What are the disciplines of being a normal Christian? We have worked out in our ministry twelve disciplines:
The first is prayer alone: A normal believer prays alone. Secondly, a normal believer has Daily Dynamic Encounters with God (DDEWG).
- A normal believer prays alone.
- A normal believer has Daily Dynamic Encounters with God.
- A normal believer reads the Bible. We recommend three chapters per day.
- A normal believer reads the Bible every day.
Pray that God would write on our hearts that a normal believer prays alone every day.
- A normal believer has Daily Dynamic Encounters with God. The phrase “Daily Dynamic” mentions daily.
Pray that God would write on our hearts that a normal believer has Daily Dynamic Encounters with God.
It is good when you spend one hour at it. But even a period of fifteen minutes is better than not having a Daily Dynamic Encounter with God because the touch is important. Since brother Emmanuel’s office was moved to Etoug-Ebe, which means we meet informally, my relationship with him has been greatly strengthened because with five minutes, even one minute, there can be a touch. Lack of contact can ruin even a very good thing. The principal used to interpret me. So, I thought that in order that she may take notes, (because she used to struggle between interpreting and taking notes) I told her to sit in the audience. If somebody says, “I had only fifteen minutes, so I didn’t have my Daily Dynamic Encounter with God,” it is like saying I had only fifteen minutes, so I didn’t eat. If you have only five minutes, you eat what you can eat in five minutes. It will do you good. So daily! Daily! Daily!
Father, write on our hearts that it is Daily Dynamic Encounters with God. It is not four hours someday and no hour some other day.
God meant it to be daily. God meant it to be an encounter. We shall have one lesson on each of the twelve disciplines.
Pray that we would read the word. Keep it to reading it through once a year (reading it from cover to cover).
You are reading for revelation. You read and let the Word read you. So, if you are in a hurry, it will not be helpful. Just read three chapters per day. So, every believer in our ministry must read his Bible at least once a year. It will go down and through our ministry that it is once a year. So that if you have been in the ministry for ten years we know you have read the Bible ten times. You can have a record of having read it one hundred times but not be found in heaven, because the devil knows the Bible. He even quoted it. What should be the difference between the devil’s reading (knowledge of the Bible) and yours? It should be that your reading has led you to obedience.
Is your talking to God or to man?
Father, we pray that our people would learn to talk to God and pray to God, that no one would use Your name to talk to man.
When I was teaching in India, it came through forcefully. People don’t talk to God in public praying.
Father, we pray that our people would learn to lay hold on Your ear and talk to You, seek to catch Your attention, and not man’s attention.
Father, we pray that when we pray in public, we would pray exclusively to You even though others hear so that public prayer would have the same impact private prayer has. Help us to pray for results and for answers.
Pray that God would help you never to pray without burden. Never pray unless you know, “If I do not pray, things will go wrong.”
We pray Father, help us to pray as men who know that “If we did not pray we are finished.”
Never pray just to carry out a routine called prayer.
If I have a thought and it is not a burden, I will pray that God should transform it into a burden. Before we open our mouths, we should give time for the burden to develop in our hearts. God can give a thought; we should not squander it; we should place it before God. Each time we start to pray something special should go to the throne.
Father, we pray that our intimacy with You would be such that Your thoughts become burdens in a very short time.
What is your burden? Pray a burden that is in your heart. Make your prayers as short as possible. The longer they are, the weaker they are. God’s fiercest enemies are hypocrites. If it does not come from your heart, it is not a prayer.
Ask yourself: “What do I expect God to do with this prayer?”
When I was in India, I was so shocked that believers don’t know how to pray at all. It shows falsehood. If you want to spend long times before God, if you want to have long prayer times, they will be false because you will create things to fill the time. I must ask: “How can I ask this from God in the shortest possible time, and in fewest words?” Sister Elise writes her prayers and thinks over them. Some people just open their mouths and just let anything out.
READING CHRISTIAN LITERATURE
I would advise you to get a notebook in which you write what you have benefitted from any book you read, or what has touched your heart. We recommend reading a Christian book a month. You can read a book for the first time during the first month and a second time during the second month. The wonder is not the number of books you have read. It is what is left in your life. What has it produced in your life? These first things (prayer alone, Daily Dynamic Encounters with God, Bible reading, and reading of Christian literature) you do alone.
PRAYING WITH OTHERS
If you are not praying to impress, but intelligently carrying a burden through praying with others, it is a wonderful thing because it means with the brethren, I can carry things I cannot carry alone. I pray! I pray!! I pray!!! But it means I must be plugged into God and plugged into him (the one I am praying with). He is listening, plugged into God, and plugged into me, and he knows what to bring in and so we can carry burdens that none of us could carry alone. The same thing if three of us are praying. Check the notes of the brethren.
Father, teach us how to pray with others.
When somebody prays his turn, switches off, and does other things, it is an abomination. There should be no writing while praying, because when he is praying, while I am listening, my heart will flow in the direction of that prayer and lift it. If I just pray and do my own things, the matter of corporate praying is lost.
Father, I repent. I repent that this is what our collective praying has become. Not fellowshipping with the person praying, not carrying the burden with him.