Intimate fellowship with Christ was the purpose of both creation and the cross: “God… has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord…”(1 Corinthians 1:9b) Here are a few suggestions on how to cultivate that intimacy:
1. Make the time regular — preferably in the morning:
Set a goal of 5 days a week, minimum. Solitude and silence should grace the time. If you are new at it, start with 10 minutes. The time will pass surprisingly quickly and soon you will find yourself expanding it to more.
2. Have a specific place where you can be alone:
3. Include in your time:
Confession of sin
Petition (asking God for answers)
Intercession (prayers for others) – Make a list of people
4. Read and meditate over Scripture:
Set up an ordered sequence. I find I get more when I take a slow, measured, and in depth approach, rather than race through a specified number of chapters a day. Begin by meditating from a Psalm and a portion of a Proverb. As your appetite (and allotted time) expands, you may also want to add a segment from the New Testament. Once this pattern is well established, you may then want to add a portion from the Old Testament.
Write down what you are gleaning from the Scriptures. I find using different colored pens to circle and underline principles and key words or ideas is helpful.
With appropriate passages ask, “What does this text teach me about Jesus?” Write it down.
Write out a prayer that relates to the passage. Also, jot down specific answers to prayer.
Record applications you are making from your time of prayer and meditation on the Scriptures.
QUESTION: If you are not consistent in your time alone with God, are you willing to begin now by taking the necessary time and effort to develop constancy in this critical area of your life?