“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”
Life is made up of seasons. Some are crazy and busy, some are quiet and still. There are seasons of sowing and preparing, there are those of waiting, of pressing in and trusting, there are those of reaping and celebrating. In each of these, the Lord is still calling our name, softly and firmly beckoning us to connection and relationship with him. Our hearts were made for this, and they won’t ever be fulfilled or satisfied until they give up the wandering and finally make their home in Him.
Our hearts were made for this, and they won’t ever be fulfilled or satisfied until they give up the wandering and finally make their home in Him
Do you find it hard to spend time with God? If you are honest with yourself, you’ll have to admit that despite your best efforts or good intentions, it is sometimes challenging to sit down and connect with Him. It has nothing to do with His nearness or desire to show up for us, but the truth is there are a lot of things that can get in the way of this connection. Today, we want to address one of the most common and simple ones: we simply don’t think we know how.
First of all, take the pressure off. There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong way to do this. There are preferences, ways to connect with Him that will be very personal to you and some that may be stretching for you. But remember, it really is all about being with Jesus and growing in your relationship with Him. To help give you a better idea of what this can look like we asked our staff what their times with God are like, and, we’re attaching a pdf version of a devotional series highlighted on our instagram called, “14 Days,” so you can get a jump start on spending time with God in a fresh way! Here’s what some of our staff do:
“I connect with the Lord by being creative. That typically includes watercoloring or something artistic. I feel like it allows Him to speak in beauty.”-Rachel
“My all time favorite is to go on a run or hike with the Lord. It helps me clear my head of any distractions and just focus on Him and have an open dialogue.” -Daniel
“I take some time to pray when I’m in the shower then a more focused time during my kids nap time. Usually getting out what’s in my head, expressing where I’m at emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Also asking the Lord what’s on His heart or what He wants to show me. Occasionally, I can go for a walk which I love to switch it up (but not when the kids are sleeping, I promise I don’t leave them at home alone!). ” -Steph
“Sometimes it looks like finding a cozy corner with a blanket and coffee and journaling. Other times it’s going on a walk or jog with worship music.” -Jamie
“There are times where I feel like the Lord wants me to just go out and garden or take a walk with Him, and those times are very sweet. I try not to put my time with the Lord in a box.” -Marissa
“Most of the time I connect with the Lord by journaling, but I love to go on walks with Him too. Journaling helps me process life a lot, but can often result in just me talking to Him, whereas when I walk with Him I feel more free to just have regular conversation, and thus be able to hear more clearly from Him.” -Hunter
“Most of the time I come ready with my Bible, a journal, ear buds, and sometimes a book I’m reading to grow in my relationship with the Lord. I come ready for whatever the Lord wants to do in that time and sometimes he’ll nudge me to go and do something like go on a walk with Him and leave behind everything I’ve brought.” -Anna
“Nature and journaling. I can always count on the Lord to speak to me when I’m in the “stillness” of His creation. It’s a place the loudness of “this world” is boxed and I’m almost instantly transported into the peace of His presence.” -Heather
“For me, really connecting with God means verbally talking to Him. Although He knows it all there’s a difference in me when I am silently praying and verbally praying. Verbalizing it allows not just the words to come out but also the emotions and feelings. It also helps because I’m a verbal processor and the Lord can help me use my words to identify what is really going on.” -Jarrett
” I’ve gone on walks, gone surfing, played guitar, and gone on drives. God has also spoken to me through movies. I’ll often ask God what we should do. Sometimes He’ll tell me and sometimes He’ll say I can choose. Since it’s a relationship there are things we do a lot but it’s also good to change things up.” -Audrey
“I love spending time with the Lord late at night when we are the only ones awake. I’ve had some of my best times with the Lord under the stars!” -Hannah Joy
“I have found that if I write out my prayers to the Lord I am more focused and don’t get distracted as easily. Sometimes I will read a passage of scripture and look closely at the “actions words” or verbs: what action is God asking of me? And what is the Lord’s actions toward me? Sometimes I read a portion of scripture and then do research to understand it more. Often times I go on a run directly after my quiet time and often He continues to speak to me. ” -Carmelita
