Lately I’ve been asked a little more frequently than normal about what my morning devotional time looks like. For a while I was posting a morning video on my Instagram Story that showed a page from my Bible reading that day. Often, my journal was somewhere visible, and almost always my coffee was in hand!
This opened up quite a few conversations with people who were wanting to pray, or who had struggled to find their own rhythm in their own personal devotions. I know firsthand how difficult it can be to get out of bed in the morning and spend time in prayer and Bible reading. Surprisingly enough, being a Pastor doesn’t mean that spiritual disciplines come easy. 😉 Like most disciplines, they are learned over time, and when intentionally focused on, become a part of your lifestyle.
What I have discovered over the past few years, is that learning about yourself is essential to having a growing, thriving spiritual life. What compels one person to spend time in prayer, may not be what motivates another. The day I stopped trying to do what I had been told was the “right” way to spend time with God, was the day I consistently started enjoying my morning devotions.
For my mornings to flow in a way that is ideal for me means a few things have to take place first.
- I need to get the quality of sleep my body needs the night before
This means getting to bed on time, walking through a nightly routine that tells my body sleep is imminent, and having the discipline to do what’s best for my body (regardless of what I feel like doing instead.)
- My space needs to be neat and tidy
Ensuring that the dishwasher was turned on the night before, that the family room has been tidied up and that the kitchen is clean, allows me to enter into a time of prayer without distraction.
- I need coffee
Even though I probably won’t finish the cup, having a hot mug of coffee in hand, makes my morning better.
- Google must be on hand
So many times when I’m praying a Scripture or a part of a Scripture will pop into my mind. Having google ready to direct me to the exact chapter and verse helps my pray Scripture that applies to the specific situations I’m praying about.
- My old system of journalling wasn’t working.
I created a new journal, and developed a system for journalling prayers, promises and Scriptures that has been revolutionary for me! I’ll share it in an upcoming post.
So really, I learned that waking up early to give me the time I desire in the morning starts after dinner the evening before, and that my physical surroundings make an impact on my ability to focus. So if you don’t have the thriving prayer life that you’ve wanted, perhaps do an evaluation to figure out what’s holding you back. I bet it has little to do with your lack of desire for prayer…