Everywhere we look, it seems the world is hurting. It’s difficult not to get emotionally exhausted when we look at everything that is going on. Our feelings can get the best of us. Our emotions can get out of control. However, when our emotions are under control, they are a powerful weapon against discouragement, depression, and the devil's schemes.
God has emotions too. We have emotions because we are made in God's image. He has feelings of joy, anger, grief, sadness, and hatred toward sin, etc.. If you want to see emotion in verse after verse and chapter after chapter in the Bible, then book your ticket for a journey through the Psalms. They are filled with every emotion known to man, that is why we’re going through the Psalms in our daily devotional, Today Matters. So how do we stay rooted in our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ instead of getting caught in every wave of emotion that comes from our current situation in the world.
This may be uncomfortable, or at least faith stretching for some of you, but I guarantee this will change your relationship with Christ. Holding our attention for 10 minutes is not easy in our distracted world. But, here's the reality, we cannot change how we feel by our own willpower.
Zachariah 4:6 tells us, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord Almighty-you will succeed because of my spirit.”Zachariah 4:6
I'm not suggesting you are going to wake up tomorrow and suddenly love paying $6 for a gallon of gas. While we fill our tanks with that $6 gas, ask God to fill us with the Holy Spirit. And we need to ask Him daily! How do we go about that? I introduced this on Sunday...
This is what I want you to do … find a quiet place. Grab a pen and paper and put your phone on silent. Listen, the devil has your phone number! He'll hit you up with that incredible offer to buy your house or get you a loan to buy a house ... the devil's other name is Spam! But, seriously, remove the distractions and start a two minute timer five different times. This will help you grasp how quickly this prayer time goes by. For some of you, this is no big deal, you pray more than this everyday ... great ... add 10 minutes to your current prayer time. The average Christian prays less than two-minutes a day. As you commit to this, you will consistently notice that you need more than 2 minutes per section, but start there. You may even find yourself taking on a 20 or 40-minute prayer challenge sooner than later.
Here are the categories I mentioned on Sunday and how to get started. Remember, our goal is to be ROOTED in our faith in Jesus Christ. This is fundamental to stronger roots in the faith. I've put the A.C.T.S acronym to this to help you remember the categories.
2 minutes to clear your mind. Write down anything that comes to mind so you can address it when you've concluded your time of prayer.
2 minutes to Acknowledge God. Think about His presence, power, love, and purpose for you while acknowledging He is in charge and you are not.
2 minutes to Confess where you’ve fallen short, and even sins you may be unaware of.
2 minutes to Thank God. This is where you literally count your blessings. You may do this by categories since you'll be doing this daily. Monday may be marriage category. Thank God for your spouse, for the time you have together, etc... Tuesday may be Taco Tuesday, thank God for Tacos!... amen?! You get the point, you can put categories to help you focus on that day.
2 minutes for Supplication. That's an old school word that simply means to askGod for what you and/or others need and want. This is the time to come with your requests. Don't hold back. By this time you've spent some quality time with God and you are asking out of a better place in your heart. Your ask is more meaningful and likely more in line with God's will. The more time you spend with God, the more your will aligns with His.
Make this 10 minute prayer challenge part of your daily routine and you will sense your roots growing deeper and stronger in our Lord Jesus Christ every day. There's nothing like feeling rooted in Christ. Some of the many benefits are illustrated in Galatians 5:22-23, known as the Fruits of the Spirit. When we're filled with the Spirit, these things come out of us; Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. When we are filled with what the world offers ... anger, envy, bitterness, guilt, shame, anxiety, doubt, and immorality come out of us.
Let us fill ourselves with more of Him by spending more time with Him. 10 minutes is a great start.