Day 1 – DESIRE
One thing I have desired of the LORD that I will seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life… Psm. 27:4a. To grow in the LORD and hear HIS Voice, we have to be in HIS Presence. LORD,please give to us a desire to be in YOUR Presence all the days of our lives!!!
Day 2 – DECIDE
Luke 10:42 Jesus said, “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken from her.”
I love this verse because it immediately shows us God’s heart for intimacy with His people. This reveals God’s perspective of the value He places on our time sitting before Him, reading His word, and talking with Him. Think about it; the Great I Am/Yahweh desires intimate one-on-one relationship. I am so grateful and amazed. Jesus, our beautiful Savior, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit are all encouraging us to decide to daily seek His face.
As Sorge writes “every holy resolve to obey God changes our lives profoundly.” With our decision and God’s grace, we can have a joyful, consistent, intimate prayer-life with God. Is there anything more important than talking to Jesus? I daily remind myself that this time alone with God is my daily bread, my life-line, the fountain for my thirsty soul. Our culture values busyness, noise, problems being solved, and work, work, work. God desires to speak, direct, guide, and pour His love on us each day. I decide, I resolve by God’s grace, to spend at least 20 mins. a day in the secret place with Jesus for the next 20 days. What adventure with God awaits? What intimacy? What joy, peace and delight will we experience as we sit before our Conquering King? Oh, how He longs to share His heart with us! Only one thing is needed. Decide.
Day 3 – REACH
To cultivate a prayer life, reach forward. Look straight ahead, put your eyes on the goal of a habitual prayer life, say a prayer, and reach – with all your heart.
Even as you do this, you will find that there are distractions, temptations and discouragement. This is the same for everyone! Don’t let this stop you, look at God’s word:
Phil 3:13-14 But one thing I do , forgetting those things which are behind and Reaching Forward to those things which are ahead, I Press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Take a few minutes and ask Jesus to help you with this. His heart is for you to succeed. He loves to hear your voice. Give to him all your past failures, your apathy, lack of discipline, or all the things that hinder you from praying and seeking Him. Hit reset and reach forward with all your soul. Ask the Lord for His grace and mercy to help you get going in the right direction. The mercy of God surrounds and empowers you to accomplish your goal. Thank Him for His help!
Praying daily is not just to form a new prayer habit, but it is you reaching for Jesus. The desire is to see Him, know Him, be close to Him, lay hold of Him. Jesus said in Luke 9:23 “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”
This is an invitation to be disciples. Ask yourself these questions. Do we desire more of him? Are we willing to deny ourselves 20 mins. to be with Him? Daily? Will we follow?
Say yes to His call. Tell Him how eagerly you want to come after Him!
Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me a new start in prayer. I turn my back on past failures and reach forward for Your high calling. Increase my desire to pray. Jesus, I’m following You and never looking back, only forward. Amen
Day 4 – FIGHT
Here’s one of the biggest distractions when we try to pray: sleepiness! You may find that you’re completely awake until you go to pray, and then you immediately become drowsy. This is a spiritual battle—don’t give up and take a nap. Also, be aware that you can’t pray early in the morning or late at night while nestled all snug in your bed. Even while kneeling in a quiet room you could easily fall asleep, but you’ll never fall asleep while walking. Also try praying out loud to keep your mind alert. Realize that late nights kill morning prayer times. If it’s really a priority to you to have a powerful time with God in the morning, go to bed early.
Wandering thoughts are a struggle for all of us. Bring every thought into captivity to Christ! Thoughts of pressing needs, an empty stomach, forgotten chores, something we saw on TV, and countless other trains of thought can be distracting. Ask the Lord to rule over your thoughts while you pray to keep you on track. If God reminds you of something you need to do, write it down and keep praying. This is very different from the common experience of having an unfocused mind that goes off on a tangent and then realizing ten minutes later that you’re missing your prayer time.
When you discover that your mind has wandered, immediately get back to praying. Just start up where you left off. Don’t blow the rest of your prayer time by feeling condemned or guilty. We tend to apologize to God for being distracted, but He knows better than we do that we’re in a spiritual battle every time we pray. God isn’t mad when we get distracted. Again, praying out loud helps.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
(this is an excerpt adapted from my first book, Developing Godly Character, YWAM Publishing, 2007. All rights reserved.)
