Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

March 09, 2004

In need of prayer rehab!

Wow, I have really got to bring some focus to my morning devotional routine. I find lately I have been very digressive, very uninspired, with my mind wandering routinely, with little thought of God or of any plan of prayer. This just will not do.

I think I'm going to get back to trying to apply a template or pattern to my prayer time. Obviously, the Lord's prayer is the best pattern out there (coming as it does from one who was in the know). But it's important to personalize it, I think. So, for example, when I pray, "may your Kingdom come," I'm going to think of specific aspects of my own life or the day ahead over which I am asking Christ to reign and rule. This, in fact, was the subject of David Jeremiah's broadcast this morning, and it really got my attention.

I'm also going to get back to keeping 3X5 cards for each person that I regularly pray for. The card would contain the name of the person, perhaps a few known prayer needs, and also whatever Bible verses might seem appropriate for that person and even words or images that might suggest themselves to me as I pray.

I was doing this last year, but have allow myself to drift away from it. It takes some discipline, and it may seem overly-rigid to some, but I found that it kept me focused and even made my prayer-time more fruitful and exciting. Pray for me, would you?

Taking my cue from Rebecca Writes (as usual), I've added J. Mark Bertrand to my blogroll. Take a look especially at this article by Bertrand, called "The Christian Mind Under Siege." Solid. In fact, why don't I just paste a quote:

The bricks and mortar of a Christian’s walls are study and obedience, wisdom and action. Some practical observations: Fill your mind with positive reflections. Meditate on the pantheon of virtues outlined in Philippians 4:8—whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy. There is little strength in being passionately against everything. Be consumed with what you are passionately for.

Also, make temptation hard. To reach Eve with his message, Satan had to sneak into the garden, take on the form of a serpent and engage in what must have been a humiliating piece of sophistry for such a proud being. In Christ’s case, he had to travel to the wilderness for forty days (a journey made all the more disheartening by his certainty failure). These days, Satan might as well set his alarm clock for noon, since we do so much of his work for him.

If you’re going to build up walls of discernment around your mind, make the decision to stop negotiating. Antioch fell to the Crusaders not because they breached its perimeter, but because the captain of one of its towers began a conversation with Bohemond. Your conversations with the old man will deliver your citadel into his hands, so break them off.


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