June 14, 2021
Growing Spiritually Strong
And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a little while” (Mark 6:31, ESV).
Friend to Friend
Earlier this spring I realized that I had grown lazy: lazy physically and lazy spiritually. That’s why I decided to take social media sabbatical. I know it sounds a little radical, but I needed to get my priorities back in check. Given how many hours I was giving to my online scrolling, I thought taking those hours back was a great place to start. Before I even logged offline, I made a list of the things that I had simply been too busy for:
- Consistent prayer and Bible study
- Daily exercise
- Time with friends
- Healthy meals
The list went on and on. Which is why I decided to make specific plans to be more consistent in the areas of my life I had become inconsistent with. I opened up my Bible to the book of Genesis and started reading each morning, and I took daily walks through the neighborhood each afternoon. I used those afternoon breaks to pray for my family. In lieu of scrolling I had started strolling, and as I walked I talked with God.
While I have always longed for an intimate relationship with the Lord most of all… the reality is that I spend more time listening to everyone else. Talking with God easily takes a back seat in my life. And so I imagined Jesus extending the same invitation He gave His closest companions: “Come away with me to a secluded place… there are so many people distracting us from one another here… let’s get away together.” So, I took a break from the constant chatter on-line, and I devoted myself to enjoying the most important conversation of all.
Just like Bible reading, tithing, and consistent fellowship, the spiritual discipline of prayer helps us to grow spiritually stronger. As we work those underutilized spiritual muscles, God enables us to experience a more muscular faith and a more intimate relationship with Him! From lazy and lethargic to engaged and energized. Taking us from distracted to devoted. If your prayer life has atrophied from underuse this year like mine had, make an intentional plan to spend some focused time flexing those prayer muscles again. Quietly, in a private place, humbly engage with God, not only for your own benefit but on behalf of others.
My grandpa used to tell me regularly, “Your grandma and I are praying for you, Wendy. We pray specifically that you know the joy of a Christian marriage.” I don’t remember him sharing any other prayers. Though Grandpa and Grandma passed away quite a few years ago, their intercessory prayers live on today in my marriage. Oftentimes, I look at my husband and find myself overwhelmed by the kindness of the Lord. I thank God not only for my husband but also for my grandpa and grandma and their powerful, muscular prayers. I am so glad that they weren’t lazy in their prayer life.
I’ve come to realize that the online chatter is loud and distracting. However, I know that a time is coming, and fast approaching, when the online world and the rest of this world will pass away. Which is why I don’t want to be lazing around — I don’t want to be weary and weak but spiritually strong. Of course, this short devotional isn’t just about prayer, but any area of our faith life where we’ve grown distracted and discouraged.
Let’s exercise the spiritual disciplines: prayer, Bible reading, fellowship, sabbath rest, tithing, serving, fasting, and quiet meditation. Practicing spiritual disciplines leads to an disciplined life. Make specific plans to become more consistent in any of these areas of your life with Christ that you’ve become inconsistent.
Dear Lord, Thank You for giving me a workout plan to grow spiritually stronger. Thank You for always being available to me through prayer, fellowship, quiet medication, and in Your Living Word. You know how easily distracted I can be, but I don’t want to be distracted anymore. I long to grow more devoted to You. I don’t want to be lazy either! So I’m praying for a strong faith, in the strong Name of Jesus. Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
How has your prayer-life been lately? Have you grown a little lazy? What practical plan can you make to help you grow stronger, spiritually stronger, in this area of your life?
More from the Girlfriends
Consider taking a 40 Day Social Media Fast. Exchange your online distractions for real-life devotion to God and others. Find out more at 40daysocialmediafast.com
© 2021 by Wendy Speake. All rights reserved.