Find a Good Commentary
Commentary helps us to provide a deeper context for the word we are reading. It is important to understand who the text is speaking to in that time and how it applies to us.
3. Pick one focus scripture from your study
When reading your passage during your devotional time, find one verse that speaks to you. Write that verse out, and keep it somewhere you can see if throughout the day. You can have a notecard on your desk at work, set a verse image as a background on your phone, or even highlight it in the Bible app.
3. Memorize and apply
"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee." Psalm 119:21
It is necessary to learn the word for ourselves. We can commit scripture to memory by reading it over and over again. And each time you read it, unpack what it means and how it applies. When you begin to understand the why behind the scripture, it helps you to understand the how (how it applies to you).
The more we meditate on God's word, and the more we hide his word in us, the more we become like him.
Meditating on God's word is not in vain or a useless venture. Instead, it helps us as believers turn our daily devotion into daily practice.
Join us back here next week for part 3!
Written By: Tamika Mahomes
As one year ends and another begins, we often find ourselves in a state of reflection over our lives. I am not sure about you, but over the past year I realized my relationship with God fell by the wayside. I know addmitting that trust is hard, but for me, it was my reality. I prioritized other things, people, and activities above God. As I began to prepare for 2023, I started to understand that I did not want to start 2023 in the same place, spiritually, as I was when 2022 ended.
Whether you find yourself where I was or if you are in a place where you feel your faith grew exponentially, we ought never forget that growth is always a part of our journey. As believers in Christ we never reach a place where we stop learning, sharing, and growing.
James 4:8 (a) says:
"Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you." (CSB)
James reminds us the importance of drawing closer to God. It is when we draw near to God that he draws near to use. In those moments when we read the word and connect with the Father, we allow him to teach, lead and guide us. When we are intentional about prioritizing our relationship with God, growth happens.
How To Get Closer To God:
1. Make Daily Devotion A Priority
"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you" Matthew 6:33 (CSB)
When we wake up for the day, it's easy to get started on our never ending list of tasks. But what if we let God be with us even in the midst of the chaos and busy. It is easy to feel guilty if we have no more than 5 minutes to devote to God, but the truth is not about time, its about intention.
We devote our time to our jobs, our families, our hobbies, our demands, and even our distractions. But what if we took that same devotion and intention and put it into our relationship with God? In order for us to be good spouses, friends, parents, anything, we must learn to be good servants of God. And servanthood, requires us to devote time to the one we serve.
How Do I Make Daily Devotion A Priority?
In order to make daily devotion a priority, here are two important things I want you to know:
1. It should work for YOU!
2. It does not have to be what you consider as ideal!
What does this mean?
While starting the day with God can help set the tone for the day, sometimes that is not possible, and that is okay, find a time that works for you! If you can only read later in the day, do it! If you only have time in the morning to say a quite prayer, great! If you only have time to read one scripture, perfect! Showing up for God has to work for you. Devotion with God should not feel like a duty but rather an honor. If you honor God, even in your little, he will greatly honor that!
Here Are 5 Ways To Show Up When Busy:
1. Read the Verse of the Day On YouVersion
2. Say a prayer while you are getting ready (more on this later)
3. Listen to an audio bible. *If you are looking for an upbeat version, try Streetlights.
4. Read it with your kids
5. Read/Listen during your lunch break or in the evening before bed
As we close, I want to leave you with this, show up for God, no matter how that looks for you! Life is busy and chaotic, but in the midst of it all I want to encourage you to find those pockets of time at the feet of the Father. Whether you can devote 5 mins or 5 hours, God sees and knows your heart. Lets be intentional on showing up in our walk with God this year, because it is when we show up that growth happens.
Join us back here next week for part 2!