Recently, my relationship with God has felt more like a checklist item than something living and vibrant. The fault is mine. I haven’t been to church in over a month, partly due to traveling but also due to our family’s struggle to find a church where we feel a sense of belonging. We want to visit new places, but with COVID still out there and our kids vulnerable to infection, it’s hard to find the motivation to venture into a new community of strangers.
I haven’t stopped going through the motions of connecting with God. I’ve maintained a daily devotional reading and a few minutes of quiet meditation, but I seem to forget what I’ve read once I close the book, and my mind wanders all over the place during the silence. This isn’t the quality time with God I yearn for. Obviously, something has to change.
This isn’t the first time I’ve felt my daily quiet time become stale. Through trial and error, I’ve learned a few action steps that help get me back on track:
- Prayer journaling. It requires time, but it helps me focus on the present and open up to God. I tend to share my heart and struggles more freely through writing.
- Praying for others. There are times when I struggle to voice personal concerns, but speaking to God about friends, family, and the world tends to connect me to him. Interceding for others draws me closer to his heart and reminds me of his love for all of his creation, including me.
- Extending my meditation time. I use an app on my phone that lets me choose meditations of one, three, five, or ten minutes. If I choose one or three minutes, usually because I’m in a hurry, then I don’t tend to get much out of it. When I spend five to ten minutes in meditation, it gives me the opportunity to quiet my mind and focus on what I’m doing. Paying attention to which option I’m choosing regularly helps me gauge my connection with God.
These three steps are usually effective at helping me get out of the quiet time rut and back into a growing, living relationship with God. Additional steps that have worked are reading a Christian nonfiction book, reading a Christian fiction book, finding ways to serve others and put my faith in action, reading my favorite Bible passages, making a list of the ways God has been faithful to me in the past, listing the current blessings in my life, and sharing my struggle with another Christian.
Read the rest over at The Glorious Table.