Day 5 – PLACE
Find a place of solitude. In Matt. 6:6, Jesus said the Father is in the secret place and when we “shut the door” we are immediately with Him. Solitude is important. There are less distractions so we can quiet our minds and hearts and really listen. I see the Father waiting joyfully for us to come to Him. In the place of solitude, we put our hearts before Him, while He washes us with His word and shares His heart with us. We are creatures of habit, so having a set place is wise. Routine doesn’t have to be legalistic. Ask the Lord about the best place for you. It may change in different seasons of our lives, but if you don’t have a special place, ask the Lord. He will show you. And remember, your loving Heavenly Father is always there waiting to talk with you. Your place of refreshing, of strengthening, of intimacy with your Creator who loves you more than you will ever know!. Find a Place.
DAY 6 – CLOCK
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” – Mark 1:35
Now that I’ve committed to praying daily, do I really need to get up before the crack of dawn to pray? I’m glad you asked! The simple answer is: it depends on you. Are you a morning person? Perhaps you’re a night owl. The question we really need to ask ourselves is: when are we functioning at our best to give God our best time with Him? If you needed to undergo heart surgery, would you want the surgeon to operate on you at a time when he was tired, distracted, or hurried? The obvious answer is no. You would want the very best from your doctor, and that would require him operating on you at a time that he would be able to give you his best. In the same way, when going before the Great I AM, we need to choose a time in which we can give Him our best focus and attention. What time during the day are you the most alert and energized? When are you the least distracted and hurried by the business of the day? When you determine what time that is, whether early in the morning or before you go to bed at night, dedicate it to God. Give God your best time daily, for He has given you His best for eternity!
Mark 1:14-15, “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the Gospel of God, and saying “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
Repentance… A word that may cause most of us to cringe a little bit. Why? Because to repent is to admit that we were wrong and I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being wrong. When Jesus came, He came preaching repentance and that is still the first thing He calls us to today. He calls us to admit that we do not have what it takes to save, to admit that we have sinned against God and to invite His Lordship in our lives.
When we see Jesus for who He is, the King who comes not to be served but to serve, the natural response is repentance. The more we see of Christ and His glory the less glorious we begin to look. In our repentance we invite Jesus into the most inglorious and ugly places of our lives, inviting His reconciliation and transformation.
Remember today as you go about your Reset time that God so loved the world, before it had repented, that He gave His only son to die for an unrepentant people. God was not waiting for us to repent to love us and because of this we can walk into a life of continual repentance, confident in His love for us.
“The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.” – Timothy Keller
DAY 8 – CLEANSE
After repentance comes cleansing. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:33 to “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” This is significant because our pursuit of God’s righteousness draws us near to the throne of grace. When we put our faith in the cross of Christ, we are made righteous and cleansed by Jesus’ blood.
His blood is powerful! It completely cleanses our consciences and muzzles Satan, who accuses the brethren(Rev 12:10). We are now beyond condemnation and accusation. Christ cleanses us so that we can draw near to Him in intimacy. His righteousness is something we must pursue continually every day.
Pray today for God to cleanse you by His blood and by faith accept that you are made righteous in His sight. Worship and thank Him for He is worthy of all honor and praise! Ask Him to remind you to daily seek His righteousness.
Thank Him for making a way through the cross to live in His presence all day, every day. Enjoy being super-clean in the presence of your Father as you experience His perfect love and goodness!
Day 9 – THANKS
Psalms 100:4–5 “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” (NIV)
The first congregation of Israel could not enter the Promised Land because of their murmuring and complaining. They were unthankful and unbelieving. The Lord asks us today, “Do you remember what I did for you because I love you?”
E. M. Bounds said, “Thanksgiving is the life of prayer, it is its fragrance and music, its poetry and its crown.” Praise is worn like a garment; it is a coat of many colors. Both are key factors for entering the Presence of the King. Thanksgiving allows you to enter the Outer Court and praise the Inner Court.
