Today wraps up my 3rd week of "The 5am Club", and I wanted to share what has been -- by far -- the dearest blessing of this extra time in my life: sitting at Jesus' feet.
Each morning after a bit of tea and walking around to make sure I'm truly awake, I head straight for my chair-I-got-from-Julie, and plaid blanket-I-found-at-a-football-game. I'm reading through the Bible this year, and as much as I've really loved it, I had been cutting corners due to lack of time, mainly in the area of personal reflection. I wanted to journal some each day as a part of reflecting on the passages I read, but I was a bit uncertain how to begin (or continue, really). The chapter about "sitting at Jesus' feet" in Shopping for Time gave some simple but amazing ideas about journaling when you read God's Word. Instead of searching for "application" to "try and get something out of it" (oh! That expression pains me, and it must pain Christ!), they recommended writing sentences that began with either "God . . ." based on what the passage revealed about God, His character, or actions and "I . . . " based on what the scripture says about man, and thus, myself. This will continue to draw our attention to the Main Character of the story, and will lead us to appropriate conclusions about ourselves, warn us of sin, and encourage us in our faith.
I have found this extremely helpful. Clearly, it is no difficulty to journal when you have simple sentence starters like that! Often, I keep writing, drawing further conclusions from the text. I also make a notation of any "Rameh" I am given (I think that means "word", help me out here, my Greek-scholar friends). Many many years ago, my dear Pastor Joe taught us to look for times when the Word directly and immediately impacts you in your daily walk (for example: I am downcast because of a hurt in my life caused by someone I love, and I read Psalm 34 which tells me "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed . . etc."). When the Lord gives me those choice portions, I thankfully write "rameh" in my journal along with the passage and the situation it regards. It is rare and sweet, like a taste of wild honey.
I am just like a little baby crawling in this area. I have read my Bible daily for the majority of my life, but these little practices have made quite a difference in how I approach my reading. I am looking for any insights on prayer. Right now, I pray the scripture I read, and with that any confessions that need to be made are made. I also pray the scripture for others (for instance, if I read a passage about marriage, I pray for my friends' marriages or for my single friends who would like to be married). Making "grocery lists" of requests burned me out a long time ago, but I know it is good to be systematic in how I pray, so I wonder if any of you have a good system that has been a big blessing to your prayer life.