Daily Gospel-Oriented Rhythms
by Kim Arthur
I asked; you delivered.
This is the second installment of our mini-blog series aimed at helping Christians cultivate helpful, grace-filled, gospel-oriented customs and rhythms to grow in their relationships with God and one another.
Last Saturday’s blog included a short clip from Pastor Andrew Arthur on the importance of recognizing the shaping power of rhythms–particularly as it pertains to Christian growth and our influence on the watching world. That blog also provided some helpful, albeit potentially uncomfortable, questions to consider as you continue on your quest (or at least elevated interest) in cultivating healthy and helpful habits and rhythms.
Below is a list of just some of the tried and true ideas shared by Hallows Church men and women in various seasons of life–ideas for how to make moments in your daily life more meaningful, intentional and gospel-oriented. Enjoy, and if you’re like me and need this reminder: don’t try to start a bunch of new things all at once. Instead, pick one or two that you may want to add to your daily rhythm if you need it–if you’ve been having a hard time getting started or remaining diligent in cultivating rhythms that help you grow in your relationship with Jesus.
Rhythms for morning moments
Attach something to intentionally pray for each day of the week: Missionary Monday (missionaries you know), Wedding Wednesday (for marriages of people you know), Family Friday, etc.
If you commute on the bus, pull up the MC guide from our digital worship guide on Monday and take time to go through the questions on your own–it has a lot of questions to help study and apply that week’s passage.
Rethink the idea of “quiet time” as being a tranquil, quiet time with a coffee in one hand and Bible in the other while being warmly embraced by a throw blanket as the sun rises through the window. If need be, think of it as a “fight time”–a time to fight for. Make a plan to talk to God and listen to Him through His Word in the midst of whatever crazy or busy you may be experiencing. If your tranquil ideal is unable to be achieved right now, can you still fight for some time, some intentionality in your day? Can you fight distractions so you can go to sleep earlier so that you can wake up earlier before the crazy starts? Can you fight the urge to scroll social media each morning until you’ve read and meditated upon at least the next verse of a chosen book of the Bible? Can you put on your headphones and have a Bible app read the next chapter of the Bible over you while your eyes are too tired to actually greet light before you’ve gotten out of bed? How can you fight to prioritize time to dwell on God and His Word?
Start the morning commute to school or work with prayer, worship songs or Bible reading.
Listen to a devotional on the drive home after doing the morning drop-off of kids.
Rhythms for the spontaneous, yet often occurring daily moments
Attach prayer and confession to mundane cleaning tasks: as you load the dishwasher, praise God for how that chore is a constant reminder that living in a messy world requires constant attention and cleaning, and likewise, remember to confess any mess, sin or need in your life that day and then thank Him for cleansing your and others’ sin by grace through faith in Jesus.
“My mom used to stop and pray every time an ambulance went by. It left such a mark on me.”
Pray at meals, bed time, and on the way to school.
Use prayer prompt podcasts as you do laundry and the like.
Do a Bible study while parked and waiting in the school pick up line.
Breathe in & out deeply asking the Holy Spirit to be present while admitting your deep need for Him when you’re fatigued, frazzled or about to lose your patience. Turn your heart towards thankfulness in those moments attempting to find any little thing to thank God for.
Gospel-centered exercise: “as I run/workout, I meditate on how God is strengthening my faith.”
Consider using the Lord’s Prayer for meals, rather than simple “thanks for the meal” prayers.
“Before I watch a movie or start a new TV series I ask myself honestly, “Will this time I am giving up move me toward Jesus or draw me away from Him?”’
Having someone to keep you accountable is big! Maybe read through a book of the Bible together or just share thoughts on a certain passage by text sometime during the day.
Place Scripture around your home to encourage Scripture memorization or simple Bible intake. When you feel the urge to check social media on your phone, pull up the Bible app and read a few verses instead. Take up opportunities God gives you to pause as an opportunity to pray instead of pick up your phone (ex: when you’re waiting in line at the grocery store, in the carpool line, waiting on a friend at a coffee shop).
Make a point to ask God daily who you can pray for while walking your dog, driving, etc. and then text or call that person to let them know you are praying for them or to ask to pray with them.
Rhythms for the evening
“I have a practice for when I get into bed at night before I’m allowed to touch my phone: I pray, naming everything that day—either thanking God for it or asking for God’s help with it, whatever the case may be. Then, I try to remember everyone I talked to that day and pray for each of them specifically (plus anyone else I know who needs prayer). Finally, I ask God to watch over me and remain sovereign over the world as I sleep, and bring new mercies in the morning.”
We find it helpful to do a quick Bible study with kids while we are all setting the table for dinner/sitting down for those 10 mins before food is actually on the table.
Family worship before bed (singing (sometimes), devotional, prayer.
If you’re waking up in the middle of the night to nurse a baby, have a book of the Bible on an app ready to be read out loud to you instead of turning to Netflix, social media, etc.
Resources for cultivating helpful rhythms
The resources available to the average American today is plentiful but here are a few that current Hallows members have been using and find helpful:
The Hallows Church MC Weekly Study Guides -found weekly on our online Sunday Worship Guide at www.hallowschurch.org/worship-guide
Worship music, including music that puts straight Scripture to song (such as Shane and Shane Psalms Albums, The Corner Room and EveryPsalm)
Books like Every Moment Holy by Douglas Kaine McKelvey and The Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren
Bible Studies by The Grace Co, She Reads Truth, Bible Study Fellowship
Bible Reading Plans such as For the Love of God by DA Carson, The Bible Recap, ESV Study Bible or YouVersion App reading plans.
Podcasts like: Previous Hallows Church sermons and Gospel Clarity podcasts, The Daily Liturgy Podcast