Do you ever find yourself sitting down to pray only to find that your mind is a blank, or just the opposite, your mind is going crazy with ideas and items for your “To Do” list? This often happens to me. In fact, it happened to me pretty much all the time in my early years as a believer. But along the way, I picked up a neat idea that has helped me immensely. I’d love to share it with you.
Before I pray, I read a bit from the Bible. This accomplishes a number of things. It focuses my mind on spiritual things, it gets me thinking about a specific topic, and it alerts my mind to the fact that I’m ready to settle down and have a real conversation with my heavenly Father, my Dad.
For the next step, I write down one or more of the Bible verses that “spoke” to me or touched me in some way. I even say it out loud a time or two; in this way, I’m “hearing” the verse in a different way than when I just read it silently.
Now here’s the key step: I rewrite the verse(s) in my own words. “What’s the big deal?” you say? Rewriting something in your own words forces you to truly engage in the language and the meaning of your target verse, and engagement is what our quiet time with God should be all about. To engage means to connect, and that is what my heart longs for: to really connect with God, to tell him what’s on my mind, and then to receive from him encouragement or wisdom or comfort–whatever I need for the day.
What I find, after I’ve wrestled with the verse to discern it’s meaning, is that God begins to speak to me about some aspect or the other of the scripture I chose. I’ve greased the pump with my effort and focus, and I’m now able to stay connected (at least for a bit!).
Sometimes I take a few extra minutes to memorize the verse or to pray it, for myself or someone I love. Some of you may have learned a similar process called: Read it; Write it; Sing it; Say it; Pray it. I call my version: Read it; Write it; Rewrite it; Sing it; Say it; Memorize it; Pray it. I know it doesn’t flow off the tongue as nicely as the former, but it works for me 🙂
I hope you all have a lovely day filled with the blessing of making a real connection with our Father in heaven who loves us beyond measure.