Since returning from a weekend Christian retreat I have been encouraging my son to develop his own prayer and devotional time. I realize as his mother I cannot do it for him. I can invite him to join my time but it would be most effective and have long lasting and more meaning results if he created the time himself. But let’s face it, we are time crunched. We are pressed to fit everything into our busy lives – work, kids, the kid’s activities, taking care of the house, meals and friends. There is very little time left in a day. People are even scheduling time for exercise or scheduling date night with the spouse.
So how do you develop a closer relationship with God? I have some tips. These are not the only way to do it, but for me this has worked. I am still developing and growing. I invite you to share you tips too.
Pick A Time
First you have to be dedicated to schedule regular time. I have to tell you, it took me probably a good year to get into a rhythm for my prayer and devotional time. I discovered that I am not a night owl. I can barely keep my eye open past 10 pm. My midday was just too rushed. Since I’m still among the work stiffs, I am never guaranteed a lunch and finding a quiet place in a busy office building is a challenge.
So I selected early morning. I’m talking EARLY morning. I am usually awake and reading my Bible by 4:30 or 5 a.m. (Which is probably another reason why I’m ready for bed by 10.)
I feel most refreshed at that time of day. The house is still quiet and dark, which for me feel more intimate.
Find Your Spot
You want to find a place that is free of distraction. I personally don’t have a lot of extra room in my house, so I have selected the living room. But I have disciplined myself not to turn on the TV or go to the kitchen. Once I turn the TV on or head to the kitchen to start breakfast or washing dishes from the night before, I become easily distracted.
Decide What to Read
I enjoy reading devotionals. I select just a couple but there are a host of daily devotionals that you can get online. They range from those delivered to your inbox to various apps. For me it’s important to have scripture along with the devotion. It gives a Biblical foundation – backed up by scripture is very important. My daily devotional is followed by my daily Bible reading. A companion to the Bible reading is a Bible commentary. It helps decipher what the Bible is saying. Oftentimes a commentary is written by Bible scholars – people who have had years of study in the original languages the Bible is written.
Time for Mediation and Silence
When I wrap up my devotion and study time, I always devote time to meditation. Meditation is a misunderstood period in the life of a Christian. Because many different religions use meditation, it hasn’t been associated with Christianity as much as it has been with eastern religions. But to meditate means to engage in thought or contemplation or reflection. Think about the scripture you just read – how can the scripture be applied to your life or what can be observed in scripture as a lesson for you.
Finish With Prayer
I always finish with prayer – thanking the Lord for His word, asking Him to help me apply it and of course my prayer requests for family and friends.
If you open your mind and heart to listening and receiving, your relationship with the Lord will develop.
Again, I invite you to share your tips with me.