Our devotional life before God is the most important aspect of our Christian walk.  The greatest commandment in scripture is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5, Matthew 22:37)

To love the Lord like that, we must know Him and know Him well.  To be able to know Him we first must understand the truth that God loves us.  Jesus died for us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8).  When we truly consider this, we realize that God really, really likes us.  It’s impossible to maintain a devotional life of prayer without truly believing that God is happy with us and loves us.

The two most important aspects to a devotional life with God are prayer and studying the Word of God (the Bible).  There are other ways to encounter the Lord, but these are the two main ways God designed for us to know Him by.

Let’s look at Acts 6:1-7

  1. Cultivating a Culture of Prayer
    1. Establishing Corporate Prayer
      1. Corporate prayer is the primary tool by which we learn to engage God
    2. Establishing Private Prayer
      1. Private prayer births intimacy with Jesus
    3. Understanding the Need for Prayer
      1. Our heart’s hardness requires a consistent life of prayer
      2. Our flesh’s weakness requires a consistent life of prayer

Let’s look at 2 Timothy 3:16-17

  1. Cultivating a People of the Word
    1. All scripture is God-Breathed 2 Timothy 3:1-4:5
      1. We can’t properly hear God’s voice if we don’t have God’s Word embedded in our hearts.  When we fill our minds with the Word of God, the Holy Spirit will teach us everything we need to know for contemporary situations–our everyday lives.

Two of my favorite people who have written extensively on the power of the relationship between the Word of God and prayer are Madame Jeanne Guyon and Archbishop Fenelon.  They were 17th century contemporaries and have influenced my prayer life tremendously.  Guyon taught that if we take a small part of God’s Word, read it and then pray it back to God that we would receive way more than if we just read large quantities of scripture.  I can attest that she’s right!

There is a place for studying the Word where we read larger quantities to gain understanding of context, etc., but there’s no better way to gain “revelation” of scripture than taking small chunks (less than 10 verses) and pray or sing them back to God.  We can ask God what He means by certain passages and even engage God in dialogue.  It’s a very powerful tool for our prayer lives.

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