I’m convinced that the one thing that will change everything about your life for the positive is establishing a daily prayer time with God.
Your health will improve if you exercise daily. Your finances will improve if you manage your budget daily. And in the same way, your soul will increase in health and maturity if you practice the discipline of spending time every single day—as early in your day as possible—alone and in quiet with God.
A friend recommended that I read the best-selling book on self-improvement from Hal Elrod called Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8 am). It was a fantastic read, but the entire time I was reading it I was thinking, this isn’t new information—this is very, very old.
The fact is, I’ve been practicing the habit of a daily quiet time with God since I entered adulthood. There have been seasons when I’ve been less consistent than others, but when I’ve practiced this discipline faithfully, it’s been the single most influential practice in building my life from the inside out.
I don’t believe we should approach this discipline legalistically. It’s not a matter of performing it in order to earn God’s favor. Rather, we practice this spiritual discipline as a pathway to freedom, to growth, and to new levels of spiritual maturity and closeness to God and confidence in our identity.
One of the reasons we struggle to start and maintain this practice is that we over-complicate it. We make it a ritual, with rules attached about what we can and cannot do in order to call it a real quiet time.
I wanted to share the plan that I’ve followed for years now because I believe in it. I’ve seen it change my life in countless ways.
6 Elements of Daily Prayer Time With God
You may have heard of the ACTS prayer, which stands for adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication. I incorporate this into my prayer time, but I break it up. And you might also have heard of the observe-interpret-apply method of reading and studying the Bible. I combine these two ideas and break my own time each morning into six basic elements…
1. Adoration in Prayer Time
I always open with adoration—with praising God, which reminds me of his greatness and his proper place of prominence in my life. My adoration centers around two questions…
Who is God? What quality or attribute can I praise Him for today?
This first question has nothing to do with anything God has done for me, like providing financially or giving me health. It’s not about me at all. It’s entirely about him. I’m reminded that he deserves praise and adoration simply because he is God, and he is good and worthy of my worship.
The second question is more personal and experiential…
What has God done in, around and through me?
2. Confession in Prayer Time
This part is simple, but painful. I think about the question,