As Christians one of our heart’s desire is to connect with God. But how do we do it when we don’t have a lot of time? Read below simple ways to connect with God.
When I was in college I had a friend who was regularly struggling with this one thing. I asked him one day how he was doing with this particular struggle. He said, “You won’t believe it, I sat down with a friend and he called me out on it. He told me it doesn’t have to be this way. Up to this point, no one had done that for me. Everyone just sympathized and listened.”
So today I want to be that friend who tells you, “It doesn’t have to be this way! You don’t have to go day to day feeling depleted and defeated.”
How long have you been telling yourself this is the year you’re going to draw closer to God, connect with Him through prayer and read His word? Decide this is the day it’s going to change.
You don’t have to eat crumbs from the floor when God is inviting you to the feast at His table. He’s saved a seat for you.
You’re invited to partake in the goodness of God. No seminary degrees or perfection is required. The divine Author and Creator has given us the Holy Spirit to help us connect with Him and understand His scriptures.
I get that doing something new may feel awkward or uncomfortable and you may stumble through it at first but keep practicing. Because here’s the thing the more you do practice doing it the more it becomes a habit. Then it becomes something you do without thinking and your soul longs for it. Your day is not the same without it!
Below I share with you some ideas that I have used in my own life and recently I found an article by Crystal Paine and she talks about how to make yourself write every day. I’m a sucker for acronyms and alliterations so I’m using her “P” points but for connecting with God.
How To Connect With God When you Don’t Have Much Time
First, decide you’re going to make Him a Priority. Just thinking it’s a good idea will get you nowhere. You have to decide and declare– Connecting with God is a priority for me!
Notice I used the word “connect”. Reading the Bible, praying, worshipping Him… are all ways we get to know our Heavenly Father, they are not tasks to check off. Abiding means to “stay” connected in constant connection with Him. If you think of each one of these P’s as ways to abide in Him instead of “ways to read the Bible or pray” you’ll be off to a good start.
Ask yourself the hard questions– Why is this so hard for me? Why am I choosing to eat crumbs from the floor when He’s invited to me to the feast at the table? Invite God into this conversation. Ask Him to search your heart. What is coming between me and God? If it’s sin, confess it and remove it.
And then you Plan for it. When are you going to connect with God? In the morning before everyone gets up, after everyone leaves for school, in the car on the way to work, during my lunch break… Block that time out as an appointment you’re making with someone important and can’t miss. However, you choose to connect with God make sure you’re getting some time in His Word, not just other people’s good word.
Now it’s time to Practice being in His presence! There will always be 100 other things wanting your time and attention but stick to it and keep doing it. The more you do it, the more it becomes a habit. Before you know it, it’s become something you do without thinking. It becomes something you long for.
The Raw Truth
Here’s my confession I was a seminary graduate, Bible teacher, missionary and I struggled to connect with God. I struggled with making the time to get into His word as a good missionary, Bible teacher and Christian mom should be doing because I was busy saving the world.
I do need to clarify I loved God, I spent time praying to Him and discipling my children but I only did what was needed. I lived on what I call “faith-snacks”. I was nurturing my spiritual appetite with bits and pieces of God’s word just enough so I wouldn’t be starving.
My relationship was more like a laser tag game. In a laser tag game, you have a weapon and you run around like crazy until your weapon says it needs energy. So you power-up at the base and then you go back out. But God wants more for us than a “power-up and go” relationship.
In the busyness, the first thing that was gone was my time with God and I was always busy. I worked part-time as a counselor at the school, I led bible-studies, held workshops, parented a preschooler and a toddler and I volunteered in the local hospital with a group of students.
In the day-to-day, I tried to muster up the energy I needed to make it through but that’s not how He wants us to live. It’s not supposed to be that way. I wish I wasn’t so good at faking it because it would’ve been nice for a friend to call me out on it and tell me, “It doesn’t have to be this way.”
Nevertheless, my loving Heavenly Father used other means to help me see my demise. One day I opened my Bible and I just started reading one chapter after another. I couldn’t stop reading it was everything I needed to hear. I needed guidance, l needed to be reprimanded and I needed truth. My heart and soul was full!
I remembered thinking, “How in the world did I forget!”
I had forgotten what it felt like to feast at His table because I had gotten so used to snacking on His word.
In John 15:4-5 Jesus talks about Abiding! He says, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” Doing life in our own strength is exhausting and it leaves us feeling overwhelmed. So I’m going to warn you as you continue reading below you’ll be tempted to take these ideas to heart and do it in your own strength.
Can I ask you to consider inviting Him into the process? Apart from Him, we labor in vain!
25+ Ways to Connect with God
Start with 10 minutes a day if you’re new to connecting with God or are short on time.
Also, take some time to read God’s word not just what other people have to say because God has given us the Bible as a primary way to reveal himself to us.
Notice that some of these things I listed are quick bite-size connections that are more like “spiritual snacks” but we also need to feed our soul with life-giving meals that are the main course.
