The Basics of Time Alone with God (Audio version available)

woman in white long sleeve shirt sitting on chair

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8

My anxious mind can cover more ground than a busy bee in the springtime. One moment I’m thinking about this, but before long, I have moved on to that. What’s worse, when I do manage to land on one thing for a sustained period of time, it tends to be a negative thing, the kind of thing that makes my neck muscles tight and my heartrate spike.

I chew on it until, before long, it’s chewing on me.

I don’t have to tell my mind to do this. It just happens naturally. First thing in the morning on most days my mind wants to take off to patrol the landscape for potential threats to stress about.

Obviously, it doesn’t have to go far these days. As soon as I pick up my phone, the stress-inducing newsfeed begins.

This is one of the reasons why I have to get my eyes on Scripture for at least a few moments every day. The earlier, the better. Otherwise, my thoughts and my attitude will get pulled under and swept away by the riptide of circumstances.

Years ago, I committed to taking time every morning to crack open the Word and think about what I’m reading for a moment. Whether it’s just a chapter of Psalms, or say a paragraph in the Gospel of John, I ask God to help me get what I’m supposed to get that day.

I don’t bother reading for speed. I read for understanding. After all, there’s no hurry. As someone once told me, “If you run through a garden, you’re certain to miss the beauty.”

Along the way, I ask simple questions like, What does this mean? and How does it apply to me? Thankfully, there are helpful explanations at the bottom of my study Bible when I need them. Sometimes rather than moving on the next day, I just read the same thing again to see if I missed anything good the day before. 

Then I pray. For the next few minutes, I share with God all that’s on my mind – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Were it not for these 20 minutes or so when I look attentively and prayerfully in God’s direction, the days would go so differently. Like espresso stimulates me out of a drowsy stupor in the morning, so time with God awakens my sleepy spirit and puts me in a better frame of mind. 

Aside from these basics, time with God is completely flexible. Just like you adjust the driver’s seat in your car to fit your legs, so you can adjust your time with God so that it fits you. If it’s not working, make an adjustment. Change things up until you find your groove. 

If you have a suggestion as to what you have found helpful in your time with God, please share it in the comments. We would appreciate the insight.

It’s a new day with God. Run with it.

DOTR-www-color

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