Every day I wake up with the Devil on my face. That’s a phrase I stole from John Piper, but it’s true of me too. What I mean by that is I don’t wake up focused on the Lord and ready to serve Him. I usually wake up groggy without much semblance of spiritual vitality or awareness of God. What follows is how I get the Devil off my face.
- Go to a place that’s comfortable, but not necessarily too relaxing that I’ll fall asleep. Usually if I try this on my chair with a blanket and our dog on my lap, it is not as fruitful. I often end up at Panera Bread or sometimes at the kitchen table.
- Put in ear plugs. They are great for me because they block out most of the outside sound but still enable me to hear myself speak softly, which is very important for me. I find myself often talking to myself during the time.
- Get Bible, notebook, prayer guide, Bible reading guide, and pens.
First: DBR (Daily Bible Reading)
I do not decide each day what to read. If I did that I would either not read or not read as much. This year is actually the first year I’ve ever been on track to read through the Bible in one year. (Here’s an encouragement for those of you that feel guilty for not reading the Bible “enough”–I’ve been saved since I was 7, and now 27 years later, I’m hopefully going to read the whole Bible through in a year. Just start small and be as consistent as you can. If you mess up, just start again. It’s okay.)
My DBR is the Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan put out by a group called “The Navigators.” There are countless plans, but I like this one because it has me reading 25 days a month which leaves up to 6 days of grace periods. (I am old school in that I prefer an actual printed Bible to do this.) Each day I read I mark off what I read. It’s fun to look back and see the progress I’ve made. Chris and Joanna Walker and I are reading this plan together. It’s cool to share progress.
Not much in the way of writing for me in my journal at this point. I simply write the date and write down a thought or two that stands out. Sometimes I’ll have a question I’ll write in the margin of my Bible.
Second: BMW (Bible Memory Work)
After that I often move to Bible Memory Work (BMW). I have been selecting one passage of Scripture to memorize each week or so. Right now I’m working on Colossians 1:11-14. I keep a running list of the passages I’ve committed to memory so far in the front of my journal and go over each of them every day, writing down the references as I recite them. Often I naturally start talking to the Lord as I recite these verses aloud (quietly). This ends up being more intimate prayer between me and the Lord than my normal prayer time and tends to transition into the next section.
Third: PT (Prayer Time)
Nothing fancy here. I pray for whoever comes in my mind and whatever request comes into my mind as well. I write down the name of the person I’m praying for. Often I’ll list major things I need to get done that day. Then I take out my prayer guide from Central Oaks that lists every member with a picture of most and pray for each one. Usually the prayer is the same for each person (example: “give _____ strength today.”). I’ve also listed regular attenders on the back as well as people who are unsaved.
After that, the Devil is usually off my face and I’m ready to begin my day of serving the Lord.
One thought: remember the purpose of the time is to direct our hearts and minds out to the Lord and not inward to ourselves.
I hope this is helpful in giving you some ideas. If not, that’s okay too. God will help you find what works best for you.