Desperately Seeking Jesus
Ok, so originally it was Susan, but we are all seeking something. It's Jesus I'm seeking, just like so many of you. How are you seeking him? Where do you find Him? I want to take you through the process I use to find Him because once a week at my beloved church is not nearly enough time for me to spend with Jesus. I need to seek daily- and so do you.
Over the last three weeks our pastor has been discussing how and when to read our Bibles. This was a task I had previously found daunting, intimidating. I did not know where to begin. What are the rules of it all? Is there a format I need? What if I don't understand it? Maybe I'm not a good enough Christian to do this... I wrestled with this for a long time, and my Bible sat dusty on the shelf. It wasn't until two summers ago that I felt a longing to really dig in. I had no idea where to start, but I figured anywhere was better than nowhere. I just opened up. Over time I've developed a "system" that helps me focus my time and lean on the Holy Spirit to guide where I go in the Word. Our pastor called it "raw" reading of the Bible. I think that's a perfect term, and being an elementary teacher I made it an acronym- Read And Write. Even better is PRAWP (prop), which is exactly what we are going to cover- Pray, Read And Write, Praise. So, make sure you have your journal, a pen, and your Bible, and get to digging in. You'll find Him in the seeking.
The first P is pray. Prayer is a verb, but it doesn't have to be an action. Praying can begin with silent meditation. Just sit. I STRUGGLE with this. Just sitting is really hard when there are 10,000,000 things to do. When I went to She Speaks this summer a helpful strategy I learned is to do a "brain dump". Take a sheet of paper and literally list out all the things you have stuffed inside distracting you from your alone time with Jesus. Once you have it on paper, leave it there. You've acknowledged it, now give yourself time to rest in His presence.
Now that your mind is set, ready your heart in prayer. If prayer is your jam, do your thing, but if you aren't sure how to pray (we aren't eating or going to sleep here) ask Him for help. Jesus wants a relationship with you. He is enough- you don't have to live up to any expectations. He just wants YOU. He is your Father, your Friend. He knows your heart. Ask for Holy Spirit to guide your prayer. I like to pray over my Bible, too. I ask for Him to lead me to the words He intends me to use that day. Sometimes I pray for a couple minutes, sometimes it's much longer. Go with His lead. There's no rule book.
Once you've said your Amen, open your Bible. Now we Read And Write. I just open up and start reading. Sometimes I know right away that I'm where He has intended me to be, and sometimes I finish a few verses and open to another section (see, no rules). Once I get to the verse or chapter that compels me, I read it again. I will read the verses prior and those that come after. I have a Life Application Study Bible, so I like to read the commentary, too. If I'm not sure why I need that verse, I pray and ask for Him to reveal to me His plans (which I sometimes don't see until I reread my journal weeks later). Then I write the verse(s) in my journal. Sometimes I write out my prayers under, sometimes I journal my thoughts on the passages. This is something that I find utterly priceless. To reread your own journey is such a gift. I love seeing how each day is woven into a tapestry of His words, His love. Seeing how His divine instruction has guided my decisions and my steps is a blessing, and I do not want you to leave this part out.
The last P is praise. Consider this a thank-you note. God is so, so good to us. He loves us so well. Praise is our way to glorify Him and to acknowledge all of His goodness. Praise, like prayer, has many facets. For some it is hands held high in worship singing His praise. For others praise is prayer. You can speak it, sing it, or write it. Just do it! Pour out your praise!
I am no theologian. I'm just a girl who wants more of Him and this is what I do each morning to grow in my walk with Christ. It's certainly not the only way, but I wanted to share it with you because it works for me. Try it. Give it one week, then tell me how He has spoken to you. He will. He's seeking you, too.