How to Spend More Time With God in 2018
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2018 is officially here, and many people have made their new year’s resolutions, maybe to lose weight, or save money. But what about spending more time with God?
Do you ever go through seasons where it just feels like you are so far away from God that reading your Bible or even praying feels meaningless? Or do you enjoy you already have regular devotions but want to spend more time with God? Make 2018 a totally different year for your spiritual life.
I’ve been on both sides, feeling lost and alone, and also being so on fire for God you just want to spend more and more time with Him. It can be challenging to spend more time with God though, especially when you’re feeling far away from Him. It can be hard because our prayers might feel like they’re bouncing off the ceiling, or we never have a moment to ourselves, or we feel like we just don’t even know how to pray anymore.
As the seasons of our lives change our relationship with God might change too. Maybe there was a time in your life you felt really close to God but now you’re a new mom and you’re struggling to make it all work in a new routine. You might feel discouraged when you look back at 2017 and think about your spiritual life, rather than feeling disappointed in yourself why not let 2018 be different.
2018 is a brand new year, and you can do things totally differently. Instead of making excuses or trying to do things like everyone else, it’s time to find what works best for you, in your life. I have some tips I’m going to share with you about how to spend more time with God.
Why is it so hard to spend time with God?
If you feel like it’s a challenge to really spend time with God, then know that you are not alone. Many people struggle to reach the level they desire with their spiritual life. Many people make goals for themselves and never meet them – don’t let that be you. But why is it so hard for so many people?
- Feel like there is no time
- It’s not a habit so you forget to do it
- Your spiritual life is so dry that prayer and Bible reading feels boring
- You’re confused by what you’re reading
- You don’t know what to pray about
These are just some of the reasons some people have. I’m going to give you tips to knock these excuses out and make 2018 your best year yet! Spend more time with God in 2018!
These are my tips and I hope they help you too.
#1. Keep a playlist of your favourite worship songs
On your phone or wherever you like to listen to music keep a playlist of your favourite worship songs, preferably ones you can sing with. This is a great way to kick-start your spiritual life if it’s been feeling dry for awhile.
#2. Write down your prayers
Keep a notebook where you write your prayers down word for word. This will help you to focus on what you are actually praying.
#3. Create a cozy Bible reading spot in your home
If you have enough space, make a comfortable spot to read your Bible every day. You could put a comfy chair by a window with a shelf for your Bible and notebook, maybe put some Bible verses or memory sheets on the wall. Anything that will be comfortable for you to sit down and read your Bible.
#4. Keep a little list during your devotions
Do you get really distracted during your devotions and suddenly start thinking of the million tiny little things you need to do? This can be extremely distracting but what you can do is keep a little to-do list nearby so you can just write that thought down and get back to your Bible and prayer.
#5. Pray out loud!
I’m a missionary in Africa and I am no stranger to praying out loud, even on top of many other voices. Usually in North American churches when a group goes off to pray it’s very quiet, but here in Africa it gets LOUD. I have found that bringing this into my personal devotions time is really powerful. I will pray out loud while also walking around the room, singing and reading my Bible out loud. By vocalizing my prayers and also moving it helps me to stay more focused.
#6. Keep a list of prayer requests
Somewhere convenient keep a list of prayer requests that you can refer to during your prayers. Pray for people you know who are sick, need a job, etc. Whenever you hear of a need someone has add it to the list so you will actually remember to pray for them.
#7. Commit to pray specifically for your husband and children
During your prayer time remember to pray specifically for your family. Challenge yourself to be really specific in your prayers and don’t be afraid to talk to God about the things that are really challenging you. If you’re having an issue with your husband you should talk to God about it. If you’re struggling to be a good mom, you should talk to God about it.
#8. Have a special prayer item for the month/year
There is something really special on my heart for 2018 and I have decided that I am going to pray about that specific thing for this specific person every single day of 2018. I know I might miss some days but I am going to try. Choosing something near and dear to you will encourage you to at least pray daily.
#9. Pray using God’s names
By knowing God’s names and using them while you pray you will be able to call on God using a specific name that is applicable to your request. For example, if you are asking God to help your family finances you can use His name “Jehovah-Jireh” which means “The Lord Who Provides.” I have a simple to use memory sheet you can download, grab it below.
#10. Don’t be afraid to use apps
You might prefer to sit down at a desk with your Bible, but in the busy mom life it might at times be easier to just use an app on your phone. Don’t feel bad about this but instead embrace it! Olive Tree has a great free Bible app, and so does You Version. You can also use the IF:Gathering app, She Reads Truth, or Solid Joys to grow closer to God. Having these apps is one thing, but actually using them is important too. You can rearrange the home screen on your phone to make these apps more prominent, while also hiding the more distracting apps.
#11. Start Bible journalling
Bible journaling is getting really popular these days, especially among women. Personally, I haven’t gotten started with it yet but here are some resources to help you get started.
