Do you feel like you have no time for God in your life?
No matter our status, life just always seems to be busy. We are so good at filling up every possible moment. Avoiding boredom seems to be an innately human urge. Sometimes it almost feels like we are running away from something or afraid. Anyhow, that is another topic for another time. The point is, our lives are full – the question is, are they full of the right things?
There is a famous analogy of a jar that represents our life. First the jar is filled with large rocks, then pebbles, then sand, then water/beer/coffee. The jar is meant to represent our time and how we fill it. The key is the order in which we fill up the jar. If we don’t put the larger stones in first, there would be no room for them once the other items fill up the jar.
The question we want to ask here is, “What size rock is your relationship with Christ in your life?” I presume, since you’re reading this, that you’d like Him to be a big one…
So, how do we make this relationship take precedence over all the other tiny pebbles that seem so pressing?
17 tips to make more time for God in your life
- Have realistic expectations – Stop expecting “being with God” to always feel like this picture: Unrealistic expectations can make us feel like we are failing, even if that is not the case, and make us want to give up on our efforts.
- Don’t over-complicate it – Remember, God gave you the busy-ness, the responsibilities, the children, the necessities… Accomplishing those things can be done with Him and do not have to distract you from Him.
- Incorporate Him into your life – “Good morning!”, “Lord, these dishes never seem to END!”, “God help me with this child!”, “Did you see that?!”, “What should I make for lunch?”, “Thank you for this moment of silence!”, “OH MY GOD, HELP!!!”, “Thank you for getting me through another day!”, “Good night, Lord! (Finally!) Help me get some rest.”
- Designate a spot in your house – just one spot – that is sacred for you and Him. A simple corner, or chair or closet or desk where there are no messes and where you can go to feel peace. Decorate it or leave it simple to your heart’s content. Keep prayer journal, bible and/or cross here… anything that helps you pray.
- Start a Prayer Journal – Prayer Journals can help you write down your conversations with God. They help you “vent” so that you can let go of what is filling your mind. They help you to focus and prevent unnecessary distractions. They also slow your thoughts so as to give God a chance to “get a word in edgewise”. They can also help you “pick up where you left off”, if you do get interrupted. Don’t try to get too fancy about it (or you might fall into #2) – remember, no one but you has to read your journal, so language, punctuation, spelling and handwriting are essentially unimportant.
- Seek silence: Step away from what distracts you for just a few minutes. No TV, no Cell Phone, no kids, no spouse/significant other, no boss… just you and Him. 5 minutes. (Ok, maybe 10)
- Wake up earlier – maybe you are a morning person and this is good for you. Maybe an extra 10 minutes in the morning can help you center yourself for a productive day. This can mean, with a cup of coffee out on your porch swing or simply hiding in bed so everyone else thinks you are still asleep.
- Stay up later – Maybe you are not a morning person (like me) and you feel more peaceful once everyone else has finally gone to sleep. Take a simple 10 minutes to be grateful for your day and to ask for direction if anything particularly difficult is looming on the horizon (like waking up). (5-10 min)
- Make little escapes – Leave sometime in the middle of the day. Maybe ask your husband/wife/coworker to take over for a few minutes or put on a movie for the kids (or send them outside). Go to your special place where you feel close to Him and breathe, pray. (2-10min)
- Walk – Find God in Nature. Let your mind wander to the beauty that surrounds you. Take in the flowers, the sun, the colors, the breeze, the smell of the air, especially after a rain. Yep, its all for you. You’re welcome.
- Use headphones – listen to sermons, meditations, readings of scripture, prayers. Listening to others pray helps us to pray. It deepens our prayer life by helping us learn more about God and our Faith. It also drowns out the noise. It helps us to Focus on God even while we are multitasking by making Him the sole focus of our hearing. This is particularly useful while doing mindless tasks such as yard work, dishes, laundry, cleaning, cooking, and even driving.
- Use Music – There are growing numbers of Christian Radio stations all over the US now as well as websites (like Pandora, Spotify, Youtube and others) that make Christian radio accessible from ANYWHERE. If you have never listened to Christian radio before, there are songs to meet the tastes of lovers of any genre, but with uplifting messages. Praying with music adds a new and incredibly powerful dimension to prayer that can be life changing. Replace the secular music you listen to with this and see what happens!
- Use Apps – Face it, if you have a smart phone, it consumes you. Find apps that encourage you to use your time better. Set alarms for your prayer times. Turn off noisy and distracting notifications. Download Scripture reading apps, Meditation Apps, Apps for examination of conscience. Study Apps… Oh, and apps to shut you out of your phone sometimes.
- If you are at a loss, a good place to start is the “One Minute Pause” App by John Eldredge
- Recognize opportunities – when first learning to incorporate God into your busy-ness, it can be important to remember that God doesn’t require exclusive time, all the time. You can talk to Him while stuck in traffic or waiting in a doctor’s office.
- Set up reminders – You can use simple things that happen often to remind you to pray, ie. every time your kid asks for food/water or every time you are at a stop light. You can also use alarms on your phone to remind you to pray periodically during your day.
- Question whether we are truly too busy for God – Maybe it is necessary to cut back in some areas in order to genuinely prioritize the relationship.
- Plan a date – Just as any important relationship cannot be nurtured by always “multitasking it”, our relationship with God requires us to set aside one-on-one time on a regular basis, outside “Church”, where He is the sole focus of our energy. One-three hours per week is a good minimum to shoot for. As your relationship grows and deepens you will learn how much time you need/want and how often.
Now that you have some tips on what you could do to make God more a part if your busy life it is up to you to make it happen!
Comment Below – Are there other ways you make time for God in your life? Share your tips!
Are you too busy for God?
Free 3 day video email series with workbook!
How bad is busyness anyway?
Hang out with Martha and Mary for a couple days and double check your priorities. Plus, make a practical plan to find balance between service and rest befitting your season!