The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to Him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” –Mark 6:30-31
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” –Matthew 11:28-30
Spending time alone with God is not about completing a task or fulfilling some legalistic spiritual requirement. It is about nurturing relationship with your Father and Savior who loves you and wants to share more of His heart and Spirit with you, as His beloved child. It is about abiding in Him and in His love (John 15) so that His life can flow into us, fill us up, and flow through us.
Here are 26 ideas for ways to spend time alone with God:
- Get alone. Remove yourself from as many distractions as possible. Our minds can be distracting enough without the help of outside influences.
- Choose a place, and let that be your’s and God’s special place together. Soon, you will naturally begin to associate that physical place as your’s and God’s “holy ground.”
- Set an appointment and keep it, just like you would with a doctor or teacher. Have an actual time, and when something else comes up, socially or mentally, say, “oh, no I can’t, I have an appointment at 10:30.”
- Make it a habit. Do it everyday, even if it’s not very long and even if you don’t “feel” anything. If it becomes a habit (a part of everyday life for you), it will be easy to keep.
- If you have strong feelings or if you are thinking about something important, don’t try to fight it off. Just share those feelings and thoughts with God. If you’re feeling guilty about any sins, go ahead and confess; get anything that may be between you and God out of the way.
- Write down your prayer requests. Check them off as God answers them. Soon, you will have a written record of God’s working in your life.
- Write down 5 things for which you are thankful. Take the time to really explain to God why each one has meant so much to you.
- Keep a running list of your hurts and needs in life. As you come to a Scripture that shows how God can meet that need, write it down. Soon, you will have your own book of God’s promises.
- Read the Scripture passage in several different versions of the Bible. Each version will offer a different wording, which will aid in your comprehension of the Scripture.
- Personalize Scripture by inserting your name into promises relevant to your life. Read the verse aloud with your name in it, and write the verse out with your name in it.
- Pray in a new way: on your knees, out loud, on your face, standing with your hands raised, etc. New prayer postures like these will improve your attitude and your focus on God.
- Take notes of sermons and Bible study lessons you hear. During your TAWG, review your notes and re-read the Scriptures that were covered in the lesson.
- Memorize a verse that is meaningful to you. Encourage yourself by quoting the verse and remembering God’s faithfulness when He makes a promise. Click here for help with Scripture memory.
- Go for a walk, and pray while you walk. Along your walk, stop at a quiet place to read Scripture.
- If a confessed sin is still haunting you, write it down in pencil; then write 1 John 1:9 over it with a permanent black marker. Then destroy the list – God has! Click here for help with Confession & Repentance.
- Put some praise & worship music on your mp3 player, and spend time with God by worshiping Him. Follow along with the words, and think about the meaning of the lyrics.
- Use the alphabet. Think of 1 thing for which you are thankful, going from A to Z. Or think of one adjective to describe God, going from A to Z.
- Write a letter to God. Include prayer requests, personal attributes you would like Him to help you with, and what you’d like to learn more about.
- Fast from something: a food, a drink, TV, internet, etc. Whenever you have the urge to enjoy the thing from which you are fasting, let it remind you to pray. Click here for more information about Fasting.
- Think about God from a different point-of-view. How would you describe God if you were… a blade of grass? an eagle? a planet? a blind person? your grandmother? Moses?
- Make a list of theological questions you’d like answered. Choose one and begin researching it throughout the Bible. A Bible concordance and a Bible commentary might help.
- Write a song or a poem. It can be about God, or it can be about whatever you are learning from Him.
- Spend time in quietness & stillness, without actively thinking or processing something mentally. It’s awkward and weird, and you may never “hear” anything. But it’s a good practice because we rarely do that in any other area of our lives. Our time with God should be restful, not stressful.
- If something confuses you, or you don’t understand something you read, read it over and over. Pray about it. Ask other Christians about it. Don’t just skim over the parts that you don’t understand.
- When in doubt about what portion of Scripture to read and study, go to the Gospels, because that’s the life of Jesus! You could also meditate on a Psalm or read a chapter of Proverbs.
- Share what you’re learning with another close Christian friend or mentor. This will keep you accountable; plus it’s fun to hear what God is teaching others!