For no other foundation can anyone lay than
that which is laid,
which is Jesus the Messiah.
1 Corinthians 3:11
How to Develop Personal
Prayer/Bible Study Times
Thoughts on how to develop personal times of study,
meditation, and devotion using the Scriptures. These
suggestions are intended to help you learn to converse with your
Lord using the Bible and make study of the Word something more than
just a ritualistic discipline that you "have" to do in order to be
considered a "good" Christian. God is really awesome when you
get to know Him.. and yet the disciplines that would draw us into
deeper fellowship and intimacy with Him are the most neglected by
Christians in America. We must make an effort to pursue God in
a relationship-- or we will remain religiously dull and never grow
spiritually. Hopefully these suggestions will help you put into the
practice the command to "abide in Him" ...
Come to a Person
When you come to the Bible, know and
understand that you are coming to a REAL, LIVING, LOVING
PERSON: a Father who sits upon a throne,
His Son who sits at His right hand, and the Holy Spirit who
breathed and authored the Bible itself and who now lives
with you and in you....
A common mistake we can all make is to come to the Bible for
INFORMATION or THEOLOGICAL TRUTH as the primary goal... if
we only come to the Bible for theological knowledge, our
hearts will grow cold and even resistant in many cases to
the activity of the Spirit of God! What we must have
is fresh, regular, and living contact
with a PERSON through the WORD.
Scripture Points Us to JESUS... the Author and Giver of
37 And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me.
You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His
form. 38 But you do not have His word abiding in you,
because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. 39
You search the Scriptures, for in them
you think you have eternal life; and these are they which
testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that
you may have life. 41 I do not
receive honor from men. 42 But I know you, that you do not
have the love of God in you. 43 I have come in My Father's
name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own
name, him you will receive. 44 How can you believe, who
receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor
that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I shall
accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses
you--Moses, in whom you trust. 46 For if you believed Moses,
you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you
do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?"
Those Who Thirst For More of God Come to JESUS
37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood
and cried out, saying, "If
anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.
38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of
his heart will flow rivers of living water."
Those Who Are Given By the Father Come to JESUS
37 All that the Father gives Me
will come to Me, and the one
who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 38 For I have
come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will
of Him who sent Me.
The YOKE of JESUS is NOT the Heavy Yoke of Religion
25 At that time Jesus answered and said, "I thank You,
Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these
things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to
babes. 26 Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your
sight. 27 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father,
and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone
know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son
wills to reveal Him. 28 Come to
Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give
you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I
am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for
your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
Come with the Word and
Pray/Read the Bible
As you read the Bible there are many
ways to study, meditate, and absorb the truth of the word.
In order for the Word of God to be a living reality in our
hearts, we must not come with a humble heart, ready to
receive instruction and lovingly talking with the Lover of
our Soul. There are two truths that many times can be
seen clearly in the Scripture and two separate responses we
can take to both as we read and talk with the Lord.
Scriptures that Command Us to
BELIEVE or KNOW Something
 Thank the
LORD for the PROMISE of His Word
 Ask the LORD to open up your understanding to
that truth or PROMISE
Therefore, if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation;
old things have passed away; behold, all things have become
new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to
Himself through Jesus the Messiah, and has given us the
ministry of reconciliation... (2 Corinthians 5:17-18)
 Thank you Father that you I
am in Jesus and that all of the old things in my life are
being made new by you. Thank you that I really am a
brand new creation! All of my sins have all been
cleansed and washed away.... I really do belong to You and
all things are new.
 Father, open my eyes to really see just how much of my
life has already been changed, how much is currently being
made new, and even how much is going to eventually be
brand new. Help me Father to see that my habits and
addictions and sins are all passed away, and that I am
truly free from them. Help me to understand this
truth, Lord, that I am a new creation. Help me
understand the working of the Spirit that makes me
reconciled to you fully... how clean I am, how free I am,
and how utterly secure I am in Jesus!
Command Us to
DO or OBEY Something
yourself to OBEY the Word
 Ask the LORD to EMPOWER you to fulfill His will
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil
speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be
kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
just as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)
 Father, today I commit myself
to not let anger or jealousy poison my relationships.
I will try today to keep my tongue from speaking evil or
gossiping about people. I will try to be kind and
tender to those that I am normally impatient with.
Thank you that you forgave me of all my sins, and I commit
today to also forgive people when they wrong me.
 LORD, give me grace to not return evil for evil today
and help me to forgive those who may wrong me.
Father help me by your Spirit to put a guard on my mouth
and watch my words. Fill me with your kindness
Father to those that are not kind or may not even deserve
it. Help me Father to be kind and tender to my
family, friends, and coworkers today. Help me today
to not be bitter or jealous at what others have and keep
my eyes from looking at what I do not have. Thank
you Lord for empowering me to obey your Word and filling
me with your Spirit.
