How to Spend Time with God
We spend time with people we like. The more we like them, the more time we spend together. If we claim people as friends but don’t often see them, then they must not be too important.
The same is true with God. If God is important to us, we’ll spend time with him: not out of guilt but out of longing. Here are some ideas.
Pray: Prayer is talking to God. When we pray, we tell him what’s on our minds. We also listen to what he says. We would never dominate our time with a friend, just talking about ourselves but never listening or always complaining but never being appreciative or always asking for favors but never giving any; those are easy ways to lose a friend. So it is with prayer: don’t do all the talking, rant, or just ask for things. Instead, listen, thank, and give.
Read the Bible: With friends we read their emails, subscribe to their blog, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter. If God is our friend, shouldn’t we likewise be interested in what he has to say?
Think: Taking time to just contemplate is not often done in our fast-paced culture. Yet we do think about friends. And for that someone special, we think about him or her a lot. We call this daydreaming; we can’t help ourselves. As it relates to God, thinking about him is meditating; we contemplate God.
Give: I’m not talking about money. We give friends our time, attention, and focus (and sometimes money, too). So it should be with God. We carve out time to be with our closest friends. So too, God appreciates our time, attention, and focus.
Hanging Out: The Gen-X and Gen-Yers value “just hanging out with friends.” In the same way, we can hang out with God: going for walks, listening to music, watching TV, eating out, taking him to the movies. In fact, God can do whatever we do and go where ever we go.
What does your time with God look like? Does anything need to change?
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.