Many of my posts follow a reading list I created for my followers. Will you join me in a devotional adventure? Just read about a chapter of scripture, think through a couple of reflection prompts, then read my reflections in the blog, and comment if you’d like.

Theme 1: Relating to a Personal God – selections on prayer (list below)

Theme 2: Walking in Faith – on wisdom, obedience, and faith

Theme 3: Sticking with God in Challenging Times – a look at Elijah and Jesus

Theme 4: The True Meaning of Christianity – Romans, Abraham, and Jonah

Theme 5: Centered on Essentials – baptism, communion, evangelism, and other core beliefs of the faith

Theme 6: The Heart of the Matter – living with open hands and a spiritually-tuned heart

Theme 1: Relating to a Personal God

1.1: Identity in God, Ephesians 1:1-2:10

> 1:3-8, 1:13-14, and 2:1-10 focus on what God has done for us and our identity in him. How much of this do you experience? How could you live in this more?

> Being a Christian means being part of a group, praying for each other, and receiving prayer (1:15-20). Are you seeking prayer and praying for other?

> How does the authority of Christ described here impact how you think about the challenges in your life (1:19-22)?

1.2: Jesus the Bridegroom, Song of Songs 2

> This is a controversial passage, but for now, try to read it as if this is speaking of Jesus’ love for you, with you as the Shullamite, and God as the Beloved. Is there room in your understanding of God to see him as loving you intimately and unconditionally?

1.3: Jesus’ thoughts on prayer, Matt 6:5-18, 7:7-11

> What is important as we pray? Why does God want us to ask, if he already knows what we need? How should we approach him?

> Is 7:7-11 saying that if we pray long enough, we’ll get ANYTHING we ask for?

1.4: praying for a “YES!”, Phil 4:4-20; 1 Thess 5:16-19

> What does Phil 4:4-9 say about the attitudes/actions we should have? What has God promised to give us as we follow Him?

> What is Paul’s attitude in 4:10-19? Why is this hard? How can we pray more like 1 Thess. 5:16-19?

1.5 the natural outflow of a heart for God, Psalm 116

> Do you agree with verses 1 and 2?

> The Psalm speaks of death; how do you relate to this theme?

> There is a situation-response format here. How do you respond to the situations in your life? In prayer or otherwise? Do you still keep promises you make to God, after the situation changes? What might he want you to dedicate to him now?

1.6: loving God’s presence, Psalm 84

> In speaking of the temple, the psalmist means they’d rather be in the presence of God than anywhere else. Where do you most find the presence of God?

> Praying the psalms is a great way to develop creativity in prayer, and learn to speak to God in new ways. Try writing or reading this out loud, but filling in your own prayers following the pattern of this Psalm.

1.7: a disciple’s heart, Psalm 86

> This Psalm epitomizes this journey of having “a pursuing heart.”  Read through the Psalm and identify how many of the attitudes of the writer are also your attitudes.

1.8: devoted even through danger, Daniel 6

> In Daniel’s place and time, it was illegal to follow God, yet he remained courageously devoted. How would you respond if it became illegal to worship, pray, or publicly gather as Christians?

> Daniel’s life was a witness to those in authority over him. How is your witness in this regard?

1.9: changing God’s mind, Exodus 32:9-14; Ex. 33

> This passage speaks of intimacy and boldness in prayer, with big results. Who can you intercede for in prayer, as Moses did? How can you hear God more clearly? Where are you going that you want to make sure God is going with you?

Bonus:  Psalm 51 – A prayer of repentance, and Psalm 18 – A prayer of praise and thanks. Write your own prayers by these models, and think about how you might incorporate these themes into your devotional life more.

Reading List for Theme 2 is up… The other reading lists will be posted shortly!