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Power for living each day. POWER/15.

I remember the day like it was yesterday, though it was really more than two decades ago.  Once again, I had been moved with a fresh challenge to start each morning in the presence of God.  At the time, I had a young baby, a pre-schooler, a junior high schooler and a high schooler, a husband who traveled a lot, a dear mother who was aging rapidly and needed my attention.  Life was full, nigh unto overflowing. Yet, I had a deep longing to grow closer to God AND a desire to become more like the woman he created me to be.  Without a doubt, both of those desires could be met by spending time with him each morning - to start my day.  Several key ingredients combined to cause my breakthrough: A decision. An alarm clock. An earnest desire. An accountability partner. I committed to setting my alarm 15 minutes earlier each morning to read my Bible and pray. While I had done this before, I was always on again, off again; this time, I broke through and I have never looked back.   This is my invitation to you to join me on a daily POWER/15.   ->5 minutes of Bible reading . . .  could be your Morning Briefing; reading or listening  ->5 minutes of prayer . . . could be written in a journal, uttered on your knees with eyes closed, but a set-apart time, not just prayers on the fly all day. ->5 minutes of worship . . . could be a song or a psalm that centers you on God Remember, I wanted to walk in the power and wisdom of God, so I became very intentional about follow-through; hence, I asked someone to hold me accountable.  I prayed for her, she prayed for me . . . we asked each other ‘did you get up, how was it?’ Here's what I know: any kind of real desire for change or growth is aided by an accountability partner. He prays for you, you pray for him; you ask, he asks ->breakthrough. 5/BIBLE. Will you join me?  Taking the Morning Briefing route, we are in John chapter fourteen, just starting it.  Meditating on these verses, almost all in red - indicating the spoken words of Jesus - is like pulling up a mat and sitting at the table with Jesus and the disciples.  What can be learned from the divinely inspired Word of God?  Listening to what the Lord was telling his men just hours before he would be arrested is riveting.   We have the privilege of living in a time in history that we have the entire Bible at our fingertips - literally, on our phones or I-pads or laptops, or even better, in our beautiful Bibles.  We can pick the translation that most resonates with us; we can look at study notes or commentary in books or on the internet if we want to know more.  Nothing short of amazing. 5/PRAYER.  Hand in hand with the privilege of getting to know God through his revelation of himself in the Word is getting to talk with him in prayer.  I regularly pray as though I were sitting down to have a cup of coffee with Jesus.  And it helps me to order my prayers sorta like this: Praise.  I first tell him why I’m so glad to see him, what I appreciate about him, who he is to me. Repent.  I ask for forgiveness of my sins, thinking back over idle words spoken, opportunities missed, times he nudged me and I didn’t do it (disobedience), other sins… Ask. Since Jesus himself told us to ask, I do!  I pray for wisdom, for the needs of my loved ones, for their salvation, for healing for others, for our president, for mercy and healing for our country and economy, etc.  Listen.  I ask God if he has anything to say to me, and I then keep still and listen.  Sometimes I sense a prompt to do this thing or that thing, or scripture is brought to mind or even an affirming thought from God.  Sometimes I just enjoy quiet in God’s presence. Thank.  Closing my prayer by thanking God for his goodness, his gifts of provision, for creation, for the Word of God, etc., well, could be endless! 5/WORSHIP.   Listening to or singing a worship song, or reading a psalm of praise to God is rest for the soul. Scripture set to music is a double gift.  Listen to me a minute: I know some might think ‘I don’t need that, I don’t even like it.’  Well, okay but would you be open-minded enough to try it?  The psalmist said, ‘Praise the LORD. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!’ Psalm 147.1. It will be my aim to adapt Morning Briefings to include a prayer prompt and a link to a worship song each day.  Scripture + Prayer + Praise. POWER/15.  Fifteen minutes with God will give you the power you need to thrive, to grow, to emerge and to lunge toward the finish line. Prayer prompt: Pray through the above order under 5/Prayer listed above. Worship prompt: Great is Thy Faithfulness, Chris Rice: Let's live in the power of God, giving him just 15 minutes to start our day. Christine

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