An artist is not an artist without an outlet of personal expression. Likewise, when a person is grateful for something, it will turn into apathy if not expressed. Take a moment to meditate on what God has done for you, let gratitude birth in your soul, and release it through your spirit from your lips with all your heart, mind, emotion, and will. Don’t hold back. Express your love for Him without reservation. It is your creative expression. Watch bread multiply, the dead raise, and your self be translated into His Presence.
DAY 10 – PRAYREAD
Praying the Scriptures may be a new concept to you or it may be something you have done for a long time. Either way, it’s a very effective tool to connect with God and increase your ability to hide His Word in your heart.
Many prayers of others are recorded in the Word for us. We can then use those prayers to apply to ourselves or others. For instance, one of Paul’s prayers is recorded in Col 1:9-11 where he prays for people in Colossae:
• to be filled with the knowledge of His will
• to walk worthy of the Lord
• to be faithful in every good work
• to increase in the knowledge of God (plus some others)
We then can pray these very attributes for ourselves or others.
During our daily Bible reading, we can tell God what we think about that portion and ask Him what He intends to impart to us through this portion of His Word.
Some of the benefits to PrayRead the Scriptures are:
• It can be a boredom killer, making your time in the secret place more energized and engaged.
• It becomes relational—an interactive conversation with Jesus
• You’ll never run out of things to say because the Scriptures provide endless possibilities for prayer.
• You will pray with increased authority.
• Your prayers will agree with God’s will.
• Your understanding into God’s word will open.
• Your whole heart will align with truth and righteousness.
Begin now and then continue. ENJOY!
DAY 11 – PSALMS
“I will sing of the tender mercies of the Lord forever” (Pslam 89:1). What a wonder singing is. Singing somehow connects to our hearts in ways nothing else does. It embeds itself into our memory. We are called to be worshipers of the living God. When we worship Him, something special happens in our minds and in our hearts. As we pray-read the word, an element of this comes into our prayer life, and the Psalms are designed specifically for that! Within them lies nuggets of wisdom about who God is, and who we are in relationship to Him. The Psalms are rugged emotion. Soaring joys and deep sorrows, fierce anger and even fiercer love, abject fear and firm faith. Each of us can find something to relate to in the Psalms for any situation we face. Dig in! Make them your own!
Day 12 – LISTEN
An “active” listener is attentive, nonjudgmental, non-interrupting and analyzes what the speaker is saying for non-verbal hidden messages and meanings in the verbal communication. The problem though, in communicating with one another, is we do not listen to understand; we listen to reply. We start to formulate and answer in our head while the person is still talking, missing vital points.
Listening to God is like listening to anyone; before we can hear Him, we must be ready to listen and focused on what He is saying. Make a choice to quiet the chaos around and inside you. There are times when we might have to ask God during prayer to help us focus and listen.
The bible (John 8:47) says God is someone you can hear but it requires the right attitude in our hearts and us willing to do His will in order to understand His message. If we are stubbornly clinging to our own desire, we will probably get a garbled message that will not be God’s voice at all.
God speaks to us in different ways. He might give you an answer in form of a word or image or song or bible verse, that you might not decipher at that moment but, be patient- it will be clear when you least expect it. Don’t speak rapidly and continuously as an auctioneer would, on the contrary, take moments to pause and listen. You are in an active 2-way conversation, in real time, with Him.
God wants to draw us closer to Him and reveal His purpose in us as He communicates with us rather than just lifting a cue card with an obvious “Yes” or a “No”. He wants us to learn and grow every day in our relationship with Him. One thing for certain; God’s voice is distinctive. He promises (John 10:27) that we, his sheep, will hear and recognize it. The more you pause and listen for his voice, the more you will find that your ears tune in to it—you become familiar with it. It just requires you to….listen.
Day 13 – JOURNAL
We should maintain a journal of biblical insights because it provides a way for us to retain what God has spoken. Journaling to remember what God speaks to us from His word helps us to receive more from Him. “…For whoever has, to him more will be given.”(Luke 8:18)
There is a practical way to do this. When you read a verse that suddenly means something significant to you, write down the verse and insight in your journal. Remember to review your entries often so you can retain what God spoke to you. Ask God to help you develop a way to make what was spoken to you a permanent part of your history with Him.
