Every Christian would agree that time in God’s Word and prayer is essential for spiritual health. Yet it can be a significant battle to maintain such practices. Or, maybe you keep those disciplines in check only to find them mundane and boring. In both cases, the problem is not with God or his Word, but with us and our pursuit.
The good news is that this is not a difficult problem to resolve. God not only gives us the command to spend time with him in his Word and prayer, but also gives us everything we need to enjoy such opportunities.
In that respect, sometimes what we most need is to get away and refresh our perspective and practice of walking with God. This past weekend thirty men from Kossuth attended a conference with author Dr. Don Whitney on Christian prayer and meditation. This event served as our Men’s Summit for 2018 and was well worth the investment. We packed up two church vans and several personal vehicles and headed down to Geist Community Church in McCordsville, IN. Our mission: Pursue God together by investing in his Word and prayer.
On Friday evening we learned the practice of praying the Bible. Dr. Whitney made a compelling argument that praying through Scripture is a great remedy to avoid praying “the same things about the same things” which is boring and often leads to discouragement. While all of Scripture can be prayed we were encouraged to hone in on the psalms as a primary way of praying the Bible. There is even a free app for designated daily psalms. This can help you pick one each day to pray through. You can also purchase his small book on praying the Bible here. Personally, I want to make this more of a practice in my life by praying the Bible with other believers in group settings and also by incorporating it in sermon prep. His book is short and worth the read if you would like to learn how to make this a personal spiritual practice.
On Saturday morning we walked through various ways of meditating on Scripture which you can see here. In my own practice of meditation that morning I chose number 3: Formulate a principle from the text. It was helpful to try to simplify what I had read to its most basic point as a means of better understanding Scripture for myself. Any of these practices he lists are helpful to better understand and then remember what we read in the Scriptures as the day goes on.
We finished off the day with a lunch together at Portillo’s (which was a first for me). Over the meal and a phenomenal chocolate cake milkshake we asked one another how God had used the conference in our lives and what our main takeaways were.
I left the weekend grateful in at least two respects. I was encouraged to keep pursuing time in God’s Word in a way that impacts my prayer life. I was also encouraged simply by being with some fellow brothers in Christ who are a part of my very own church family. It was a weekend well spent.