Skip French, Pastor of the First Christian Church Berryville (Disciples of Christ)
Last week we introduced you to Jim Young, co-founder of the Arkansas Metaphysical Society, and reknown spiritual teacher and consultant. We listed Jim's "10 Tips for Spiritual Living". You can visit Jim at his website Creation Spirit.
This week, we talked with Skip French, Pastor of the First Christian Church Berryville (Disciples of Christ) about the prayer lives of Christians.
"Prayer is both simple and hard," Pastor French said. "People think they should pray, and believe prayer is a good idea, but many of them aren't sure how to begin. Herb Miller, a fine Christian teacher and writer, suggested 10 steps to follow--for 15 minutes a day--over a two week period. I've adopted these steps in my own life and I can testify that they work.
"Be sure to stick with the steps for at least two weeks because, if you are like me," French advised, "you probably won't experience God's presence immediately, and maybe not even by the 6th or 7th day. But you will experience His presence if you seek Him.It just takes practice.
"Here are the 10 Daily Steps:
1. "In preparation, set aside fifteen minutes in a location where you can be physically relaxed and uninterrupted. Read one or two chapters from the Bible, listening for what God says to you. This helps to erase distracting thoughts from the blackboard of your mind.*
2. "Close your eyes and give thanks for three personal blessings of which you are especially conscious today. This helps you move toward God by moving away from a sense of your own self-sufficiency.
3. "Ask God to help three other people you feel need God's help today. This helps you move toward God by moving away from self-centeredness.
4. "Ask God to forgive specific mistakes and sins from the last 24 hours and give you the strength to forgive others.
5. "Ask God to help one person whom you find it hard to like. Ask God to give that person insights into his or her personal problems and ask for the power to let God's love flow through you to him or her.
6. "Ask God to give you sensitivity to the needs of one person today with whom you can share God's love in word or deed.
7. "Ask for insights into your personal problems.
8. "Ask for help in achieving your personal goals.
9. "Ask God to tell you the most important thing you need to do today to 'seek first his kingdom' (Matthew 6:33).
10. "Conclude by listening intently for three minutes to what God may say to you.
"The experience of God's presence is different for everyone," Pastor French says. "But if you follow these steps religiously--no pun intended--you will begin to feel Him in your life. You will come to understand what Jeremiah meant when he said, "You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart . . ." (Jeremiah 29:13)."
*The following passages are especially helpful in preparing for prayer: John 14, Psalm 23, Matthew 5:1-12, Romans 8:35-39, 1 Corinthians 13, Psalm 46, Romans 12, John 15, Psalm 27, Psalm 103, Psalm 121, Isaiah 55, Luke 15, Psalm 84, John 1:1-18, Psalm 90, Psalm 19, 1 John 4:7-21, Psalm 139, Luke 24, Psalm 130, and Luke 18:1-17.