Time alone with God 101

Time alone with God 101

For years I thought that I was doing my “quiet time” with God all wrong. And by “quiet time” I simply mean spending time with the Lord. Growing up I had always been taught about the importance of having my devotional/quiet time but was never told how to do just that. I remember spending so much time googling, researching, reading about, and talking to people I admired about how they spent their time with God. I spent so much of my time researching how to be with God that I forgot the main point- just simply be with God!

I tried to formulate what I thought God wanted from me and it went something like this- 15 minutes of prayer, 20 minutes of bible reading, 10 minutes to journal, rinse and repeat. God is not looking for a formula or a checklist of what needs to get done in His presence, He is simply looking for you. You are His delight, and He paid everything in order to be close to you.

God simply desires to be close to you, to hear from you, to then pour Himself onto you and deepen your relationship.

Spending time with God daily is a necessity in building your relationship with Him, to draw closer, to lean on Him more, to hear from the Spirit clearly, to sit with Him, to grow in gratitude and in total dependence. It took me a bit of time to find the rhythm that worked for me, my life, my work schedule, etc…But here are some things that I found helpful for me, and I hope they do for you as well.

1. Do what works best for you.

Everyone’s season of life looks different, which means that your time with God will look different than mine. I am a single woman who has the luxury of living alone (everyone says amen) with no little humans to wake up with in the middle of the night. My time
with God will look different than someone who is walking that exact season out. Or, maybe you are retired and have more time on your hands than I do with my current work schedule. All that to say, do what works for you in this current season. If you want to start
your day in the Word- go for it! But if you have more time at night, that is more than okay! Do what works best for you.

2. Spending time with God doesn’t have to be boring.

Yes, let’s be honest, sometimes it can feel extremely boring and tiresome. I can get in the habit of having the exact same routine every day in my time with the Lord and that can feel boring. What I have come to learn is that it doesn’t have to be if we allow ourselves
the space to try something new! I love to pray and being in prayer is the most important thing for me in my time with God, but I found myself getting so distracted and bored, I was itching to try something new- so, I purchased a book called: “Breath as Prayer: Calm Your Anxiety, Focus Your Mind, and Renew Your Soul.” By Jennifer Tucker. This book is full of prayers straight from scripture that we can inhale and exhale. The beautiful thing about an inhale and exhale prayer is all day long we are constantly breathing- inhaling and exhaling. With the practice of breath prayers this means we can constantly be breathing in the Word of God.

Let’s try one together:
On the INHALE say: I give you all my burdens.
On the EXHALE say: And you will give me rest.

This breath prayer comes from Matthew 11:28: “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (NLT) Try doing this a few times during your time with God, and even throughout the day!

3. Use study tools to help guide you.

There are so many incredible free resources that can help expand your knowledge of the Word of God and incorporating them in your devotional time can be beneficial. The Bible Project has incredible bible scholars who can break down scripture and books of the bible with its full context in a way that is simple to understand. Practising the Way by John Mark Comer has incredible resources, studies, podcasts and books on how to take spiritual discipline and formation deeper with practical, hands-on exercises to help you in your time with the Lord. There are many podcasts to help guide you, break down scripture and biblical themes to aid you in better understanding the Bible.

Here are a few:
1. Reading Through The ESV Bible with Jackie Hill Perry
2. Back Porch Theology with Lisa Harper
3. Praying Like Monks, Living Like Fools Podcast with Tyler Staton
4. She Reads Truth Podcast
All of these will be linked down below for you.

4. Journal.

I know, I know, sometimes journaling can feel daunting. What do I write down? Do I need to write pages and pages? What if someone reads this? Journaling has been life-giving to my time with God because it helps me process what I am reading, what I feel God is speaking to me, or simply what I am praying for. It can feel overwhelming so start small, use these prompts to guide you:
1. How does what I am reading in the Bible make me feel? What emotions does it illicit?
2. What am I learning about the character of God in my current season of life?
3. Did I miss how God was moving or speaking to me today? How can I be more aware?
4. Write down a scripture that brings you peace.
5. Write down a time where God has come through for you. What did you learn?
Always be honest in your journaling. God already knows the deepest parts of your heart so there is no need to perform or come to Him with your words wrapped in a pretty bow. Be honest and start writing.

5. Be consistent.

Whether it is 5 minutes, 25 minutes, or 75 minutes- be consistent in the time you are spending with God. It is valuable and the more consistent you are, you form the habit and pattern of being in His presence and my friend we so desperately need that!

Consistency is what will push your forward in your time with God. You will begin to crave it every single day! It is the most beautiful thing that Jesus tore the veil so we can be close to Him, and often times we forget that all Jesus paid it all to draw us nearer to Him.

This week I want to encourage you to start where you are at, to lean into Him, to be honest, to pray, to be in the Word and maybe try something new in your time with Him. He is waiting to sit with you and commune with you, all you need to do is knock on the door- he answers every single time.

Book Recommendations:
“Breath as Prayer: Calm Your Anxiety, Focus Your Mind, and Renew Your Soul.” By Jennifer Tucker.
Study Tools Recommendations:
The Bible Project: https://bibleproject.com
Practicing The Way: https://www.practicingtheway.org
Podcast Recommendations:
Reading Through The ESV Bible with Jackie Hill Perry
Back Porch Theology with Lisa Harper
Praying Like Monks, Living Like Fools Podcast with Tyler Staton
She Reads Truth
Rule of Life

Sarah Colantonio

Sarah has a passion for children (her mini bff’s) to see them know and experience God in tangible ways and to encourage them to walk out the purposes God has placed on their lives! Sarah has her studies in ECE, and also studied at the Impact School of Missions in Thailand. Sarah has been working in children’s & family ministry for 10 years. She’s a lover of Jesus, all things matcha, reading, laughing with friends, making people feel loved and confetti poppers!