One of the most common areas in which Christians (new and old) tend to struggle in their spiritual journey is spending time with God. We ask ourselves questions like:
- Is it really necessary for me to spend time with God everyday?
- What if I can't find the time?
- Even if I could where would I begin?
We get so bogged down with the busyness and challenges of everyday life (work, kids, home, side hustles, and more), only to feel completely exhausted at the end of most days. Then we spend the little spare time we do have on social media, the internet, and television.
If this sounds all too familiar, then it is time for us to talk about the importance of spending time with God, and how it will truly make a difference in your life.
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What Does the Bible Say About Spending Time With God?
James states it plainly:
Come near to God and he will come near to you. (James 4:8 NIV)
God wants us to spend time with him! In fact, the more time we spend with God, the more he will be involved in our lives.
Just like with any other relationships we have (spouse, children, parents, friends), if we don't spend time with them, we won't cultivate those relationships. We won't know who they are, what they like, or don't like. If we don't spend time with God, we won't get to know him, or learn what pleases him, and what doesn't.
Unlike our earthly relationships, God is available to spend time with us 24/7!
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)
That being said, what does time with God actually look like?
What Exactly is Quiet Time With God?
Simply put, quiet time with God typically involves two key things: hearing from God and talking to Him.
The main way we hear from God is through his word. Jesus himself said it best:
Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.' (Matthew 4:4)
The bible is the very word of God. Our spiritual food that we MUST live on. We can't neglect reading our bibles and think that we will truly cultivate our relationship with God.
The main way we talk to God is through prayer; which according to Jesus we should always do:
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. (Luke 18:1)
Too often we excel only in talking to God, but leave out reading his word. Remember, the two go hand in hand.
Back to the example of a human relationship - how do you feel when your spouse or friend does all the talking, and doesn't allow you the chance to get a word in otherwise? It's the same when we only go to God in prayer, but never allow Him the chance to speak back to us through his word.
Which leads to our next question...
Why is Time With God Important?
Why is quiet time with God so important?
Well, more than anything, spending time with God builds your faith.
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. (Romans 10:17)
There is no shortage of challenges, obstacles, and hindrances for us to face on a daily basis. In fact, the number one thing Satan tries to test is our faith in the midst of life's storms. How much time we spend with God directly correlates to how equipped we are to deal with those tests when they come.
The more we saturate ourselves with God's Word, the more our minds are renewed so that we begin to understand and obey God's will for our lives.
- Do not conform to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
- Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. Psalm 119:105
To put the icing on the cake, when we make spending time with God a priority, he promises to take care of all our needs.
So do not worry, saying 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:31-33)
For more on how a Christian's life is affected by spending time alone with God, check out: 10 Amazing Benefits of Reading the Bible Regularly
How to Spend Time With God Daily
Although, there are no specific steps for quiet time with God, there are several methods you can utilize to get more of God into your everyday routine. We all have different schedules, preferences, and learning styles which could determine what works best for you. The good news is that there is something for everyone!
Devotions is time set aside to devote oneself to quiet time with God. Typically, it includes prayer, scripture reading, and reflection on what you read.
- He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10
- Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. Psalm 1:1-2
The length of time given for devotions depends on the individual. However, most devotional books are meant for when you have short periods of time for reflection. Some people even keep pocket devotionals in their purse, car, or their literal pocket, for quick access when they have some free time.
Many people try to have devotions first thing in the morning before they head out for their day. Others will have devotions right before bed. But, devotions are also great for when you're on a break at work, standing in a long line, sitting in a waiting room until called for an appointment, or when you just need a mental break from the craziness of the day.
Don't have a devotional book already? Here are some great Devotional Recommendations for Women.
Similar to devotions, prayer breaks can fit into any part of your day. Remember prayer is simply talking to God, and God wants to hear from us.
- Pray continually. I Thessalonians 5:17
- Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6
The beauty of prayer is that it can be done anytime and anywhere. You can talk to God while you're washing dishes, doing laundry, cooking dinner, working out, taking a shower, driving home from work, or reclining on your couch. Prayer breaks are awesome because you don't have to actually stop and take a break from what you are currently doing. You simply incorporate it into what you're doing.
Now, there will be times where it is completely necessary to literally step away from the environment you are in to find a quiet place where you can be alone to talk to God. Sometimes you will need to cry, laugh, praise, or have a longer talk with God that requires you to find a solitary place. Even Jesus did this.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35)
Need more resources or don't know what to say to God when you pray? Be sure to check out:
- How to Pray When You Have No Clue Where to Start
- What is a Prayer Journal (and How do I Use it?)
- How to Create a Prayer Garden in Your Backyard
When time permits and you want to do a deeper dive into the word of God, bible study is an awesome way to spend time with God.
Some Christians assume bible study is just for those who are pastors, ministers, or Sunday school teachers. However, when we look at scriptures about time with God, it is evident that bible study is for the person teaching/preaching the word of God, as well as, for the people being taught.
- For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel. Ezra 7:10
- Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
- Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11
Bible study can be done individually or in a group (i.e. Sunday school or a women's bible study meeting). You can do general research, or study a specific book of the bible, a character, a time period, a specific topic, or a certain passage of scripture. The list is endless, and it can actually be a fun process. Honestly, as Christians we should want to learn what the bible has to say on any given subject.
Tools to help get you started:
- List of great Bible Study Resources
- Online Course: Learning the Bible 101: Benefits, Methods, and Hindrances
Quiet Time Journaling
Bible journaling is a fun and creative way to spend time God. It is an artistic, note-taking, study and reflection method that helps bring key points from scripture to life. It helps people learn and memorize scripture, as they associate verses with artwork they have journaled for them. It's a great way to reflect on the goodness of God and what He's teaching you.
