(April 26) Having a Plan is the Best Place to Start
Nearly all Christians will say they believe they should spend time with the Lord each day in Bible reading and prayer. The awareness of the need is there, and often the desire is present. What is many times lacking is a plan. What do I read? Where do I start? If we do not have an answer to these questions, it is easy to do nothing.
Further, people are often unsure of whether their quiet time should be about reading the Bible or prayer. Of course, we all know it needs to be both, but on a practical level, we struggle to know how to combine the two. There is so much value in combining time in the Word and time in prayer. Putting Bible reading and prayer together helps us pray according to God's Word and His will, and it enables our minds to have spiritual priorities in focus as we do go to the Lord.
Below is a plan that you can put to use today. It leads you through a time of prayer and Bible reading. Take time to look up the Scriptures listed and read them thoughtfully. Then, use the passages you have read to lead you into a time of prayer. You will find your heart is strengthened as you take time to praise the Lord for His goodness and faithfulness. You will be humbled as you confess sin and seek forgiveness for sins of commission and omission. You will find your mind being more grateful as you offer up prayers of thanksgiving for what the Lord has already done for you. Finally, you will experience the blessing of caring more deeply today for those close to you as you pray for the needs of others.
I pray this serves as an example to you of how to combine time in the Bible and prayer as you enjoy worshiping the Lord today. I encourage you to print off this page, grab your Bible, and find a quiet place to meet with the Lord. Now, you have a plan for today, and that is the best place to start!
Adoration – Read Psalm 8 & 9
Praise the Lord for His faithfulness and His mercies that are new every morning.
Confession – Read James 5:16, 1 John 1:9, Proverbs 28:13, Psalm 32:5, James 4:8, Romans 3:23-24, Daniel 9:5
It is always easier to see the mistakes of others than it is to see errors in our own life. Examining your heart provides an opportunity to stop and evaluate yourself and confess sin. Be specific and thoughtful and then rejoice in the grace, mercy, and forgiveness of the Lord that takes away our sin.
Confess sins of commission (things you have done that you should not do)
Confess sins of omission (things you have not done that you should have done)
Confess sins of pride, materialism, lust, anger, lack of forgiveness to others, laziness, apathy, sense of speech, sinful motives
Thanksgiving – Read 1 Chronicles 16:34, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Colossians 4:2, James 1:17, Psalm 28:7, 34:1, 96:2-3, 106:1, 107:1, 118:1-18
Take time to thank the Lord for the blessings he has given you. Offer prayers of gratitude for the good things in your nation, your state, your city, your church, and your family.
Supplication – Read Philippians 4:6-7, Matthew 6:6, 1 Timothy 2:8, Ephesians 6:18, Daniel 9:1-27
Intercede in prayer on behalf of others. Spend time sincerely praying for God’s blessing on those in your life.
National leaders – pray for wisdom for our President, those who serve closely with him, as well as people who make decisions that affect our nation.
Local leaders – pray for wisdom for those who lead our state, our city, and our schools.
Your church – pray for your church leadership as they strive to serve faithfully. Pray for wisdom and humility for your staff, your teachers, and those who give direction to your church.
Your family – pray for those in your immediate family as well as your extended family to seek the Lord, honor His name, and live for His glory. Pray for those in your family to have an increasing appetite for the things of Christ and for them to desire meaningful Christian fellowship. Pray for your spouse, children, parents, and siblings to trust in the Lord and to live a life dedicated to the honor of Christ.
I pray that this helps you as you spend time with the Lord today. If you need help developing a plan for daily Bible reading, you can visit the Recommended Resources page and find a link to numerous Bible reading plans that you can select. Enjoy your time in personal devotion today.