We all want our relationship with God to grow. That’s our mission as a church – to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
Ironically, most of us get stuck in growing our relationship with God. Sunday morning is a great place to foster spiritual development. Obviously, we’re big fans of Sunday mornings. But an hour on Sunday won’t lead to the deepest, richest relationship with God.
So this week on the blog, we’ll review four other important ways to grow, all of them quite "doable" for just about everyone. I hope they help.
The first way to grow is to cultivate the private discipline of reading the Bible and praying. I know it sounds so basic, but you wouldn’t believe how many Christians miss this one. I sit down with so many people who are stuck spiritually only to discover that their prayer life is a bit flat and they haven’t been into the Bible for a while.
More and more, I think of prayer and scripture reading as "date time" with God. In the same way that I need time to nurture the relationship with my wife, I need time to nurture my relationship with God.
Some basic thoughts on prayer and scripture reading:
- Start with 10-15 minutes a day.
- Free yourself from distractions.
- When you pray, talk naturally and from the heart. Tell God what’s really going on.
- Take time to listen.
- Find a version of the Bible that’s easy to understand. You can read virtually every translation on line for free. I like the New Living Translation and the Message for devotional reading.
- Make your scripture reading part of your prayer, asking God to show you how it applies to you and how to understand the text.
Scripture is God’s revelation to us. Probably more than anything else, reading the scripture and prayer have kept me through the good times and tough times over my life.
How has reading the Bible and praying been part of your walk? What are some great moments? What have been some tougher moments for you?