Building a daily time with God and enjoying it is vital to a wholehearted pursuit of God. I noticed both in my personal life and in the lives of others that much of our time spent with the Lord is out of balance.We spend too much time repenting, praying for our needs and the needs of others and not enough time in thanksgiving and adoration.
This results in so much introspection and work that we actually begin treating prayer like having surgery, needful but not enjoyable.
So many of us pray to God not with God. I measured prayer by how much time I talked to God. God measures prayer by how much time I interact with Him.
Prayer is communion. Prayer is a conversation. Prayer is dialogue.
Finding balance is key to enjoyable prayer.
So I switched things up and shifted a significant amount of time on the front end of my prayer time focusing primarily on the Lord, not on myself and/or my list.
The 4 Focus Areas
Time with God works best when these four area’s (below) are in balance. Each area intentionally builds on another. I encourage you to give it a try. I believe you will enjoy your time with God far more and feel refreshed when finished.
- Thanksgiving: Giving thanks to the Lord based on what He has done.
- Adoration: Meditating on who God is.
- Repentance: Aligning our hearts with His. Repenting to know His thoughts.
- Intercession: Discovering and praying what is on His heart for yourself and others.
The first two areas, thanksgiving and adoration, focus primarily on thanking and knowing God. The second two areas, repentance and intercession, focus primarily on my needs and the needs of others. This is the balance we are after.
The goal across all the areas is communion and dialogue with God.
Start your time with thanksgiving.
Psalm 100:4 “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”
Thanksgiving expresses gratitude for what God has done.Thanksgiving honors God regardless of how we feel and creates the atmosphere for His presence. It refreshes the heart.
As we meditate on what God has done we gain confidence in what He can do. Giving thanks activates hope and faith in a living God. We become awakened once again to His goodness!
Thank God for the following:
1 – His promises over your life.
2 – Prophetic words you have received.
3 – Family, co-workers and friends
4 – Circumstances, miracles, experiences and adventures with God
Turn your Bible reading into times of thanksgiving. In the passage below you can literally pause on each phrase and return thanks. Give it a try.
Psalm 145:4-9 “One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds. They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.”
Adoration is the pursuit of who God is, his nature, attributes and character.
While thanksgiving is about the deeds of God, adoration is about the ways of God.
Moses made a clear request to move beyond God’s deeds and onto knowing his ways.
Exodus 33:13 “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you.”
We see the result of Moses’ request here.
Psalm 103:7 “He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:”
God delights in revealing who He is to the humble who make adoration a part of their daily pursuit.
Psalm 25:9 “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.”
Ask the Holy Spirit for clarity and revelation as you explore the character and attributes of God. Knowing God is the true treasure.
When we discover who God is we begin to understand who we are. This is crucial in keeping our minds renewed and our faith alive.
Rom. 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
I recommend that you grab the Adoration workbook. This workbook is an exploration of the attributes and character of God, arranged by the letters of the alphabet, with scriptural references and sections to journal.
They also provide an iPhone app for an easy resource while on the go. Here is a sample of what this looks like.
The adoration app is simple and powerful and it only costs $1.99.
The Vertical Focus
Thanksgiving and adoration are the first two steps in building a balanced daily time with the Lord. These two have an intentional vertical focus of thanking and discovering God. Slow down enough to make these a top priority in your time with the Lord.
Make thanksgiving and adoration a daily habit. Start with 5 minutes on each of these and slowly increase your time. I suggest spending 15 minutes a day in each of these 2 areas.
The Horizontal Focus – Part 2
In our next post we will finish up by looking at the last two areas, repentance and intercession. These will focus on keeping our hearts pure and going after both our personal needs and the needs of others. Stay tuned!
What do you think about spending significant amount of focused time on God when we pray? Agree/Disagree? What has been your experience? Or just share your thoughts about the post. 😉 Add your comment below.