Decide today how you’ll journal the insights God gives you. Although journaling can take some extra work, it’s a building block that helps you develop a consistent prayer life. It sets you up for MORE!
Day 14 – OBEDIENCE
Today we are going to focus on obedience. In Luke 6:46 Jesus asks this question, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord’, and not do the things which I say?” That should give us pause!
Disciples are supposed to follow and obey. Just as Jesus did with the Father. He only did what He saw the Father do and He obeyed even unto death. In our prayer life we seek to hear the Lord but then we are to do what He says. When we do what we hear in our secret place of prayer, life becomes an adventure with Jesus. This is faith in action.
When God calls you to do something you can’t do you are being invited into an adventure. We do not always understand what the Lord is doing but He always has the best path for us and wants us to grow in faith and trust. Unreserved obedience always trumps self-protective disobedience. I have experienced this first hand. My daughter was with YWAM for a time and felt led to live in one of the worst neighborhoods in the Bay Area. I prayed that she would not go until God spoke to me. He said,”She is safer in my will than yours”. I got the distinct impression that it would be much more dangerous for her not to go! He was true to His word and kept her safe in many dangerous situations.
Prayer without obedience is dead. Therefore, since you have committed to reset your prayer life, reset your resolve to obey as well. Ask the Lord to help you in any areas where you are struggling to obey. Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments”.
Day 15 – LOVE
In 1984 Tina Turner asked the world a question, “What’s love got to do with it?” The answer: Everything.
Throughout the Biblical narrative we see a call to God’s people to love God. However there seems to be an epic failure to uphold that call. But the Word of God also tells us in John 3:16, “that God so loved the world that He gave his only Son…”
God is the initiator in this loving relationship and He invites us to love Him in return by believing upon His Son. Yesterday we spoke about obedience and the primary motivation for that obedience is love of God. It’s the basis for everything we do in service to Him. This love then pours out into our love for neighbor as we daily seek ways to show the love of our Father to others.
When we come to God in prayer it is a time for us to lavish our love upon Him. Why do we set time aside for Him? Because we love Him. Why do we want to talk to Him daily? Because we love Him. Why do we seek to obey His commands? Because we love Him. And we love Him because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
This loving relationship is affirmed and furthered by the intimate time we spend in prayer, talking to God, hearing Him speak and growing in His love.
Day 16 – FASTING
When fasting, your heart says to God, “As much as my body craves food right now, I crave You even more.” – Bob Sorge
Fasting creates time and space for you to pray, consider and orient your heart around the betterness of Jesus over and above all earthly pleasures. When we fast we make a conscious recognition that there are things in our life we run to for rest, peace, distraction from anxiety and we place those things in the role that Christ is supposed to have.
Fasting is a time where we can lean into Christ and say though my heart and flesh may fail, who have I but you? (Psalm 73)
Christ alone is our redeemer and our sufficiency and it’s only in Him that we will find true satisfaction and freedom. Fasting gives us the necessary space to ask the question: What things might I be leaning on over and above the body and blood of Jesus Christ?
Day 17 – LIST
EVERYONE makes lists – some in our heads, some on sticky notes, dry erase boards, or even on our hand or in our heart…. The kinds of lists people make are endless. Think about some of them. There are grocery, bucket, gift, memory verse, prayer, reading, thank you, and so many other To-Do lists and even some ‘I don’t want to do lists” like unforgiveness (ouch). We write them in notebooks, post them in kitchens, bathrooms, cars, and on our phones. “People, make all kinds of lists at all times, for all kinds of reasons.” Is that in the Bible? No, but Ephesians 6:18 is and that’s where God tells us to
“Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests… always keep on praying for all the saints.” Making a prayer list is very a helpful tool.
Here are some questions and more lists that may be helpful in making a prayer list:
– Why pray? The prayers of a righteous man are powerful and effective. Talking to God reminds us who He is and who we are in Christ, comforts, encourages, heals, increases faith, heals, cleanses, gives hope, humbles, open eyes to see and ears to hear God’s will and promises…. God invites us to partner with Him in prayer and see what happens. It changes lives, ours and others.