Enjoy keeping your eyes on Him and taking your eyes off the noise and stress that fills our days.
- Sit in His presence with a verse or Bible passage. Read it and talk to Him about it. Ephesians 1-3 are great passages to break into tidbits and meditate on and talk to God about.
- Ask God to show you how to allow Him into those areas of your life that you haven’t released to Him. Yea, you may trust Him with your house, your job, your car but what about your child, your marriage, your… Read Psalm 28, Psalm 56
- Silence your phone, turn off your screen, and read His word. Try reading a Psalm or Proverb a day. So today on the 23rd you’d read Proverbs 23 and tomorrow read Proverbs 24. There are actually 31 Proverbs so you could read all of them in a month. There are 150 Psalms so you can read one a day for several months.
- Talk to God and pray one of the verses that stood out to you and praise Him for his character or something else that stood out to you.
- Write out Scripture. If you’re reading a Psalm or Proverb a day. Write out a verse that stood out to you and meditate on it. Ask God to open your eyes to see Him through his word.
- Listen to the Bible while driving, washing dishes, exercising or other tasks. I use the Bible App. or I’m sure you can also purchase it on a CD.
- The Bible App also has short bite-size devotionals so you can choose one that interests you. You can even do this with someone else. I’ve done one with friends and with my husband but honestly, those have been harder because if they slack off then I’m no longer motivated so it’s easier for me to start on my own unless I have a committed partner.
- When I’m short on time what I like to do is listen to praise music and then meditate on the words. Then I ask myself, “What is this teaching about God’s character? About who He is?” Sometimes while I’m meditating on it a verse from the Bible will pop into my head so then I go and read it.
- While washing dishes I pray. I have a little window at my sink so I tape a verse to it and read it over and over again. Sometimes I pray it back to God for others.
- I have a friend who shared that when she folds laundry she prays for each child as she folds their clothes. You can do this with any household chore you have planned for that day.
- Find a devotional that gets you reading His word. Devotionals are usually short one or two verses.
- Find a bible reading plan. I’ve seen tons online that have something for each month.
- Join a Bible study that is Bible-centered or do a Bible study book at home.
- Play worship music that connects you to God and then praise Him.
- Go outside in nature and while you sit or walk talk to God about what you see. Invite Him into this time and ask Him to speak to you through His word. Notice how nature needs each other to function. The bee needs the flower, we need the honey and pollination… How do you need to depend on God more? Who are you thankful for that has helped you flourish?
- Sit in His presence and think through your day or week and think about the God moments where you saw Him working in your life, others, the world around you.
- Journal. I have done this off and on since I was a child. Write letters to God in this journal. You can also start a prayer journal where you write your prayers and keep up with how God is moving in them.
- I LOVE using the acronym P. R.A.Y. to guide me in connecting with Him. I call it my Sticky Prayer because it has helped prayer stick–I write more about it here—> Sticky Prayer
- Serve others. One of the beautiful things, when we serve, is knowing the Holy Spirit is working in and through us.
- Every time you stop at a red light pray to God for someone in your family, yourself, community or the world around you.
- Scripture doodling. Read a passage. Then read it again and ask God to help you draw closer to Him. If there’s a word that stands out then write it down. Read the verse again and then write it out. As you write it out doodle anything that comes to your mind.
- Go through a list of the Names and attributes of God. Read about that name, pray it and praise Him for his goodness.
- Pray the Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13
- Color a verse either one you printed out or a verse you’re going to write and color yourself. As you color meditate on the verse and pray it.
- Go outside and listen to all the sounds you hear and be amazed and how different our world would be without them. Thank God for all the little things we take for granted in life.
- Find object lessons throughout your day that point you back to God’s truth. For example, Your printer wouldn’t print because it wasn’t picking up the signal you sent. What’s an object lesson you can learn from that experience. Sometimes I’m like a printer. God is sending me a signal and I just don’t get it because there’s a barrier blocking that connection. Notice I didn’t say read into everything that happens to you as a sign from God but this is more of seeing what you can learn from life that points you back to God’s truth.
- Do an inductive study.
- Listen to a bible-based sermon.
- Use the Easy as 1,2,3 Bible Study Method to help you start digging into God’s word. Find it here–> A Simple Way To Study God’s Word
Let’s pray the words of David for ourselves, “As the deer longs for streams of water,
so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God.”
Remember this is a relationship you’re cultivating not a checklist you’re trying to complete. Use a variety of these to deepen your relationship with your Savior, King and loving Abba. But make sure you are drawing from the Bible as your main source.
I’ll leave you with this verse:
My heart is overwhelmed with gratitude because God pursued me. He has taken me from a season of exhaustion from doing, trying to earn my keep and my love, into a season of returning to my true love and resting in Him.
This verse in Isaiah is powerful “Only in returning to me and resting in me you will be saved.”