I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. (Psalm 143:5)
There are many different ways to do it.
There are bibles specifically made for art journaling, that typically have extra wide margins and thicker paper. Some choose to journal in their regular everyday bible. While others do their journaling in a separate notebook. You can journal over an entire page or just in the margins. People use colored pencils, markers, stamps, stickers, and even paint.
If you have a creative nature, and want to change up how you spend your time with God a bit, then quiet time journaling may be what you're looking for.
Check out Bible Journaling for Beginners to help you get started.
Praise & Worship
Another way to spend time with God, is to simply take some time to worship, and give him praise and adoration for who He is, and what He has done.
- I will sing the Lord's praise, for he has been good to me. Psalm 13:6
- Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. Psalm 29:2
- Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. Psalm 95:6
- Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Psalm 150:6
Whether you simply start naming all the things you are grateful for, his attributes (Lord, Savior, Protector, Provider, Healer, Way-Maker, Creator, etc.), or praise him for his unfailing love - God wants our worship and he wants our praise.
Praise and worship can be exhibited via our words (prayer), singing, dancing, other physical gestures (uplifted hands, bowing in his presence), and simple acts of obedience.
Listening to Christian/Gospel music is also a great way to shift our focus and mindset towards the things of God. Often because God's Word is utilized in the lyrics, it is also a great way to hear from God.
Ideas for great Christian/Gospel music:
- Best High Energy Christian Workout Music
- Check out my Pinterest Board for a vast list of Christian and Gospel Artists
Another great quiet time with God idea is taking a meditation walk. Sometimes it is good to put aside all our prayer requests for a few minutes and just take some time to meditate on God, who he is, and what he wants.
A great way to do this is to take a walk. It doesn't have to be a long walk. I personally utilize my 15-minute breaks at work to do so.
Have you ever taken a walk, blocked out everything in your head, and just took in all of nature around you? The sun, the clouds, the birds, the bugs, the wind, the trees, the falling leaves.
The bible says:
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. (Psalms 19:1)
If and when we pause long enough, we can actually see the glory of God all around us. Doing so can really humble us. It shifts our focus, even if just for a few moments, from the circumstances of life. It helps to remind us that God is our creator, that he is sovereign over all things, and that he is in control.
I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds. (Psalms 77:12)
Audio Options (Listening to the Bible)
Depending on your schedule, sometimes it is easier, or more convenient to listen to the bible. Thank God for modern technology that makes this option possible!
I remember at one of my old jobs, that we were allowed to listen to music while we worked, as long as we had headphones. It was great, because I was able to listen to audio versions of the bible, Christian podcasts, and even recorded sermons while I worked.
If you are more of an audio learner, and have certain times in your day where you can easily pop in your earbuds for some scriptural teaching and encouragement, then these audio options would be great for you. You can even listen to a devotional podcast during your commute to and from work.
Where can you find some good audio options? I'm glad you asked:
- Get the YouVersion Bible App or Daily Audio Bible App which allows you to listen to scripture
- Take a look at the 10 Best Christian Podcasts for Women in 2021
Last, but certainly not the least, another great way to get more time with God in your day is to read faith-based books. If you're an avid reader, then there is no shortage of faith-based books at your disposal.
Amazon is my go to for great books, because they have everything. Unless you have specific authors that you follow or are interested in, just search for specific topics you are looking to get more insight on.
Here are a few of my top picks:
More Bible Verses About Spending Time With God
What I personally love most about spending time with God, is the fact that the more you do it, the more you begin to look forward to it each day.
What used to be something that I had to literally pencil in on a post-it note, or set an alert for on my phone, is now something that just comes naturally everyday. Regardless of what is on my schedule for the day (whether it's nonstop busy from the second I wake up to the time I lay down at night, or if it's Netflix binge Saturday), not only do I easily incorporate time with God into my day, but I do it without having to necessarily plan for it or think about it.
The more time YOU spend with God, the more it will become a daily habit as well. In fact, you will begin to cultivate your relationship with God in so many ways. You will absolutely find yourself falling in love with God's word.
Look at these beautiful bible verses from Psalm 119, about how the writer feels about spending time with God:
- For I delight in your commands because I love them. Psalm 119:47
- The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. Psalm 119:72
- Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Psalm 119:97
- How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119:103
- My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises. Psalm 119:148
It doesn't get any better than that!
Sometimes the only tweak you need to make your life better, is more time with God.
Pray For a Desire to Spend Time With God
It is important that we don't view spending time with God as just an obligation, chore, or something to add to our to-do-list. Rather, we should see it as time to get to know our heavenly Father, to learn how to serve and obey him, and to cultivate our relationship with him so that we can enjoy the associated blessings.
There are far too many options to get more God time in your day, for us to continue using the excuse of not having enough time to do it. It is up to us to make God a priority in our lives. Start today by first praying for a desire to spend time with God.
Even the Apostle Paul, at the height of his ministry still possessed the desire to know God more:
I want to know Christ - yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. (Philippians 3:10)
But, if you aren't at that point yet, then you can pray like the psalmist did in the verse below:
Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word. (Psalm 119:36-37)
All it takes is a desire to spend time with God, and a willingness to incorporate him into your daily life. Once you begin to take those first steps, watch out! Because I promise, God will begin to do so much more in your life. Trust me, you ain't seen nothing yet!
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