– When? God tells us to pray at all times. Pray in the am or pm; at lunch, church, home, school, work, or playtime; when sad, worried, joyful, mad, sorry, thankful, busy, doubting, or sick. Pray at all times!
– What kind? Pray all kinds of prayers: praises, thank yous, I am sorrys, pleases, help mes and help others. Ask God for His prayers. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your prayer and show you Papa God’s heart to pray as well as His living Word to prayread.
– For who? Pray for one another. Pray for family, pastors, the sick, those in authority, our enemies, the saints, the lost, ourselves, everybody.
One of the most important lists we can make is a prayer list. A prayer list, like any other kind of list, helps us focus and be intentional and mindful with our time and resources. It helps us remember important things to pray about and most importantly, helps us draw near to God, listen to His heart and follow Him by doing what He asks. Prayer is powerful and affects how we live. It has the power to change us and others.
“Father, thank you for inviting us into the secret place with You, into Your throne room. Show us what’s on Your prayer list and teach us to pray.”
Day 18 – Routine
Today we will look at the benefit of having a routine in your prayer life. To be consistent we need a routine that everyday takes us into the secret place with Jesus. Sometimes a routine can seem tedious or too familiar but as you press in to be faithful to that time set aside for the Lord, you will find that it has taken you somewhere. It prepares you for each and everyday. You begin to grow in love and understanding of the Lord. You begin to mature in your Christian walk.
Some people wait to be inspired before they pray, but inspiration doesn’t produce longevity in prayer. Routine does. Routine is deliberate not dull. It is intentional not boring. There are many kinds of prayer routines. Some people build their routine on the Lord’s Prayer from Matt. 6:9-13. They use each phrase as a focus for their prayer time. Others use the acronym ACTS which is as follows:
Adoration: Give God praise and honor for who he is as Lord over all.
Confession: Honestly deal with the sin in your life.
Thanksgiving: Verbalize what you’re grateful for in your life and in the world around you.
Supplication: Pray for the needs of others and yourself.
Another method is to prayread through different sections of scripture while incorporating your prayer list as you read and meditate on the word. No matter how you choose to set up your schedule there will be interruptions and times when it is difficult. Press in and ask the Holy Spirit to help you. As you stick with it, it will get easier. You will develop your own way of walking and talking with Jesus. I assure you that holding to a routine will help build consistency and permanence into your prayer life. Praise the Lord!
Day 19 – ENDURE
This reset reminds me of the movie Hacksaw Ridge. A true story about a conscience objector in WWII, Desmond Doss, a Christian who refused to carry a weapon. He wanted to be a medic and felt called to save lives not take them. His commanding officers, drill sergeants, and most of the soldiers despised, mistreated, beat him and even tried to get him court martialed. He endured all the hardship and was able to stay in the army.
At the battle at Hacksaw Ridge the U.S. troops had to retreat, and surrounded by the enemy Doss saved 75 wounded men from the field dragging them to safety. Desmond kept asking God to “give him one more” to save while the war was waging on. He endured and trusted God! In the end Doss was awarded the Medal of Honor for his service above and beyond the call of duty.
Should we not put on the whole armor of God and endure the war to the end?
“We pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience and joyfully giving thanks to the Father.” Colossians 1:10-12
Day 20 – GROWTH
The last topic of the book Reset is Grow. It reminds me of a time I visited my grandpa as a teenager. He popped some popcorn while we watched TV and since he had some kernels that didn’t pop he simply opened the back door and threw them into the snow drift that had accumulated next to the house on that bitter cold January night. April came, and the snow had melted which allowed those kernels to reach the rich, black, loamy Iowa soil. In May, I was surprised to see three corn stalks emerge from where grandpa had thrown his unpopped popcorn. In the fall, we harvested six ears of corn and popped more popcorn.
Jesus talked a lot about growing, gardening, crops, and soil. Look at these verses in Matthew 13.
The Parable of the Sower
13 : 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
Soil is the key to any successful growth. The author Bob Sorge lists three ways to help you grow and enrich the soil of your prayer life.
1. Grow in the love of Christ
2. Grow in #PrayReading the scriptures
3. Grow in the amount of time you devote daily to your secret place for prayer
“Let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9