Here we go again, another blog post I was prompted to write a bit ago but wasn’t sure how. I’m learning that you have to live out what you’re sharing, then just go for it when you’re ready to write.
While having a faith conversation with a friend about spending time with God (particularly through church), I felt Him tell me that I needed to “practice what I preach,” if you will. While I’ll humbly say that I know I put a fair amount time into my relationship with God if I’m comparing myself to some other people, I realized in that moment that I wasn’t putting as much time into it when I compared myself, with myself.
When I first went all in for Jesus in 2017, I was in a place of brokenness where I didn’t know how I would survive the day without spending every waking moment dwelling with the Spirit. It seemed as though I was in prayer each minute I wasn’t spending talking to someone, and nearly every activity I did was in attempt to draw closer to Him. I remember waking up at dark-thirty every morning to watch the sunrise on the beach before classes as my quiet time (sidebar: remembering this is one of the only things that makes me wish I still lived at the beach instead!). Every day I would pray the same thing (amongst others of course): Lord, please set me on fire for You. And man, that prayer has been being continually answered daily since then.
I also remember a distinct prayer I often repeated as well: Lord, please forgive me for the times in my life where I am more distant from you than I am now–because we both know those days will come. I find myself thinking about this often, which would be good and well if I took each of those thoughts and turned them into a fix for the problem. Sometimes it’s easier to forget about God when we think we need Him less–when our pain begins to subside, when our circumstances start to change for the better, or when we become more confident in who HE is transforming us into. Since that moment in conversation with my friend, I knew I needed to be more intentional with my relationship with Jesus because He is so intentional with me.
I honestly couldn’t be happier that I’m making more time for my Maker again. I can feel the difference in my day to day wanderings in physical presence and thoughts alike. As I’ve opened my eyes, ears, and heart to recognize how He’s moving, I’ve seen my specific prayers answered in insane ways I could’ve never came up with on my own. The best part is that I know He will continue to move in this way as He responds to bigger and bolder prayers throughout my life.
I want to share a few practical tips for how we can spend more time with Jesus, even when we feel our schedule is just too busy and overwhelming for much more. Disclaimer: none or even all of this could be a substitute for complete quiet & alone time with God in prayer, attending church, or serving in any capacity. More-so, they are suggestions for how to turn your everyday tasks into opportunities to spend time with the Spirit.
- Talk to God, out loud, in your car or shower. There is something so powerful about speaking to Him outside of our heads and being bold enough to hear our own cries to Him–or letting others see you cry in the car when it gets that good! You have to do these things anyway, so you might as well use them to connect with God. Turn on some worship music too if you’re into that, to help position your heart toward Him.
- Go on prayer walks. This is personally my favorite way to experience quiet time and has proven to be incredibly impactful in my life. Sometimes I’ll do it around my apartment and pray out loud, non-stop for about 30 minutes while walking back and forth between rooms. Other times, I’ll go on a neighborhood walk or hike while listening to worship music and just being quiet for a while to let Him speak to me. Anddd, you can get your steps and exercise in this way at the same time!
- Pick a verse of the day/week to dwell on in your in-between moments. This could be the verse of the day on YouVersion (an awesome Bible resource!) or you can search for one based on your current situation. Try to memorize this verse and find ways to apply it to what you’re experiencing. While it’s important to spend as much time as possible in the Word, this is a great way to be encouraged while you’re stressed or overwhelmed, by simply taking breaks during your day to remember God’s promises.
- Find ways to speak to (or ask) others about Jesus in your day-to-day. Whether it be in the lunch room at work or on your usual phone call to your parents/kids/friend, figure out you can encourage them or how they can encourage you. If you have a friend who you know loves Jesus and you just want to know more, casually ask them about the church they go to. Ask your loved one how you can be praying for them before you hang up the phone. You’ll be surprised how God will respond when you are incorporating Him in your daily interactions with others.
- Pray until you fall asleep! So many times I’ve gone through a mental list of people/things to pray about and woken up the next morning realizing I didn’t get to finish. And that’s okay! I was able to spend my last moments of the day talking to God and that sets me up perfectly for remembering Him first thing in the morning.
These are just a few simple ways we can try to spend a little more time with the Lord amidst our busyness. God wants to spend every single minute of your life with you, but we can’t experience the effects of this unless we let Him. I would love to hear any suggestions others may have on how they choose to make more time for their Maker! If you’ve read this and struggle with how to spend time with God, or even trying to find the desire to, PLEASE reach out to me. So many people miss an opportunity to transform their life in this way, and while I’m striving to get better every day, it would be great to help encourage someone else in this area too.
“Move your heart closer and closer to God, and He will come even closer to you. But make sure you cleanse your life, you sinners, and keep your heart pure and stop doubting.” James 4:8