It seems simple. Do you want to have a good relationship with Christ? Then read the Bible and pray. And be disciplined about it.
For some men this comes very naturally, for most men it takes work, and for a few it remains a stubborn source of shame and defeat.
We absolutely need to continue to encourage more men to read the Bible every day and to spend time in prayer with God. And it's great if they have the discipline to do it at the same place and same time every day. But some men may also need to hear that they can stay connected to Christ and keep growing by using a variety of strategies to read God’s Word and pray.
It’s much more important that men do something that works than that they do things a certain way. How can a man know if what he is doing to stay connected with Christ is working? Here are a few questions to ask on a weekly basis:
- Do I think more highly of Christ now than I did before?
- Is there a sin that I have repented of?
- Have I learned, or had reinforced, something about the character of God?
- Have I connected with God through prayer, and have I listened for Him in His Word?
If the answers to these questions are yes, then you have an effective devotional life. Maybe it is listening to Scripture while you exercise or praying after parking the car at work or reading a short passage at lunch every day—there are more ways than ever to hear God’s Word and stay connected. Don’t give up working on the discipline to start every day with Christ—but don’t feel like a failure if something else is already working for you.
You probably know a man who needs some help in this area. Why not encourage him with the goal of spending time with God rather than the means of how he is supposed to do it?
David Delk is president of Man in the Mirror. He is the author or co-author of five books, including The Marriage Prayer, The Dad in the Mirror, and No Man Left Behind.