FLETCH: The Single Most Important Discipline
The Single most important discipline in your life is prayer and Bible study. Wait, I thought you said the single most important. I did, they both go together like peanut butter and jelly. You need to be prayerfully reading the Bible everyday of your life. Nothing will impact your life more than this one discipline. Eating healthy, exercising, building material wealth, watching less tv, reading Christian books nor anything else will impact your life they way praying and reading your Bible everyday will impact it. This one discipline will impact every relationship you have or want to have, every conversation you are in, every thought that you have, every action that you take. Reading your Bible and praying will impact your attitude and outlook on life more than positive thinking, more than listening to John Maxwell or Oprah or even Zig Ziglar.
Even more than all of these, praying and reading your Bible everyday will put you in conversation with the God of the universe. We were created by God and for God, our lives are to be lived in a moment by moment rhythm of worshiping this Holy God through Jesus Christ His Son and the Holy Spirit. Praying and reading your Bible everyday will give you the perspective on life that you were created to have. A God-centered, Christ-exalting perspective that leaves no room for self.
The discipline is simple but excruciatingly difficult. I have been in full time Christian ministry for twenty years and I still struggle with this discipline. I believe it is difficult for three main reasons. The first is that I am selfish and do not want to give up any of my time to be with God, even though I know it is the most important time spent with the most important person in my life. Secondly, my faith is weak and does not fully believe that time spent in prayer and Bible study really makes a difference in my life, my work and the world around me. Thirdly, Satan knows that it is the single most important discipline I need to have and so he tries to thwart it every day.
I suggest that you do whatever it takes to develop this discipline in your life. All you need is a Bible and a relatively quiet place to be alone with God. I am not even going to suggest that you read a devotional book to start (even though I have written some). Just grab your Bible, open up to one of the gospels, and read. As you read prayerfully ask God to speak to you, and to just be with you. Think deeply about the words you are reading and ask God to use those words to transform your heart and mind. You could do it for five minutes or fifty-five minutes. Just start the process of developing this discipline of praying and reading your Bible every day. It is the single most important discipline you have to master in your life. There is no getting around it, you must do it.