Where are you on your spiritual journey? I find myself periodically trying to ascertain where I am and what comes next. The questions I ask myself can be useful for you as well.
How is my Prayer Life?
I am constantly looking at my prayer life. I am constantly dissatisfied with my prayer life! This leads to finding ways to improve the quality of my prayer. I want my prayer to really connect with God and make a powerful difference in my life and the in the lives of the people I pray for.
Improving your prayer life starts with realizing it can improve. Three sources to improvement in prayer are: books and articles on prayer, prayers recorded in scripture and instruction about prayer in scripture.
I read several books about prayer every year. They are easy to find with a simple search. I almost exclusively read e-books because they are more portable and less expensive. Look for any tip you can use to work into your daily prayer.
Prayers recorded in scripture are widely varied. You can find prayers of praise and worship, confession, frustration, intercession, humility, thanksgiving and more. Each prayer will open your heart to a new form of expression. Praying these prayers, putting them in your own words or meditating on them will help you communicate in a deeper way with God.
Jesus, in particular, taught a lot about prayer. Carefully read the gospels and find the depth of teaching on prayer that he left for us. Put that teaching into your prayer and see what a difference that makes.
Do I Need to Change My Bible Reading?
I have used more Bible reading plans than I can count. For years, I have devised my own plans and found that satisfying. If you haven’t read the entire Bible, that would be a good starting point in your own journey through God’s Word.
Reading the Bible acquaints us with the language of the kingdom of God. The Bible is a revelation of the nature of God, the story of his people, the account of his interaction with creation and concise disclosure of the very nature of mankind. The Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, it comes alive each time we read it.
The more I read the Bible, the greater appetite I have for spiritual things. Here are some of the ways I read the Bible. Over the past few years, I spent a great deal of time reading the Bible from cover to cover. For a period of about three years, I read it entirely ten or eleven times a year. I read various translations in order to capture the meaning from every perspective.
Over the past year, I have been taking notes on every page I read. This has forced me into the discipline of focused attention as I read. I also occasionally add commentary reading into my daily time. I don’t like to do this too much because it can make me focus too much on commentary notes and not enough on God’s word. But, it is helpful for me from time to time.
These two basic questions help guide me and strengthen my spiritual journey. There are many other spiritual disciplines that help us grow but these two are foundational.
So, where are you on your spiritual journey? I would love to hear from you in the comments.