“Spiritual disciplines” are things we do to stay in love with God and grow in faith. They can be things we do alone or together; they can be ways to spend time with God or to serve others. As the people of Sylva First UMC share one of their spiritual disciplines with you each week, we hope it will inspire you to new ways of loving God and growing in faith.
My name is Lynne Johnson and our family has been coming to FUMC Sylva since 2001. I have always felt like morning devotions have been an important time in my day…..just a good, solid start and a reminder not only of what really matters but the challenge to bring God into my day in whatever form that may take.
Over the years I have tried many different things to make my devotional time more meaningful so that I don’t find myself “going through the motions” and feeling any sense of complacency about my spiritual knowledge and growth or making my prayers in any way perfunctory. That has been a challenge in the past… not because of Who GOD is but because of who I am
About two years ago, I was introduced to the concept of “praying into the Word.” I have always read scripture during my devotional time and have made concerted efforts to find ways to apply what I have read to my life and actions, as many Believers do. But the idea of praying INTO the scriptures was new to me. So I asked some questions and did some research and what I discovered has renewed and recharged my devotional time and has brought new meaning to both the Scriptures I read and also to my prayer life.
I chose to start with the Psalms and read one chapter a day. I read a Psalm aloud and ask God to bring to my mind someone that needs what the scripture speaks about. Then I re-read the scripture aloud, replacing words or phrases with the names of the individual that God has prompted me to pray the scripture for. Very often, that starts a process of praying other things for that individual or situation as I allow God to nudge me or remind me of ways that that chapter or verse applies to other things. For me, the act of reading the Word and inviting God to help me see it intently and in the context of current needs and situations has created a new intimacy between God and I! The Bible says His Word does not return empty and I stand on that promise!