#12. Understand what you’re reading with The Bible Project
This ministry is amazing! They explain every book of the Bible, as well as Biblical themes, with sound doctrine and intriguing illustrations. If you’ve ever had a hard time following what’s really going on in what you are reading you are going to LOVE The Bible Project.
#13. Have short and sweet in the moment prayers
Not all your prayers have to be long and drawn out, some can just be for a moment as a thought comes to your head. If you always struggle to “make time” to pray try to just pray little prayers throughout the day. The Bible says to pray without ceasing, and this may seem like a really difficult goal to reach but if you just focus on a little prayer here and there it will soon feel like you are praying all day, non-stop!
#14. Fellowship with friends
It is important to fellowship with other believers. You should make a point to go to church or Bible study just for this reason. Try to make friends with other Christians. If you don’t have any real-life Christian friends you might be able to make some through Facebook groups. Always be safe with meeting people on the internet of course, but there are a lot of Facebook groups with good, Christian women who support and pray for each other daily. Just search something like “Christian women” and you can also add in your city name or a common interest you might have.
#15. Attend church events
Besides just going to church on Sunday morning there may be other activites at church that could deepen your relationship with God. Maybe a Bible study, or evening service. If your church doesn’t have anything like this maybe a local church does.
#16. Watch Christian videos
There are a lot of inspirational Christian videos out there by very talented individuals. I was really into The Skit Guys at one point in time, I found their videos entertaining and inspiring. This might not directly get you to spend more time with God, but being excited about the Bible can make you more interested in reading it and give you more passion when you do.
#17. Listen to an audio Bible
I really love using an audio Bible! I used to listen to Romans over and over again on my walk to work, and it actually helped me to memorize a lot of verses. I love the ministry Faith Comes By Hearing, they are helping bring God’s word to people all over the world. They have a free app, which can work offline even. I really like the ESV dramatized version.
#18. Go on a nature walk
Go on a nature walk to observe God’s creation and praise Him for it. Pray with God as you walk through the beautiful things He has made. If you have a hard time noticing the beauty in God’s creation try first by taking pictures, it will help you to really notice some of the unique things God has made. You could use your phone, or I like to use my “big camera” which takes awesome pictures.
#19. Use the QuickView Bible
This amazing Bible will bring life and understanding to what you are reading in the Bible.
#20. Prepare Bible lessons for your kids
Instead of using pre-made Bible lessons with your kids, trying planning out some of your own. The time you spend preparing the lesson will give you time to thoroughly read that part of the Bible and will deepen your understanding as you find ways to make it interesting to teach to your kids.
#21. Watch sermons or series online
My husband and I love to watch sermons together, we love that we can find a topic we are interested in and watch a sermon specifically on that. We like watching sermons before bed or listening to them on long car rides. We like listening to the late Dr Myles Munroe, John Piper and other speakers with Desiring God, Bishop Noel Jones and I also like Beth Moore.
#22. Keep it simple
Life might seem like it always gets in the way, you might find most of your days are spent running around the house making sure the kids are fed, dry, warm and happy. That’s why a lot of these tips are meant to fit into those little moments. In the end, the best way to spend more time with God, is to stop pressuring yourself so much and to just do it.
Pray to God. Read your Bible. Worship Him. Fellowship with other believers.
It doesn’t have to be complicated.
You also don’t need to beat yourself up if you haven’t read your Bible for a few days or if your prayers feel dry. Just keep persevering and trying and by December 31, 2018, things can and will feel different from how they feel today. Keep things simple and remember that what works for one person might not work for you.
You can spend more time with God in 2018 if you set your mind to it
Reading these tips won’t actually bring you closer to God, but implementing them in your own life, opening your Bible, and opening your heart. That can change your spiritual life in 2018.
2017 might have felt like a bummer year for you spiritually, and I want you to know that I totally get what that feels like. I’m right here with you, I also want 2018 to be better than 2017.
But I know I can’t make anyone else responsible for my spiritual life but me.
If you want to spend more time with God in 2018 then you need to set your mind to DO IT.
Follow these tips and try to think of what will work for YOU. Maybe you need to set little reminders on your phone to remember to pray, or write verses on your bathroom mirror, anything you need to do just do it.
2018 doesn’t have to be the same.
This can be the year you become a prayer warrior.
This can be the year you read the entire Bible.
This can be the year your spiritual life takes a major change and you never go back!
But if you want those changes then it takes action. Get started, get moving and do what works for you. If you need a quiet place to hide out then make your little sanctuary, if you need something for those short moments throughout the day then download a Bible app, if you need something physical to focus on then maybe start Bible journalling.
Whatever works for you go out and do it.
2018 can be the year you spend more time with God. I know you can do it, and I know I can too.
Let me know in the comments what works best for you to spend time with God.
The Moving Mama
Lizzy Mash is an experienced early childhood educator now living in Africa as a missionary working with children and families.
She teaches Christian moms how to take a more respectful and Christ-like approach to motherhood by using Gentle Parenting strategies.
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