I’ve divided it into two sections (1) your 2 hours of time with God (2) the other components.
2 hours/day of time alone with Jesus
This is time to stop, soak, marinate, and meditate with the Lord and not just be getting through 2 hours worth of a checklist. It has five components that I do in that time:
(1) READ THE BIBLE [25 minutes]
I read a chapter or section from each of these four and just underline a verse that I’ll come back to in my writing section.
- chapter from the OT (I’m doing Joshua)
- Proverbs (around 10 verses)
- chapter from the Gospels (I’m doing Luke)
- Then I tear apart a few verses from an epistle.
With the epistle: this is a shorter amount intentionally for deeper study and reflection. ‘Joe Smith’ does 10-20 verses, and I do 1-2 verses, so…we’re different. I’m slow. (I’m doing this with 1 Peter.)
(2) WRITING COMPONENT [15 minutes]
I journal through what I observed in the epistle, move through to interpret it and how it applies. Then I write a paragraph on each of the other chapters I read, summarizing what I read and which sentence I underlined and why it stood out to me. Then I prayerfully consider any common themes.
*This has been one of my FAVORITE things. I usually just read one book at a time, so reading a wide cross section this way and still getting to go deep has been incredibly strengthening to my faith. I mean the bible really is one story. For real.
(3) REPENT/THANK [10 minutes]
I love this time too. I sit there and slow my heart before the Lord and beg to feel conviction in line with the things I’ve just read. I ask the Spirit to reveal to me specific ways I have failed to honor God as God in accordance with what I have just studied in the Bible and then I thank Him for the ways He has saved me and given me grace.
(3) INTERSESSION [25 minutes]
Using all the scripture that is fresh in my mind, I start praying for people. I have a core group of people I pray for every day (community and family), and then each day I rotate each day on the other things I pray through usually:
- a different list of people (eg. my coworkers one day, my friends from film festival another day, college friends another day).
- a different cause that I know God cares about (eg. sex trafficking, adoption, foster care, different people groups).
- then, if I still have time, I’ll open the news and pray for causes or situations I see going on in the world.
**This has ALSO been awesome. Mostly because it is so hard for me. I’ll pray for everything I can think of, feel like I’ve been praying for two hours, and it will have been 8 minutes. Il ove the challenge of the clock, forcing me to wait on God for inspiration and seek Him through prayer even more.
(4) MEMORIZATION [5 minutes]
I’m memorizing Romans right now. Here’s a good method from Desiring God:
- Day 1: read verse 1 ten times and then recite ten times.
- Day 2: recite verse 1 ten times. Read verse 2 ten times and then recite ten times.
- Day 3: recite verse 1 five times. Recite verse 2 ten times. Read verse 3 ten times and then recite 10 times.
- Day 4: recite verse 1 one time. Recite verse 2 five times. Recite verse 3 10 times. Read verse 4 ten times and then recite 10 times.
- Day 5: Recite verse two one time. Recite verse 3 five times. Recite verse 4 ten times. Read verse 5 ten times and then recite ten times.
- Day 6: etc, etc.
(5) READING A BOOK [20 minutes]
I read a chapter from the Insanity of obedience (which I’m enjoying) and then I read one chapter from Operation World (giving me an overview of the spiritual climate of a country). Been loving that.
(6) MISC [remainder time]
Usually one or more of the above areas run long. I’ve been specifically adding in prayer time for repentance and thankfulness, forcing myself to set another alarm and really think about these areas and ask for help from the Spirit identifying them. Other things could be: worship through song, solitude, and listening.
Other things to do…
Physical: 4-5 hours/week of exercise. As Piper says, “God made muscles to be worked and the brain to produce endorphins. There is a strong connection between our physical and spiritual well beings….”
I’ve also found that my ability to persevere when I am uncomfortable in a work out, is directly correlated to my ability to endure in bible reading or study when it gets hard. Eek.
Personal: (at least) 1 hour/day of fun, preferably 2. Whether a good book, time with friends, favorite tv show, etc. whatever is a big fill for you! For me – I have to admit, this has been hard to prioritize so I have often been counting my time with Jesus as this.
Full Sabbath Day: Wise, God-given pattern. Would love to hear from some mom’s out there what their sabbath looks like!
Lunch Fast: Twice during the month, take your half hour/hour for lunch to fast and intercede for something specific.
Community component: (1) getting together with friend/s for one or two days of your intercession time each week. (2) sharing the Gospel together. As Joe Smith says: “all this time with Jesus is going to create a need for an overflow outlet .”
Declaring: I am not great at sharing the Gospel, so I have been challening myself to really seek to do this once a week. EEK! I added this component myself but I feel strongly that both Jesus and ‘Joe Smith’ will approve.
Accountability: Every day you don’t get in your 2 hours time with Christ, your hour of personal time, a scheduled workout, or Sabbath, take a few minutes to review your day and see what else got priority? Was there time wasted in the day? ‘the best’ and I do this via text.