I'm not sure who coined the daily time with God as devotions, but it's a great term that I now own for my daily time with him. It's a time in my routine in which I choose to devote myself and my day to God. For me, I try to do this early in the day. Doing so, I find that it impacts my entire day.
I like to start my time by confessing my sins and transgressions so that I can start fresh with God. In my mind as I do this, I see sins as those things I intentionally chose to do which were displeasing to God, and transgressions as those which I unintentionally did or even that I'm not even aware of.
Sometimes I'm not aware of anything I've done since my previous devotional time, and so I simply ask God to forgive and cleanse me anew of any and all sins and transgressions in my life. However, when I am aware of any (more often than I want to admit), then I confess each by act or incident and underlying motive.
Now I'm Ready
Next I ask God for three categories of things, and some have subcategories.
- "Please bless me and use me as you'd like." Here I'm asking God to do in and through my life as he'd like. I ask him not to be restricted by my shortcomings, weaknesses, or past. Rather, for all that he would like to do in me and through me, I'm giving him full reign. This is a little like Jabez' prayer in which he asked God to expand his borders, but is my adaptation that says I only want what God wants in my life. Not necessarily larger borders, though that'd be okay... but his will be done in and through me.
- "Please be with me in all I say and do today." How could I possibly do what he wants me to do on my own strength? I ask specifically for:
- Wisdom from his throne (see James 1:5).
- Words that are appropriate in their circumstance (see Proverbs 25:11).
- The manifestation in and through me of his fruit and gifts. While praying this I recognize that these are always for the purpose of building his church, not for self-promotion.
- "Please keep evil far from me and remove the evil I've invited into my life." This is for my protection, the protection of those around me, and the protection of those whom he has entrusted to my care.
At the conclusion of my prayer time I almost always pray that all I've asked is in Jesus name because he said in John 14:14 "You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." I understand that to mean that it must be according to his purpose and for his glory... which is what I'm truly asking for.