Experiment! I like the word experiment. An experiment gives me permission to try something out without the pressure to form a habit. If an experiment works, I can repeat the steps and make it part of my daily arsenal. If not, I toss it. Simple as that.
Welcome to the 21-Day Experiment in Prayer. Starting today, I encourage you to devote just fifteen minutes each day to reading a chapter in the Gospel of John. (John has exactly twenty one chapters). This simple experiment could change your life…I know it has mine.
Here’s how I perform my experiment. First, I read my chapter slowly and thoughtfully, praying for God to help me understand what I am reading. Next, I ask God to impress a verse or two from that chapter on my mind. I copy the verse, which I call a”watch word,” on a 3×5 card . Personally, I like to use what I call a “Chubby Book,” which is simply the wirebound version.
Next, I list a few people and places that are on my heart for prayer and carry the Chubby Book with me throughout the day. I commit to following this pattern each day without judging the results of my experiment until the end of the 21 days.
Today in my reading of Chapter One, I was struck by the references to the word life. Speaking of Jesus, John writes:
Through Him all things were made; without Him, nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life and that life was the light of men.” John 1:3,4
This became my “watchword” today. A theme emerged as I pondered the gift of life and God as its source. The Lord God formed the man…and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living being. (Gen. 2:7)
Life. It’s precious, mysterious, and can only come from God. The Greek word zoe is a “somewhat metaphysical word in itself and denotes the life force which animates human beings,” according to Spiros Zhodiates, PhD., editor of the Key Word Study Bible, or what I lovingly refer to as my “Big Fat Greek Bible.” If I could own only one Bible, it would be this.
If you’re reading along in John’s Gospel with me, I’d love to know your watchwords. How did God speak to you today?
October 29th, 2012 at 10:05 am
My verse was John 1:17- for the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. My prayer is for my husband, who needs to know that GRACE.
October 29th, 2012 at 10:13 am
Whoops, posted that under the wrong name- that “Katie” post is actually me!
October 29th, 2012 at 10:21 am
I love this!
After reading John chapter 1, my “watch word” was receive. I thought of how many times, just in my memory, I can recall this word dealing with different situations and all that we receive from God.
In John, the word receives in vs 11-12 is in reference to our choice about receiving Christ… “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” NIV
I know that as I grow in my faith and in my teaching, it can be easy to get bogged down in language and complicate things… when really the only thing required of us to receive. We can also get so caught up in “earning” or “being good enough” for our salvation. To become children of God, all we need to do is to become a container for and to open our hearts and mind to the Holy Spirit and to rest in our assurance of our faith and to receive the grace that is lavished upon us as we our covered by the blood of Christ.
16 “From his abundance we have all received on gracious blessing after another” NLT
In a world where we are constantly judged by our ability to measure up, this reminder of truth brings peace and rest to my soul.
October 29th, 2012 at 9:23 pm
Watch word(s) = come and see / “come” (John 1:46). Jesus calls us and all we have to do is trust and “come and see”. No pressure.
October 29th, 2012 at 11:13 pm
Is it even possible to break from the pack and have 4 watch words that spoke to me! The resounding spiritual lifting that I received from the reading of John 1 were the words GOD, LIGHT, LOVE and LIFE!! What a blessing this experiment will be for me…..thank you for this spiritual journey!!
October 30th, 2012 at 9:10 pm
I love the way you all are diving into God’s word and coming up with your own “watchwords.” And yes, the watchword can be just a word, or a verse, or even a couple of verses. It’s whatever the Holy Spirit impresses upon your heart. And you know when that word or verse “lights up” don’t you. It’s like your personal mail for the day.
Looking forward to this 21-Day Journey with you!