“God wants first place in our life,” said Bishop Cho Sunday morning as we closed the 233rd session of the Virginia Annual Conference. He followed with a pretty convicting question, “Who is number onein your life?” Since Sunday I’ve been thinking a lot about that question. I want God to be first place and yet, the truth is, I crowd God out. This is mostly because I’m too busy. It is also because, quite frankly, I just don’t make God a priority.
Two years ago, Bishop Cho challenged us to pray an hour a day. I accepted that challenge and while I’m not there yet I am a lot closer than I was. I made prayer a priority and it has been a transforming experience.
Knowing that, and knowing that putting God first in my life is paramount to being a Christ follower, I’ve been asking myself how do I make God number onein my life. I’ve come up with three things I’m going to do with intentionality:
- Start my morning with prayer. I’ve been using a resource called the “Divine Hours” by Phyllis Tickle. It provides a flexible and slightly abbreviated regimen of fixed-hour prayer that I have found easy to follow and very enriching to my prayer life.
- Spend time in scripture. I do this first thing in the morning immediately following the prayer time. I find that there is always a nugget of wisdom or encouragement waiting for me when I read with the expectation of an encounter with the Holy.
- Stop and listen throughout the day. This one is harder. Once my day gets started, I get busy and start moving ahead with my plans. I don’t always take the time to consider God’s desire for me or for those I encounter. I know that by asking God what God’s will is in the various aspects of my life I involve God more and more in my day-to-day life.
Intentionality paid off in developing a practice of prayer. I am hopeful that being mindful and remembering to stop and to listen for God throughout the day will develop a person that puts God first.