Our friend is training hard for the Olympic trials in swimming. Swimmers carve their own unique culture out of mornings. Up at 4:15. Breakfast and out the door for the twenty-minute trek across town to be in the water by 5AM. I know the drill well, for our youngest is a swimmer. Swimmers press on through exhaustion and pain for one reason: they know their race. Do you know yours? My personal passion is to hear the voice of God. Daily, I train my heart—my inner self—to hear His voice in prayer.
Let’s seek God together for the next forty days, starting today. You can begin now by being alert to His voice, especially His whispers. Watch for signs of Him at work all around you. Results won’t happen all at once, but I can assure you. If you give your whole heart to seeking God in prayer, the rewards will come.
This week is our “warm-up” up lap. I’ll give you a few days to prepare like you would for any race. These simple steps will help you form the habit of a “daily launch” in prayer.
First, it helps to have a secret place for prayer. A favorite chair, a corner of your study, your back porch. This is your spot. It needs to be away from the fray. Consider the time. I find the earlier the better. It sets the tone for the day and fires up the “prayer engine” so that my connection with God is better throughout the day.
Gather your tools: A Bible, a notebook or journal, some 3×5 index cards (I like the wirebound version), a copy of Sometimes He Whispers, Sometimes He Roars: Learning to Hear the Voice of God.
Getting Started: The focus this week is on being alert. Read the Introduction and Chapter One. Click here for a free download for this assignment if you don’t have your book yet.
Training Tip: Paul tells us in 1 Peter 4:7 to “be alert and self controlled for the purpose of prayer.” What keeps you from being alert? Too much food, computer time, mindless conversation, wine? Maybe you are just plain too busy. Over the next forty days, we’ll give some thought to de-cluttering–both our soul and our surroundings. But for now, simply watch. Take note of what gets in the way of prayer.
Let’s seek God together the for next 40 days and expect Him to change the world–both our personal world and the larger world. Jesus tells us to “seek first His kingdom….and all these things will be given to you.” (Matthew 6:33). The word for first means top priority. But it also means early. This week, take some time to prepare yourself. And get ready to pray more. To expect more. To see more results in prayer.
Seek first His kingdom. Seek Him early. It’s that simple.