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An Hour with God

Ask the average person, “How’s it going?” and you’ll probably get some version of the response, “I’m busy!” The modern age can feel so fast-paced that we have difficulty keeping up. The irony is that when we feel too busy for God, those are the times when we need to slow down the most. 


I created a guided devotional to help you spend an hour with God. It takes you through the Lord’s Prayer from Matthew 6, but you can adapt the same structure for any text. I want to challenge you to block out an hour of time at some point and pray through the following prayer prompts.



There is nothing magical about the 60-minute time slot other than the fact that it is longer than most Christians typically pray. The time divisions aren’t hard limits but suggestions for each section. Pray as the Spirit leads you.


I hope you find this quiet time helpful and enjoyable. Please feel free to print this page to avoid digital distractions. 


Preparation


“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” - Matthew 6:6


Find a quiet place where you can spend an hour uninterrupted. Switch your phone to “do not disturb” or turn it off completely. Bring a paper Bible with you if you have one. You might find it helpful to keep a pen and paper nearby to write down anything God speaks to you during this time.


Pause (5 minutes)


“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” - Matthew 6:7-8


Begin with 5 minutes of silence. Remember that prayer is not only about speaking to God but also about listening to Him. Reflect on how your heavenly Father knows your needs better than you do. 


Slow your breathing. As distracting thoughts pop into your mind, take note of them and let them go. You can whisper a quiet phrase like “Speak Lord” or “Thank you, God” to help your mind focus. 


Don’t be discouraged if you find silence difficult. You’re just getting started! Most of us are not accustomed to uninterrupted times of quiet. Even if you don’t hear anything specific from God, sitting at the Lord’s feet prepares your heart to pray.


Rejoice (10 minutes)


“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” - Matthew 6:9


In the Bible, a name is not only what we call someone but also a representation of their character. When we pray “hallowed be thy name” or “holy is your name,” we are asking God to make us aware of who He really is.


Center your heart on God’s goodness. If it helps, listen to a worship song. 


Who is God? Look up and notice the ways that God is holy. List different characteristics you appreciate about God and praise Him for who He is.


What has God done? Look back and remember how God has worked in your life. Count your blessings and thank God for how He is involved in the world.


If you feel like you are running out of reasons to rejoice in the Lord, try to think of a few more. There is always more we can praise God for.


Ask (30 minutes)


Take a few minutes to pray through each prompt from the Lord’s Prayer. Notice how Jesus phrases each first-person pronoun in the plural (us/our instead of me/mine). Use this as an opportunity to pray for your personal needs and intercede on behalf of others.


If you find yourself at a stopping point where you don’t know what else to pray about, take a moment to pause again and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in prayer.


“Your kingdom come.” - Matthew 6:10a


Too often, we are preoccupied with our own little kingdoms. Take time to focus your mind on God’s kingdom. Ask God to spread his kingdom throughout the earth. Lift up specific church leaders or ministries as they continue to make a difference for Christ.


Pray for lost people you know to come to Jesus. As you pray, be open for God to reveal opportunities he’s calling you towards in shining the light of the gospel.


“Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” - Matthew 6:10b


The goal of prayer is to align our hearts with God’s heart. The more we pray “your will be done,” the more our lives should reflect Christ.


Are there any areas of your life where you need guidance? Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you in living out God’s will.


Pray for any local, national, or global events that come to mind. Ask for God’s will to be done around the world.


“Give us this day our daily bread.” - Matthew 6:11


Prayer is a place to ask for things as ordinary as our next meal. Where do you need God’s provision? Ask for God to provide. Where do you need God to come through for you? As you pray, remember that we depend on God for every breath.


If God has already provided more than your daily needs, take the opportunity to thank him for taking care of you. Allow your heart to be filled with gratitude.


Think about people you know who have significant needs. Pray for God to help them and bless them in whatever situation they are going through.


“Forgive us our debts.” - Matthew 6:12a


Even though there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, sin still damages yourself, others, and your relationship with God. 


Review your recent actions, words, and thoughts to identify sins you need to confess.


Are there any ways that you have hurt others through your actions? What did you do? 


How have you used your speech to tear down instead of build up? What did you say?


What impure thoughts or motives fill your heart? What did you think?


Don’t rush through this section. If nothing comes to mind, ask the Holy Spirit to convict you for things you may have forgotten about.


As you confess, remember that God is faithful in forgiving our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.


“As we also have forgiven our debtors.” - Matthew 6:12b


Jesus connects our experience of God’s grace with the grace we show others.


Who has sinned against you? Picture each person in your mind. Identify the “debt” that they owe you.


Choose to cancel the debt. Forgive that person as God forgave you in Christ. Let go of any grudges and ask the Holy Spirit to free your heart from bitterness.


“Lead us not into temptation.” - Matthew 6:13a


The gospel does not keep us trapped in a vicious cycle of sin ➞ confession ➞ forgiveness. The longer we follow Jesus, the more we should experience freedom from sin and temptation.


What temptations have a stronghold in your life right now? Pray the victory of the resurrection over each of these areas.


When we follow God’s leadership, he will lead us away from the evil one and towards righteousness.


What are the good works that the Holy Spirit is leading you towards? Ask God to empower you to live under his direction and leadership.


“Deliver us from evil.” - Matthew 6:13b


Jesus promised his followers that in this world, we will have trouble. We live in a broken world that is waiting to be redeemed. There is also an enemy that seeks to harm the people of God.


How are you hurting right now? Ask God to heal you.


What evil do you need deliverance from? Ask God to protect you from the evil one.


Who do you know that is suffering? Pray for God to comfort the brokenhearted.


After you have finished praying through these categories, lift up any additional prayer needs that come to mind. These could be petitions for your own life or intercessions for others. 


Yield (15 minutes)


Read the following passages from Matthew 6 out loud to yourself. Listen to the words that you are reading. Visualize the metaphors that Jesus uses to teach us about worry.


“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” - Matthew 6:26-27


Jesus brings up birds. What do you picture? What are the sounds that you hear? What do you feel? What does this bird teach you about trusting God?


Thank God for how he values you over the rest of his creation.


“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” - Matthew 6:28-30


Jesus brings up wildflowers. What do you picture? What are the sounds that you hear? What do you feel? What do these flowers teach you about God’s provision?


Thank God for caring for you even when you don’t realize it.


“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” - Matthew 6:33-34


Ultimately, worry results from not trusting God. Take some time to tell God about everything that concerns you. As you cast your anxieties upon him, relinquish those concerns one by one. 


Let the peace surpassing understanding guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. Breathe in peace. Breathe out concern.


Sit in this place of rest for as long as you need.


Amen.


 

How was your time with God? I’d love to know in the comments below!


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