Are you in a busy season of life? I know I am. With two kids under two, work, and all of life’s events, my days are full and they go by fast.
Our days go by so fast that if we are not intentional, the most important thing we could do – spend time with God – can quickly go down on our list of priorities. One of the common reasons this happens is because our “ideal” way of spending time with God is not very sustainable for our daily lives.
In this post, we will dive deeper into what it truly means to spend time with God and creative ways to cultivate your relationship with Jesus.
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What’s Your Standard For Spending Time With God?
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about spending time with God? Is it sitting at a coffee shop having some uninterrupted time with your Bible, a prayer journal, and colored pencils? Or having half an hour to spend in a solitary place where you can pray and have a bible study? Maybe you picture a very early morning where you have time to read a devotional book, complete some bible journaling, and feel God’s presence before you start the day.
All of these scenarios are good but they cannot be the standard we place for ourselves when it comes to spending time with God. In today’s Christian culture, we picture the perfect Instagram quiet time and think “That’s what I need to do every day so that I can have quality time with God.”
But it’s not sustainable. You try to spend time with God but if you fail to do it in a way that doesn’t measure up to the standard in your head you feel guilty. That in turn makes you not want to pursue God. Then you get into a cycle of trying again and failing. And the busy schedule just doesn’t seem to calm down. Does that sound familiar?
What Does It Really Mean to Spend Time With God?
When you spend time with someone you talk with them, get to know them, and do things with them. How do you do this with God? You talk with Him through prayer (Colossians 4:2), you get to know Him through His word (2 Timothy 3:16-17), and you do things with Him and love Him by obeying Him (John 14:15). It’s really that simple.
No need for an elaborate quiet time, half an hour of worship music, or completely uninterrupted times of prayer. There is nothing wrong with those things but the Word does not require all these things.
It comes down to prayer, bible reading, and obedience.
You can spend time with God daily as a mother of little children who never has a moment alone except when she is in the bathroom (even then you might receive an unexpected visitor!). You can spend time with God regularly as a single mom who has two jobs. You can spend with God as a full-time college student who works and has a countless list of responsibilities.
You can do it. You must do it! It is food for our souls (Matthew 4:4)! Why? Because it is not required to be done at 6 AM or take an uninterrupted hour of your day. It needs to be prioritized and built into your life because it is the most important thing you can do each day.
Here are some creative ways to spend time with God to help you break out of the mold that you have set for yourself and find freedom and hope in your times with God!
What Are Simple Ways To Spend Time with God?
1. Make a habit of praying in the car
Driving is a time in your day that you are focused and forced to sit down and rest (kind of). It can be a time of quiet if you allow it to be. Even if you have kids in the back seat you can make the habit of praying while you drive.
Your driving time can be a time when you bring your prayer requests to the Lord. Pray for your day and the people around you. Keep a prayer list on your dashboard as a reminder to pray when you get into the car. This intentional time with God makes a huge difference and brings Him into the small moments of your life.
2. Pray with your children
Pray with your children when they wake up. Even if they are short prayers, they still are prayers. Sometimes the shortest prayers help ground you the most.
Have a genuine prayer time with your children, even if it lasts 2 minutes. Not only will it be beneficial to you but it will also show them how to spend time with god and pray continually.
3. Follow a Bible reading plan
One of the best things you can do is follow a plan. There are hundreds of plans out there. You choose the one you want! But having something to read each day is key to being consistent.
If you do not have a plan, you may not know what to read, which will then discourage you from reading. You may take so much time figuring out what you are going to read that as you finally begin to read, it’s time to do something else.
Having a scripture reading plan (especially one that covers the entire Bible) also helps you read through all of scripture and not just the parts that make you feel good. That is very important in getting to know God more. We must know the whole Bible so that we know all of Him. If we only read parts of the Bible we will not know God fully.
Knowing God fully helps us develop a deeper relationship with Him.
4. Buy a cheap Bible you can take with you anywhere
Have the word accessible to you everywhere. I know it is on your phone but the phone brings many distractions with it. Buy a cheap Bible that you can throw into the diaper bag, into the trunk of the car, or keep on the kitchen counter. You most likely would not place your nice Bible in those places and therefore not have it accessible in moments you may have a few minutes to read.
Think of it as a replaceable Bible. One you can mark up, highlight, and read while you wait in the car or while you are waiting for dinner to be done in the kitchen. Just pull it out and read it!
When I got a consumable Bible it helped me to open it up and be in the Word more regularly. There’s something about not needing to protect it in a way that you would a $40 Bible. The other night I was reading and my toddler got my highlighter and started to “highlight” my Bible. I let him! It made Him feel part of my Bible reading and I didn’t feel the need to protect my Bible at the cost of my son’s participation in that moment.
5. Listen to the Word with an audio Bible
This has been a favorite for me lately. With two boys under two, the audio Bible has become a best friend. Listen to it while you drive to work, while you exercise, or on your headphones while you put the baby to sleep.
When you hear the Word you are investing in your spiritual growth. Listening to God’s word will help you know God more and memorize scripture.
You can also listen to different audio versions to help you understand the Word more fully. Hearing the Word really helps when you are getting through tougher books like Ezekiel or Revelations. As you faithfully listen to and study the Word you will understand it more fully!
6. Read your children Christian books and stories from the Bible
Involve your kids in your personal relationship with God. Read Bible verses and stories to them or Christian biographies. Plan a weekly devotional as a family. There are many options for devotional books and age-appropriate Christian books that will not only bless you but your children as well.