Come with Music and
Many people speak about a "quiet" time with the LORD every
day. It is true that in advanced stages of prayer,
quiet and silence is actually desired. However, for
those that are just beginners at prayer, worship and having
a focus on God through worship can go a long way in making
your times of communion with the Lord more enjoyable and
delightful! This time does NOT have to be quiet at all!
Listening to anointed praise and worship music
while you read and talk to the Lord with Scripture is
actually a very natural method of Bible study.
1 Corinthians 14:15
What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit,
and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing
with the spirit, and I will also sing with the
Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of
praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks
to His name.
Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; Make known
His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing psalms
to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works! Glory in His
holy name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the
LORD! Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face
The Psalmist describes a form of seeking God where we call
upon His name, sing to Him, glory in Him, seek His strength,
seek His face, and rejoice in our heart! Music
combined with prayer, worship, and study of the Scripture is
the ideal vehicle to do all of these! Music is powerful and was designed by God as an entry way into His
presence. When combined with praise to God and
meditation on the Word with tender words of worship and
love, a "quiet" time can become very enriching. You can
actually move from reading the Bible, speaking to the Lord,
singing portions of Scripture to the Lord, and then speaking
and singing words of love back and forth--all part of a
The idea of Harp and Bowl
worship is centered on the combination of God's truth
with God's music... and is rooted in the use of prayers
directly from the New Testament.
Come with a Heart of Love
Above all else, come to the LORD with desire to know Him
more and fall in love with Him. If you come to God
with a desire to give yourself fully to Him for His
purposes, you will find that He is waiting to give Himself
fully and completely to YOU! Seek Him, pursue Him, and
press into His heart until His nature has been pressed into
your heart. This is the definition of the Christian
life: to love God and to become like Him in all that
we do, say, and think. There are many reasons for
personal Bible study, but in the end, only love for God will
transform you and cause you to put into practice His Word
and do His will.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! 5 You
shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all
your soul, and with all your strength.
Oh, love the LORD, all you His saints! For the LORD
preserves the faithful, And fully repays the proud person.
Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart.
I love the LORD, because He has heard My voice and my
supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.
Come with a
Many believers record their times of interaction with the
Lord in a journal. The journal can be computerized or
on paper. Writing down your thoughts about the Bible,
as you talk, worship, and pray, can be a very powerful tool
to discern the voice of the LORD speaking to you. It
is also a way to help express longings in your heart and
learn how to develop "language" with the LORD as you share
your life with Him and as He comes to transform you into His
As you formulate a list of Scriptures to pray on a regular
basis, you will want to study, meditate, and understand the
meaning of a Scriptural prayer or passage. Then, use
your notebook to rewrite the passage or prayer in your own
words and personalize it. This is also a very
effective means to commune with the Lord and grow in prayer.
Schedule Your Time
The most basic reason that most people who want to read
their Bible and spend time with the Lord on a daily basis is
simply that they do not make time or schedule it! It's
that simple: if you do not make time on your calendar,
you are not likely to spend the time. Something else
will always take precedence in our "spare" time. We
must schedule a meeting time and place with His Majesty...
preferably alone. Start with 15 minutes... it's better than
0 minutes! Try for 30 minutes and then increase your
allotted time... This becomes much easier as we find out how
to fill this time and what to fill it with.
Ultimately, though, you have to make spending time with God
a priority or it will not be a priority in your life!
Come with a Personal
Once your time is scheduled and you have made a personal
commitment to spend time with the Lord, many of us then have
another hurdle: what do we do with an hour? How
can we pray for 10, 30, 50 minutes? Believe it or not,
praying for 2 hours is pleasurable when your heart has been
conditioned in the right approach and the right language of
approach to God. BUT, we must all start somewhere.
There are 3 basic categories of prayer, and a prayer list
can have Scripturally based :
||Prayer for others that is focused on
spiritual breakthrough, whether in a geographic area or
for an individual. Intercession is the primary cry
for the release of the ministry of the Holy Spirit in a
city or church body, for revival of believers, and for
salvation of the lost.
The prayers of intercession found in the New Testament
that were prayed directly by His Majesty and the
apostles had in almost every case three distinctions.
1) To God
2) For the Christians in a city
3) For revival
Thy kingdom come, your will be
done, on earth as it is in heaven...
||Prayer for personal circumstances and
needs. It is the "predominant" form of prayer that
most Christians learn. It asks God for the day to
day provisions of health, finances, protection,
blessing, and deliverance from evil. We ask God to
forgive us when we mess up, to give us grace to obey and
have victory over sin, and help us to
Give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
||Prayer that is personal and devotional
in nature. It is focused primarily on personal
communion with God and developing intimacy with the
Godhead that leads to our spiritual transformation.
This is the most "neglected" form of prayer in the West,
but yet it is the most needed and desired by God for us
on an individual level. Our paradigm of God
directly determines our growth in contemplative prayer.
He is both a Father and a Bridegroom God of passionate
love... and we cannot be intimate with God on this level
without sometimes many religious strongholds being torn
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be
your name... Lead us not into temptation but deliver us
from the evil one, for Yours is the kingdom and the
power and the glory forever.
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