This past weekend, I took Colossians 4:2 to heart: "Devote yourselves to prayer..." I want to devote myself to praying, making this the focus of my energy and my anticipation.
I also find that I've been much happier and peaceful when I spend time soaking in the sunshine of the word of God. It has a way of cramming out the worries and tensions of my heart and replacing them with good thoughts and good feelings. After enjoying a really pleasant weekend in the word and in worship, I feel eager to continue feeding on the Bible.
I want to simplify my life and fill it with beneficial, blessed things. I want to devote myself to prayer and the word, living powerfully in that simplicity.
Here are some more comprehensive notes and reflections on the pursuit of a "holy" life.
holy: set apart: dedicated: devoted
One of the teachers of the law...asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."
Goal: Devotion to God
HOLY TO THE LORD (Ex 28:36)
I am devoted to you (Ps 86:2)
Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord (1 Cor 7:34)
Environment: To prepare a right heart for devotion, I can...
Begin to build the sanctuary of the LORD God (1 Chron 22:19) through the activities below.
Remove the idols (2 Chron 17:6) by spending less time on unbeneficial activities.
Learn to devote myself (Titus 3:8, 3:14) by allowing myself space to grow over time.
Activities: I can devote myself to...
Reading the Bible or listening to the Bible being read (1 Tim 4:13)
Studying the Bible (Ezra 7:10)
Teaching the Bible or listening to the Bible being taught (Ezra 7:10, 1 Tim 4:13, Acts 2:42)
Listening to the Bible being preached (1 Tim 4:13)
Obeying the commands in the Bible (Ezra 7:10)
Praying (Col 4:2, Acts 2:42)
The Lord's Supper (Acts 2:42)
Fellow Christians (Acts 2:42, Rom 12:10)
Implementation: Little steps that I am now taking...
Minimization: "saying: Now it's complete because it's ended here." (Dune) I'm finding freedom in setting smaller, less stressful goals for myself. In particular, a few weeks ago I planned to make it my goal to memorize three Bible verses each week. After two weeks, I've found that I've only managed to memorize one per week. So I'm reducing my goal to one per week. If I can achieve this goal each week, I will be very happy and pleased with myself. It's a special day when a child learns how to walk. Her parents don't worry about enrolling her in the city marathon at the age of 10 months. Sometimes less is more, in that I get more done when my expectations are realistic.
Organization: I finally got myself into a semi-regular habit of morning prayer. But not too long afterwards, I found that I was struggling to keep up with all my prayer topics. I worried that I missed people when I prayed and I did a lot of...hmmm...ummm... as I tried to remember things in the midst of praying. So I bought myself a pretty journal and filled it with the prayer requests, one person per page. I've also been writing my weekly memory verses in it and have written out some small prayers for myself. This way, when I pray, I can flip through the pages and be reminded of the different prayer requests that I want to carry to God. I can also look and see the older prayer requests and hopefully be encouraged if/when they are answered. It's a very handy tool, and quite pretty. I keep it stacked with my Bible and the church directory.
Priorities: prayer, Bible reading, getting enough sleep, eating healthy, drinking more water, keeping my place more tidy, spending a comfortable amount of time each morning enjoying God, creating less noise for myself by turning off music once in a while, looking at nature, keeping my inbox down to a manageable size, doing my best in a less-than-ideal situation at work and leaving it at that, enjoying time with friends, exercising with a jump rope, etc.
Weekly scheduled events: Sunday worship, Wednesday evening 1-to-1 Bible studies, Tuesday morning listening to the reading of Puritan writings (possibly), "theology breakfast" (possibly)
Bi-weekly scheduled events: Friday evening group Bible study
Monthly scheduled events: Saturday afternoon group Bible study, restocking books at church.
Unscheduled events: walks outside, reading, listening to the radio, writing cards and letters to friends, watching hockey games, visiting family, calling grandparents on the phone...
Father, incline my heart to you. Cleanse me and give me joy in Your presence every day.