“I make sure to first make a good cup of coffee no matter what time of day it is (usually with an aeropress if i’m not awake enough to make a pour-over). I sit down at my favorite spot on the couch with my journaling Bible and MacBook. I like to spend a few weeks at a time studying a certain book of the Bible and after I read, I open up a file on my computer titled, “Journal”, and start typing. Sometimes I write about the section of scripture I just read, but mostly I’ll just type out a conversation between myself and God. There’s no limit to this conversation. I’ll literally type out whatever is on my mind and listen to see if God has a response. ” -Jose
“I like to sit down alone and read scripture and journal about what the Lord is speaking to me through those words. Then I’ll usually go for a walk and pray out loud, just worshipping the Lord, declaring his faithfulness and his ownership over every part of my life. Often He speaks to me at the same time I am praying to Him.” -Andy
“Usually when I go to have my personal time with the Lord I lay out everything. The things that feel hard and the things that I don’t understand and the things that are amazing & that I am so thankful for. Then I sit, I listen. Sometimes after that I process one of those things deeper, sometimes I go on a walk, sometimes I read the word to gain perspective and understanding. Then I ask, how do I apply this to walk about in the transformative truth? I don’t want to leave a time with Jesus the same, I wanna leave changed every time. ” -Madison
“It literally depends on the day/season/time etc. but my favorite and most productive times with the Lord these days have been when I put my phone on do not disturb and go outside. I like sitting on the front porch, early enough so I don’t feel rushed or like I have anywhere I need to be. It’s refreshing to see life happen as I hear the birds, see the trees move, and watch cars pass by periodically, as well as the occasional morning runner or biker! I also don’t go into my quiet time with an agenda, rather, even if I have an agenda, I choose to set it aside and sit still for a minute, be where I’m at, and ask the Lord what He wants to do/show me. Sometimes He says to go to the thing I was thinking, or that were going to look at an answer to a question I have, but sometimes what He says is completely different and always better!” -Marny
“My favorite times with the Lord are when I’m alone and nobody can hear me. So I can worship him as loud as I want, cry as loud as I want, and just be on my face before the Lord.”-Isaac
“I enjoy doing art while listening to an audio Bible. Another thing is I play guitar and process my day/season/what I’m learning about God.” -Tiara
“I connect with the Lord a lot through books and poetry! I think these really help me in having focused things to process with the Lord. A lot of the time poetry brings up a memory or feeling, and as someone who can easily run from my feelings, it helps me in being honest with myself and the Lord about how I feel. .” -Gabi
“God has been reminding me lately that I can connect with Him by doing things He’s created me with a passion for (music, creativity, adventuring, etc.) or by appreciating things He has a passion for (nature, encouraging others, praying, worshipping Him, etc.) and also by pursuing relationship with Him! ” -Hannah D.
“I like to connect with Him through music– whether singing or just listening to it. Sometimes I need to focus on songs that reveal His character and nature, other times I choose music that reminds me of who I am in Him and who He has been to me.” -Karen
“One of the ways I connect best with the Lord is through speaking out loud. It really helps remind me that he’s a person and not distant. Often times I do this by taking walks with Him.” -Gabe
“Silence and music are a huge part of how I connect with God. Even though they are opposite, it feels like if I’m in silence and engaged, we connect. Or if I’m playing a song and engaged, we connect. If I’m in silence but not really quiet in my heart, usually its harder.” -Tati
“My ideal time is to go into a closet or my car, anywhere that is quiet and won’t disturb others. I love to have time to be honest with God about how I am doing, because I know He appreciates that. He always talks so I like to be quiet and listen as well. I also usually have times of surrender to the Lord and I show this by getting on my hands and knees and bowing before him.” -Kevin
There’s no box to fit in your time with Jesus, no set of rules and structures, no expectations. Just show up, today, and let the reality of who God is blow you away. It will change you.
If you’re wondering where to go from here, a great resource for kick-starting your own time with the Lord is by following this devotional we’ve attached below!