Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Walk: It's that simple

I once heard Tim Keller say the Christian life is about walking not summersaults. A summersault, he said, is a spiritual moment, an God-encounter, a kairos incident and these are good and important but you can't make progress by summersaults alone. To make progress, you must walk: left-right, left-right, left-right. He then went on to explain that the left and right of walking are quite simply reading the Bible and praying. Want to grow in love and faithfulness with Jesus? Then discipline yourself to do a bit of walking every day.

John Stott was the 'walker' of walkers and he taught countless numbers the simple discipline of reading the Bible and praying. Do let this account of his daily routine inspire you to be a person who rises early to seek the Lord. My old Vicar always used to say (and I think he borrowed the thought from Stott) if you want to grow in wisdom and faith the one thing you need above all else is an alarm clock. Set is early, get out of bed, open your bible and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

Here is John Stott's regime that we would all do well to echoe (some of you might need to go to bed earlier to achieve it:) :

"The day begins for Stott at 5 a.m. He swings his legs over the side of his bed and starts the day in prayer:
 Each morning, having read three chapters of Scripture and meditated prayerfully over them, he pulls out his prayer notebook, takes off the rubber band, and prays for friends, family, ministries, and even strangers.
Inside the notebook is a daily prayer list that is under constant revision. In minuscule print, the pages are divided into four columns: for evangelism or new converts, for people who have decisions to make, for the sick and bereaved, and for miscellaneous requests.
Each day he reads through, prays over, and amends these four columns. Beneath the columned pages is a short stack of prayer guides. Stott prays daily through the requests of up to seven different organizations to which he is connected.
Finally, having worked through the various handouts and pamphlets, he comes to an old, well-worn page with a handwritten one- month calendar. Each day has a list of names, some dating back 30 years, some just a few months.
For Stott, prayer is the rhythm of each day. From the discipline of regular intercession in the morning, to spontaneous prayer at the end of a pastoral visit, to bent knees shortly before bed, each day is marked by simple, unpretentious, direct, and persistent prayer."

(H/T Dreaming beneath the spires)

What an inspiration this dear man is and will continue to be for centuries to come.

1 comment:

James B said...

I think of it a bit like the liturgical 'ordinary time'. It's easy to think you have to jump between the feasting and fasting, but it's ok to plod too - ordinary time!