Time is a difficult thing to manage. We all have so many irons in the fire-that every once in a while, we just run out of fire! In our hectic world, instead of prioritizing our schedules, we really need to schedule our priorities. That’s why we have services twice on Sunday and once on Wednesday: it provides an opportunity to schedule time for the priority of worship, together. It’s not the only worship that should happen in a week, but it’s a time you can count on.
A mentor of mine once suggested this schedule for carving out time for spiritual meditation and prayer. He called it “Time Alone with God.” He suggested praying using these concepts as a guide. Focus your mind on the first area until you can focus there no longer, then move on to the next. He appropriately called this plan START.
- Submit in prayer to God the Father. Jesus prayed “not my will, but Thine be done,” and so should we. His model prayer was a model of humility. Take time to realize that you are entering the throne room of the true and living eternal God-so pray like it!
- Thank Him for all that He has done and will do. Be specific. Think about blessings you’ve encountered. Think about how God has acted through your family, friends, and the church. Thank Him for specific people, events, and opportunities.
- Admit to Him your weaknesses. This is a lesson in humility and an exercise in repentance. Tell God that you are sorry-and what you’re sorry for. Admit that it is difficult to pray sometimes, and that you need help. Own up to your temptations; He understands and cares.
- Request that He help you and yours. Only after you’ve acknowledged his majesty, marveled at His love, and humbled yourself in the light of His perfection can you really make a request of God. Ask Him about anything and everything; don’t be anxious about anything, but make your requests known! (cf. Philippians 4:6-7)
- Trust that He will act. Vocalize your trust in him. Tell him that you need help, but that you are resolved to trust him more and more with each passing day. Once you’ve asked for forgiveness for a specific sin; move on! Know that He has forgiven you!
Thanksgiving is a great time to START making time alone with God. Use our traditional day of turkey and family as a chance to begin a spiritual feast. Your soul will thank you!