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Tag Archives: quiet time

Hiking and Praying

BackpackAs I said in my last post, I’m about to leave for two weeks of hiking and praying. I always find these times refreshing. I get to be alone with the Lord for hours praying and listening for His voice.

The Lord spent 40 days alone in the wilderness. This helped to prepare Him for ministry. I’m looking forward to what Holy Spirit will work in me during this time.

Actually this type of praying in the outdoors was a large part of Jesus’ ministry. Over and over again we read of the Lord having this “alone time” with the Father.

After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.
Matthew 14:23

I think that every believer should experience this blessing. No, you don’t have to go off into the woods for a week. You can find a quiet place near your home where you can spend even an hour or two outdoors with the Lord.

I can tell you this; it’s a totally different experience than praying in your house or office. Be prepared to hear from God in a way that you never have before.

As I’m preparing to leave, I feel the Lord impressing me to do something a bit different for the posts while I’m away. My hope is that it will be a blessing to you.

I realize that this blog is not very far reaching at this point. But there have been a few of my posts that seemed to touch a lot of people. So for the two weeks that I’m away, I’m going to repost the 6 most read posts of mine since I’ve started.

Many of those following this blog were not here for those early days. They’ll probably be new to most of those now following me. The Apostle Peter put it this way.

So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body…
2 Peter 1:12-13

It’s good to be reminded of the truths that we’ve heard in the past. Who knows, even if you read them the first time they were posted, you might get something new from them in your present walk with the Lord.

One more thing; please keep me in your prayers as I take this time to seek God. And please be patient with me if I take a while in responding to comments. Sometimes the cell phone reception is spotty on the trails.

Question: Do you have any interesting experiences you’ve had outdoors with the Lord?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

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Love Letters vs. the Lover

Garden PathIn my last post I talked about spending time in God’s presence and hearing a Word from Him. Maybe you got the impression that I don’t encourage the reading of Scripture. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I believe that daily time in the Scripture is absolutely essential for a strong spiritual walk. Nothing can replace that.

But in the same light, by redefining the term Word of God in Scripture, many have totally ignored intimate time with the Lord. They seem to think that reading the Bible and then praying for God to meet their needs is enough.

The fact is that we need intimacy with our Lord. Here’s how Jesus explained it to the Pharisees.

“You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”
John 5:39-40

As important as the reading of the Bible is, it doesn’t replace quality time with the Holy Spirit. We need both to mature in Christ.

Think about it this way. A soldier stationed in Afghanistan loves his wife and regularly writes her letters from the field. He shares his heart with her – what he’s doing and feeling, how much he misses her and things he looks forward to doing with her when he returns.

The wife loves and misses her husband as well. She reads each letter over and over, imagining him speaking directly to her. Now that she has a collection of these letters, she spends time every day reading them. It comforts her.

When the husband’s tour is over, he returns home to the embrace of his wife. This was the hour they’ve both been waiting for. They’re together again.

But there’s a problem. The next day the husband wants to take a walk in a nearby park, hand in hand with his wife. Does she agree to this? No.

She tells him that it’s her habit to take a couple of hours each day to read his letters. She doesn’t want to stop doing this simply to walk outdoors. The husband is confused and sits on the couch, waiting for her to read his letters and to have the time to be with him.

Does this sound far-fetched? In real life it does. Normal people don’t act that way. Or do they?

I hate to say it, but that’s the practice of many believers. We have access to the intimate presence of Christ. Yet we’re content to merely sit and read His letters to us.

We must read the Bible to understand the heartbeat of God. But there’s more to it than that. Don’t just read the love-letters. Spend time with the Lover of our souls. He’s patiently waiting for our quiet time together. It’s at those times that I receive things that are for no one else but me.

Take the time to hear from the Lord.

Question: Why does it seem easier to read Scripture than to spend time with the author?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2014 in Prayer, Word of God

 

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Shut the Door and Hear from God #prayer

DoorAs a pastor, I’ve been asked from time to time; how do you hear from God?  Is that a question in your life?  Is it something you’re struggling with?  This post may help you overcome in that area.

Cell phones have changed the way our society works.  We no longer have to wait until we’re home to place a call or check our messages.  In one way it makes things a little easier for people to connect.

But there are some downsides as well.  Have you ever gotten a call from someone who’s standing on a busy street corner?  They’re trying to have an intelligent conversation with you, but all you can hear are traffic, sirens, and the roar of people in the background.

It’s gotten to the point where I’ve had to tell them, “Wait until you’re inside with the door shut, then try calling me back.”

What does this have to do with hearing from God?  Everything!!!

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.  Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Matthew 6:6

This was how Jesus operated.  On many occasions in the Gospels, we see Him going to a secluded location and spending time in prayer.  He’s our example.  There’s no question that the Lord heard and obeyed the voice of the Father.

That brings to mind an interesting question.  The Son of God had to close the door on distractions in order to hear from the Father.  What makes us think that the distractions all around us will have no effect on our prayer life?

Jesus had no cell phone, internet, TV, or IPad to distract Him.  With all these things, screaming for our attention, we have to find a quiet place.

You’re inability to hear from God might not be so much about spiritual deafness as much as it’s “listening overload.”  There might be so many things coming at you all the time that you can’t recognize which is the voice of God.

You need to close the door on distractions if you want your prayer time to be productive.  Learn to spend quality time in the presence of the Lord.  Then, just be quiet for a while and hear what the Holy Spirit is speaking to you.

Questions: Where do you go to spend time with the Lord?  How do you close the door on distractions?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2014 in Prayer

 

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Examine Yourself

2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.  Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you fail the test?

There are times that we need to test our walk with the Lord.  To do that it is best to be alone and quiet.  In this age of cell phones, MP3, and DVD players it is hard to have any quiet time at all.  I even feel that many people – without Christ – “plug in” for the purpose of not hearing their own heart.

Many people are afraid to examine their inner man.  It is probably because they are afraid of what they will find.  Please realize that it is a healthy thing to take a long hard look at yourself.  You need to see how you measure up to Christ, His calling, how far you have come and the direction in which you are headed.

Re-evaluation is at the heart of a holy walk.  It means we are willing to take the occasional course correction when God gets our attention.

Take the time needed today to get a long glimpse of what is going on in your soul.  Ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and insight.  Examine your life, dreams and goals in His presence.  Then purpose to make the corrections that God offers you.  You will be glad that you did.

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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