Pray First – Strength
My flesh and my heart may fail but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. -Psalm 73:26
We are called to love the Lord our God with all our strength! Psalm 73:26 says, “My flesh and my heart may fail but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Creating daily rhythms of faith provides tangible ways to cultivate strength in the Lord. I want to share a few down-to-earth renewing processes that have been game-changers for me. I invite you to consider adding these rhythms to your day!
Have a Consistent Quiet Time: It is crucial for us to interact daily with the Bible. Not only should we read the Bible, but we should also invite the Bible to impact the way we live. This means that the Bible shapes the way we think, act, react, make decisions, and set priorities.
Tip: Pick a physical location that is free from distractions, pick a time of day that works best for you, pick a Bible reading plan or discipleship tool to aid you in the process. Having a plan and sticking to the plan will help you have a consistent quiet time. If you wait for your quiet time to happen, it won’t! Take ownership of your personal time with Jesus.
Memorize Scripture: Obeying God’s Word keeps us from making mistakes, and it provides a solid roadmap for us to follow. When God's Word is in our hearts, we have access to it 24/7.
Tip: Pick a verse of Scripture, write it on a notecard, and carry it with you everywhere you go. Look for the empty two and three minutes in your day and memorize your verse. We all have a few empty minutes during our day. Let’s use this time to strengthen our minds with God’s Word.
Pray First: Following a prayer model helps us to have a balanced prayer life.
Tip: Write out a few prayers following this model. Take note of how the model helps you to see the ways that God is at work in your life. Avoid the tendency to become regimented in your prayer time. Remember, praying is an ongoing conversation with God. Keep it real, relational, and balanced!
A – Adoration: express your praise to God for who He is.
C – Confession: confess your sins to God.
T – Thanksgiving: thank God for what He is doing in your life.
S – Supplication: present your requests to God.
Worship Passionately: I cannot overstate the benefit of personal worship in a believer’s life. For me, when I am anxious, sad, or mad, I worship the Lord. This process helps me to take my eyes off myself and put them on Jesus.
Tip: Listen to music during your daily routines like driving, exercising, and working around the house. Sing hymns of the faith that are meaningful to you.
Surround Yourself with Good Friends: It is important to surround yourself with people who love Jesus and encourage you in your daily walk with Jesus. Your close friends should hold firmly to the teachings in the Bible. Also, they should believe in you and want what is best for you. There is no place for competition or jealousy in these types of relationships. Your close friends are real friends. They tell you what you need to hear and they express it in a way that lets you know you are loved and valued, not only by them, but also by God.
Tip: Take an inventory of your friendships. Determine if there are any friendships in your life that are not good for you. If so, set new boundaries. We need to surround ourselves with godly people who encourage us and challenge us in a Christ-honoring way.
Which of these rhythms do you need to add to your day or take to the next level? As you do, God will be the source of your strength, and He will give you what you need to live according to His way!
Lord, thank You for the reminder that you are my strength. This week, as I navigate the circumstances of life, may I turn to You, trust You, and rely on Your strength instead of my own. Help me cultivate real and lasting strength through a passionate and daily walk with You!
Do you feel weak? Are you relying on your strength today or His? Have you handed your burdens over to Him or are you still trying to carry them on your own? Do you believe that God has everything under control? How are you allowing God to strengthen you? When you are at the end of your strength, do you give up or yield to the Holy Spirit? Is His word overflowing in your heart? When is the last time you prayed for strength? Are you choosing to endure the challenges that you face, persevering with proven character, so you can see the hope of glory in the here and now?
Practical Life Application
When you feel weak, pray. Spend time in the Word. Spend time with fellow believers. Go on a long drive, turn on your favorite worship music, and talk to God. Remember that you are not alone. Roll down your windows and cry out to God. Scream into the wind if you have to, but remember that Jesus hears you and has a plan. Write down what is worrying you on an index card and place it in your Bible. Leave your concerns in the arms of Jesus. When you are overwhelmed or feel tempted to worry, choose to pray instead of over think and rationalize. Remember that God will never give you anything more than you can bear because He has given Himself to you. You have His strength. Exercise. Don't sit stagnant. Rather, memorize Scripture, build up your prayer life, and train your heart to not wander. Cling to your awesomely strong God.