The Christian life is to be centered in a dynamic relationship with God, our heavenly Father. The time we spend with him is crucial to our spiritual health and well-being. There are various ways we can spend time with God to experience his intimate presence.
Quiet Time with God
A focused daily quiet time is a special uninterrupted and private time with God. Like Jesus modeled, it is important to daily focus our attention on our heavenly Father and to spend alone time with him.
Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.(Mark 1:35, NLT)
This is a time for worship, devotional Bible reading, sharing our heart with God in prayer, receiving whatever insights he has for us, and just being focused on him.
Tips about how to have a more meaningful quiet time with God.
Activity Time with God
God is involved in activities with us throughout our day. He wants us to be consciously aware of his presence wherever we are and in whatever we are doing.
Jesus lived his life with a continual dependence on his heavenly Father.
I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.(John 5:30, ESV)
We can become more aware of God’s presence by speaking with him throughout the day, asking for direction, and watching for signs of his involvement.
Tips about how to practice the presence of God throughout your day.
Family Time with God
As believers, we are also members of God’s family — the Body of Christ. Because the Holy Spirit lives within every believer, we can actually develop a deeper relationship with God as we spend time with other believers.
Jesus said, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”(Matthew 18:20, NIV)
When we are together with others in God’s family, we can worship together, encourage one another, discover new insights, and enjoy the intimate fellowship of being in Christ.
Tips about how to enjoy family time with God.
Retreat Time with God
Periodically, we need special getaways for more concentrated alone time with God. Our daily schedules are usually full and sometimes hectic. So occasionally we need a larger block of time to worship him, seek guidance, and/or work through significant challenges.
One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night. At daybreak he called together all of his disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles.(Luke 6:12, 13, NLT)
Like Jesus, we need retreat time with God to worship, seek his will, discern his plan, and pray for others.
Tips about how to have a special retreat with God.
Journey Time with God
There are seasons in life when we find ourselves on a journey focused on a specific destination. Some journeys are about accomplishing a challenging goal. Other journeys are about overcoming trials and may involve suffering. These can be special times with God if we realize that he is traveling with us and seek his involvement.
Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he went, always pressing on toward Jerusalem.(Luke 13:22, NLT)
Whether the journey lasts days, months, or years, we need to embrace the adventure with God so we will experience the joys and hardships together. As a result, our relationship with God will become closer and more intimate.
Tips about how to benefit the most from your journeys with God.
Sleep Time with God
Even while we sleep, God is still with us. When we are asleep, we are not aware of our circumstances and have ceased our striving. While we rest, God watches over us and continues to work on our behalf.
Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”(Mark 4:38, NLT)
God wants us to rest in him physically, emotionally, and spiritually as we sleep. We can only do that to the extent we entrust our cares to him and realize he is more than able to handle our concerns as we rest in him.