I love the old hymn “Sweet Hour of Prayer.”  Anyone who has regular encounters with the Lord knows that personal worship is indeed sweet.  I can testify.  Spending time with the Lord is often the highlight of my day.  The problem with many believers is that they don’t know how to bond with the Lord in a meaningful way.  Consider three more tips for spending time with God.

Get a plan. 

If you want to excel in personal worship, you can’t enter your time with the Lord as a blank slate.  You need to have an agenda.  Sure, there may be times in which you enter the prayer closet, sparks fly, and you seem swept away in a utopia of impromptu praise and heaven-sent insight.  Those experiences are the exception, not the rule.  It has often been said that “a failure to plan is a plan to fail.”  That axiom can be applied to personal worship.  Consider the example of Daniel.  Scripture records, “He got down on his knees, prayed, and gave thanks to his God, just as he had done before” (Daniel 6:10).  Notice that the prophet had a prayer custom.  It is for this reason that his counterparts were able to accuse him (Daniel 6:5).  Some may think that such a routine is too rigid.  I would argue otherwise.  Going into my daily devotional time with a set agenda makes a huge difference.  I have a plan for how many chapters of my Bible I will read, what devotional writings I will ingest, and how much time I will spend in prayer.  I would like to encourage you to come up with a devotional plan that helps you.

Get some resources. 

When I first became serious about my walk with the Lord, my brother gave me a study Bible as a gift.  It was a “Life Application Study Bible.”  I can still remember cracking the pages of that behemoth of a book for the first time.  Its notes made a huge impression on me.  I learned so much about the Lord, His Word, and His desires for my life.  My experience stands as a testimony for the power of good Christian resources.  Tools like study Bibles, devotional books, Bible reading plans, prayer guides, audio books, podcasts, and Bible commentaries can help you take your devotional time to the next level.  We are blessed to have so many resources available to us within our marvelous age of information and technology.  Don’t fail to utilize such tools for your own good, and for the glory of God!

Get Some Friends. 

Having a spiritual counterpart to encourage you in your walk with the Lord is critical.  The Bible says, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).  I personally have two men with whom I speak weekly.  We have a special, spiritual bond.  They are guys with whom I can talk about the Word, my struggles, my prayer life, and the issues I am facing.  We mutually encourage one another, and we hold each other accountable.  Without them, I don’t know if my private walk with the Lord would be as strong as it is today.  God has used them to build me up.  Don’t underestimate the importance of accountability.  Who you are in your relationship with the Lord, in a large part, is determined by who you associate with.  Pray for and develop some friendships that will encourage you in your pursuit of godliness.

Dr.Patrick Latham

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