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Staying Connected to The Power of One: Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel!

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Part 1 of 3 in our summer series: Staying Connected to The Power of One


Download this Summer's Prayer Guide


Before entering the ministry, I worked in a different industry.  Our team had multiple meetings throughout the week, one of which was sort of the "holy grail" of meetings: our weekly conference call.

Every Tuesday at 3pm, our team members called in.  And every Tuesday at the end, our boss would remind everyone to be on the conference call the following week by reciting the old phrase from the 1960s Adam West Batman TV show, “Same bat-time, same bat-channel.”

No matter how busy the weeks got, nothing could ever crowd out that meeting.  As a result, the meetings continued, plans got made, and our business ran well.  In many ways, having the same time and place to connect to God can be the difference between consistency and excellence, and inconsistency and mediocrity.

having the same time and place to connect to God can be the difference between consistency and excellence, and inconsistency and mediocrity

As we enter the summer, we will all encounter various obstacles to spending time alone with God.  For many of us, summer is a somewhat more carefree time than the rest of the year.  It's a season of relative ease and enjoyment with substantially less stress than at other times of the year.  

The only problem with this slower season is that often times our stress, challenges and trials serve as a great catalyst for us to pursue Christ.  We sense our need for Him more.  We feel the need to be refueled by His word more.  We have a more pronounced need to unburden ourselves to him through prayer.

But if we are not careful, the summer can dull our senses and convince us that our need for time with God is somehow diminished.  Between vacations, school getting out, and time off, maintaining any sort of regularity with prayer and Bible reading can be difficult.  Spiritual growth never happens by accident, but this is especially true in the summer months. If we are not intentional about guarding our time with God, it will fall by the wayside.

Spiritual growth never happens by accident, but this is especially true in the summer months. If we are not intentional about guarding our time with God, it will fall by the wayside.

Let me challenge you to have the same simple approach to encountering God that my former boss did with our weekly conference call—"same bat-time, same bat-channel."  

  • Look at your schedule, decide what is the most ideal time of day to meet with the Lord, and block it off on your calendar.  

Go a step further and set a daily reminder or alarm on your phone or computer.

  • If possible, stick with a consistent venue as much as is possible.  

Find a location that is as distraction free as possible and do your best to meet with the Lord there regularly.  For me it is a long walk in the morning spent praying, listening to the Bible, and occasionally listening to some worshipful music.

  • Use a tool, like our quarterly Prayer Guide or a Bible reading plan, to help you stay on track.

In addition to the annual Bible reading plan Shandon provides at the beginning of each year, we also provide a 3-month Prayer Guide every quarter that also includes the Bible reading assignments for those 3 months.  Our third quarter Prayer Guides (July-September) will be available in the Gathering Place starting this Sunday.  These have proven to be an invaluable tool to many in our church who have found it helpful to focus, stretch and grow their prayer lives.

Pick one up this Sunday or the following Sunday and join us in reading the Bible and praying daily.  Whether you started reading through the Bible in January and stopped at some point, or you've never taken up the challenge, you can start July 1!

  
Download this summer's Prayer Guide

I pray that daily time with the Lord in prayer and in His Word will prove to be a difference maker in your relationship with Christ this summer.

Mat Saxon, Minister of Adults & Prayer

Posted by Mat Saxon with

Putting Down the Microphone & Listening

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The following guest post from Amy Petersen is the final in a 3-part series on prayer, corresponding to Dr. Lincoln's 3-week sermon series, Lord, Teach Me to Pray

Week 1: When the Prayer Want-to Runs Out
Week 2: Turning Superficial Prayers into Genuine Conversations


Not too long ago, I was munching on my favorite chocolate: a York Peppermint Patty. The mini kind. I’m sure my facial expression exuded pure delight and deliciousness. My middle son noticed and said what I thought was:

How does that taste, Fatty?

Shocked, I tightened up and almost growled,

What. Did. You. Say?

Surprised, he cautiously uttered, Mom, I just asked:

How is that peppermint patty?

Hilarious.

It’s easy to listen through our own broken filter of insecurity, resentment, and doubt. So too with God. Often, we lay out our emotions and face our reality yet only to hear God’s response through distrust, doubt, and entitlement.

Last week, we saw David cultivating a lifestyle of prayer, a consistent life of talking honestly to God. And in these conversations, he shows us today that there’s more, much more than simply holding the microphone.

An invaluable and sometimes overlooked aspect of prayer involves LISTENING. Listening to the truth of who God is and what He says. David’s prayer pivots with this:

But You… Psalm 3:3

Two very weighted words that reach beyond the mire of hopelessness, pivoting our eyes on the One who can handle our honesty, our reality, and our emotions.

David transitions with:

But You are a shield around me, O Lord; You bestow glory on me and lift up my head. To the Lord I cry aloud, and He answers me from His holy hill. Psalm 3:3-4

Listen to who God is in light of your emotions. For what David confesses to God in the previous verses, he now listens to who God is specific to that emotion.

  • David may feel defenseless, BUT God protects (a shield).   
  • David may feel despised, BUT God exalts (bestows glory).  
  • David may feel doubtful, BUT God encourages and answers (lifts up and answers).

This is key. Don’t validate the power of your emotions by using them to define who God is. You may feel like you are unloved based on your emotions and reality. But, listen to the truth: you are loved by God (John 3:16). For every emotion you have and every situation you face, He offers the gift of Himself.

Listen and move forward in obedience confidently believing the truth of God. David does it so well:

I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side. arise, O Lord! Deliver me, O my God! Strive all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. Psalm 3:5-8

David may have felt defenseless BUT he believes God will protect him AND SO he sleeps. He is confident that he is safe.

David may have felt despised, BUT he believes God will exalt him AND SO he believes he will be sustained and held by God.

David may have felt doubtful, BUT he believes God will encourage and answer him AND SO he will be delivered by His help.

You don’t need to stay stuck in the hopelessness of your own messy facts and emotions. Listen and step out into your reality with confident obedience believing God and experiencing the adventurous life of freedom and faith.  By doing this, your prayers will build a record of consistency and turn into genuine, life-giving conversations.

Where are you today? What’s going on in your life? In your heart?

Name your feeling. I feel…

Pivot your focus. But You…

Move forward believing. And so… 



AMY PETERSEN | I'm a mini-van driver, an obsessive organizer, Diet Dr. Pepper drinker, wanna-be runner, Bible studier, do-it-yourselfer, and mom of 3 boys!

Follow Amy on her blog here.

 

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