When you spend time with God alongside your kids, you are teaching them important disciplines of the Christian life and creative ways that they can spend time with God.
Your example of spending time with God will stay with them for the rest of their life. They are seeing all the things you are doing – with them and without them.
7. Listen to worship music
Listening to worship music that is filled with God’s word is another way you can spend time with your heavenly father. Worship music doesn’t just have to be for a church service. A worship song can remind you how great God is and fill you with hope and faith, especially in difficult times.
There may be days that are very difficult with the kids or full of unexpected happenings. In those moments you can turn on some worship music and turn your eyes on Christ. Music is a way that we can worship the Lord and connect with Him.
Here are some of my favorite Christian worship music artists that are filled with scripture truths:
8. Pause and pray when you spend some time in nature
Nature is part of God’s creation. When you slow down and enjoy nature it helps you connect with God more.
Sunrises and sunsets are my favorite times to enjoy nature. I love to spend time with God while I watch the sunrise at the beach. When I am surrounded by nature I feel God’s presence in a strong way.
In those moments I am reminded of who God is and who I am. I remember that He is the creator of the universe and I am not. I see that He is in control of the rising of the sun and its setting – and I am not. I am reminded that He is all-powerful and mighty, and He knows how many fish are in the sea – and I do not.
Spend time with Bod in nature. It’s all around you. Go outside during a lunch break. Go on a walk with your kids while the sun is setting. Take an early morning run. Be purposeful about the times you are outside and remember that God is the creator of all those things.
9. Read Christian books
Reading Christian books can lead you to a closer relationship with God. There are thousands of Christian books on every topic imaginable. Christian books, devotionals, Bible studies, and Christian biographies can increase your love for Jesus Christ and your knowledge of Him.
Christian biographies are a favorite for me. They have inspired me by showing me how God has used other women and men in the world to do mighty things for Him. Christian biographies have increased my faith in God and have helped me to believe in God for bigger things in my own life.
Here are some of my favorite Christian biographies:
Also, you can check out this post on the best devotionals for women that will encourage and challenge you.
10. Listen to Christian podcasts
I don’t know about you but I love podcasts! They are a great resource to learn about so many things. There are many Christian podcasts out there that can help you spend time with God and learn more about the Word.
Some podcasts are teaching women to know and love God more. There are other podcasts on Biblical studies. Some other podcasts are men and women simply talking about the Christian life and truths that they have learned along the way.
When we hear the word and fill our lives with scripture truth we are spending time with God and knowing Him more.
Some of my favorite Christian podcasts are:
11. Place scripture around you
Placing scripture where you do your everyday life is another way to spend time with God and in the Word. When you place a Bible verse in eyesight, it helps you meditate on truth which will in turn help you know God more.
God’s word is essential for our lives. Spending time in the Word doesn’t have to be limited to sitting down and reading straight from the Bible. You can place Bible verses you want to memorize in strategic locations to fill your mind with the word and grow in your spiritual journey.
Some creative ways you can place Scripture around you:
on the dashboard of your car
on your bathroom mirror
on the fridge
by your kitchen sink
next to your computer
on your phone’s home screen
12. End the day reading something
Sometimes the most peaceful time of the day is right before bed when the day has finally come to an end, the kids are asleep and there is actually some peace and quiet. Spending time reading God’s word or a Christian book in the evening can help you end the day with God.
Spending time with God in prayer before going to sleep can help you get a better night’s rest. Praying about what happened that day, thanking God for what He has done, and bringing your concerns and anxieties to Him will help you in your spiritual growth in the long run.
13. Take prayer breaks
The apostle Paul said, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6.
Taking prayer breaks, especially when you are stressed or anxious can help you refocus on God during your day and let the Holy Spirit fill you.
Place an alarm on your phone three times a day to remind you to stop what you are doing and pray. You will be surprised how such a simple practice can help you spend more time with God than you were before.
14. Practice thanksgiving
How much do you give thanks to God besides your mealtime prayers? If we are honest with ourselves we do not give thanks to God nearly as much as we are called to do (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Create a praise journal where you can write all the prayer requests God has answered. Have an ongoing “Thankfulness” list on the fridge where the family can add things they are grateful for whenever they walk by. Go around the table at dinnertime and have everyone say one thing they are thankful for that day.
15. Silence and listening
Sometimes when we stop all the things we think we are supposed to do and just sit in silence for a while is when we can truly hear from God. There is so much noise around us that has become normal but it actually hinders us from stopping and listening to God’s still small voice.
One of my favorite passages in scripture is in 1 Kings 19:11-13. God tells Elijah to go to a mountain before the Lord to receive a word from Him. Then there is a great, strong wind. But the Lord was not there. Afterward, an earthquake shook the mountain, but the Lord was not there. Later, there was a fire! But the Lord was not there. Finally, there was a still small voice.
It was in the quiet and silence that the Lord spoke to Elijah.
Many times we believe the Lord will speak to us in the obvious moments – during a big conference, while reading a book, or during an intense prayer time. And the Lord does speak during those times, but He is not limited to those times.
Often, the Lord meets us right where we are. He meets us in the middle of our chaotic day when everything seems to be going wrong. We just need to stop and listen. And in the most unexpected times, He will speak and we will spend time with Him.
In the end, it comes down to prayer, bible reading, and obedience. If you do these things you will know how to spend time with God.
It’s not about a to-do list but a lifestyle. Always remember, Christ Jesus is not part of your life but He is your life!
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