Cashing in on Quiet Time? (and an invitation to begin anew)

photo credit: w00kie via photopin cc

photo credit: w00kie via photopin cc

Prayer is not a business transaction. We do not give something to get something in return. It is relational intimacy. In prayer, at our point of greatest need, we can encounter God and receive His presence. ~ James Banks

The past couple of weeks have been challenging around this here neck of the woods…er, um…seashore. This little fish here has struggled to swim in some big, wide, previously undiscovered, very scary open water.  Isn’t it just like the enemy to come stealthily into our terrain and try to steal away our new  beautiful, God-given territory?

After completing our wonderful 70 Day Journey using Whispers of Hope, I continued prayer journaling  daily using my daily Bible reading UN-scheduled reading plan (yes it’s my real “plan”), as well as incorporating a couple of daily devotionals I alternate: Charles Stanley’s In Touch Devotional and Our Daily Bread (RBC Ministries).

Stay with me, here is where the fish and quiet time come together.

The fact is the 70 days of journeying in the Whispers of Hope devotional by Beth Moore was really an amazing time for me, I did not want it to end. God really used it to draw me close. But somewhere between Day 71 and Day 100 (that’s actually today! ) I started to slowly feel a dryness creeping in. Former distractions and habits competed for that prioritized quiet time of seeking my Savior early in the morning and of course there happened to be a number of specific challenges presented at that time which began to erode my committment.

First prayers (Supplication for Self, Equipping) for myself were skipped over – that’s what grace is for, right?  Next intercessory prayer began to dwindle; soon I noticed praising God became a challenge…then the prayers seemed to almost dry up completely, reverting back to the “Help!” prayers squeaked out in the midst of a trial. OK, so it may not have been as bad as it sounds, but you get the point. After rich intimacy with the Lord, I began to find myself bordering  Soul Malnourishment. It did not take long! I was like a little fish out of water and n the water I was like shark bait!

Friends, the enemy of your soul does not want you to sit at the feet of your God. He wants to keep you busy, distracted, discouraged and overwhelmed. 

If you want to be able to stand, you had better recognize his handiwork versus God’s. Satan comes waltzing in after some of greatest moments of intimacy with the Lord and victory over sin. Maybe we put our guard down, maybe we are just not doing what we need to do be doing, maybe we think we can relax.

My fellow Christian Soldier, I want to tell you, straight out. This is NOT the time to relax. We are at war. If we do not stand firm in our faith, we will become spiritually paralytic. God does not want us unable to move forward in our walk with Him, growing and gaining ground in the Christian life daily. Only one being wants to see Christians paralyzed in fear, doubt, worry and discouragement. One being and his many followers.

If you have an ounce of prayerful impact and think the enemy of our God is not going to fight back and throw everything including your kitchen sink at you, then you are deceived. We need to fight and when we can’t move forward, stand until the evil day is done.

Phew! All that to say, I am beginning a fresh new 100 days of devotions hot off the Proverbs 31 Ministries Press.  I know what you’re thinking. Dawn, another devotional book? Yuppers. I really felt drawn to this book, and had a sweet $5 coupon I used to get it at a deep discount. Hooray!

encforwome

So, my proposal is twofold…

*First, you can start your 100 Days ANYTIME. Just go ahead and grab the book Encouragement for Today – Devotions for Everyday Living. We will meet up/check in here on Sundays or when you can make it to the post sometime between Sunday and Wednesday. Why 100 Days? Welll, there just so happen to be 100 devotionals in this particular book, besides, I want to commit to 100 days. It just sounds wonderfully centennial.

The meetups on the blog are to share our victories, challenges, insights  and thoughts about maintaining our quiet times ie. intimacy with the Lord  through prayer, Bible reading , etc.

*Second, since my general desire is to offer encouragement for maintaining a quiet time with the Lord, then you are welcome to meet up here JUST AS YOU ARE , using whatever devotional you are using, or none at all  –  wherever you are in your QT, however it may look. 

The fact is is all you need is your Bible and a heart that is seeking Him. That is Quiet Time.

Meeting up on Sunday might help you be more faithful and grow in a quality quiet time/prayer life as you wish.

1. Join in anytime – You don’t need to buy the book or any other devotional to participate -you only need your Bible, and a desire to know God intimately through His Word. A journal for prayers would be helpful, but you do NOT have to journal your prayers to join in and be a part of this online journey

2. We are committing to 100 Days of Seeking God as a priority – if you start within the next two weeks this will take you through August. (I am starting my Day 1 tomorrow and my {tentative} end date is August 19th)

3. Each Sunday I will be sharing a post with Quiet Time insights, support, ideas to help memorize scripture, mediating on God’s words, Devotional Book suggestions and reviews, and Bible helps etc. You can come on over and read the post, share your thoughts about what is working for your quiet times with God, what is not or doesn’t, and what you are looking to do, for instance, learning to worship Him more, growing in intercessory prayer, or simply being faithful to put Him first. Count me in on all the above!

Linking with Create with Joy

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lynndmorrissey
    May 12, 2014 @ 00:22:49

    Dawn, this is an excellent post. I had a precious octogenarian friend (who is now with Jesus) who always reminded me, “Lynn, Satan is busy.” She was right, and your post and one I read by Pam DePoyan on her site tonight remind me of this fact. Satan loves to deter us from prayer, and as Pam was saying he loves to get us to quit, right before God’s promise to us is about to materialize. Your caution to know we are in a battle is so encouraging. We feel so defeated when we can’t seem to prayer regularly. We think all the fault is with us. It’s good to know that we have an Enemy who cant’ stand it when we pray. Now is the time to FIGHT! Another devo I like, especially when you encounter tough times, is Streams in the Desert. There is even a leatherette journal version! =]

    I know God is going to do great things when you pray!
    Love
    Lynn
    NTTP

    Reply

    • enthusiasticallydawn
      May 12, 2014 @ 09:24:33

      Lynn, thank you for your generous and gracious input! I have Streams in the Desert, a wonderful boxed copy I got years ago from a used bookstore, I have not read it yet, perhaps I should pull it out! THank you for visiting, Hope your Mother’s Day was blessed.

      Reply

      • lynndmorrissey
        May 12, 2014 @ 11:57:09

        Thanks, Dawn. Just so you know……Streams (unless it h as been updated) is a really classic kind of devo book, complete w/ somewhat archaic language and all, but I love language (old and new), and so that doesn’t bother me. Also, it is more geared to when we are in depression or encountering adversity. I used the journal version (meaning there was space to write directly into my book next to each devo) after I had had foot surgery from hell and didn’t think I would ever walk right or w/o pain again (I reference that in my book that you have read, Love Letters to God: Deeper Intimacy through Written Prayer). I can’t tell you how deeply God used Streams in the Desert plus my journaling in response during that horrific time in my life–plus of course Bible reading and writing in my “regular” journal. He brought me such deep grace and peace and hope. But I wanted simply to give you and your readers that caveat about the content of Streams. =]
        Love
        Lynn

  2. annb48
    May 12, 2014 @ 07:01:28

    Dawn — I too have let the world creep into my daily life. Satan is certainly keeping busy! Powerful post today, very inspiring, thanks Dawn.
    God is good, all the time God is good!
    Ann

    Reply

  3. shortybear
    May 12, 2014 @ 20:37:21

    Fantastic post.

    Reply

  4. Barbie
    May 17, 2014 @ 20:05:31

    Oh friend, should I try again? I can’t buy the book but I have many I can choose from in my Kindle. I so need accountability in this season of my life, but I am still reeking of failure over my last attempt.

    Reply

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