How to Spend Time With God Intentionally
When the busy holiday season is here, it feels like time disappears. With one event or another around every corner, making time for God can be impossible, but remembering what the holiday is really about is essential. Stay close to God through regular prayer and carving out moments of calm in the hustle and bustle of Christmas.
Are you wondering how to keep a strong and meaningful connection with God this December? Keep reading for ten essential tips on how to stay mindful of what’s important this holiday season.
1. Open Your Eyes to Godly Moments
When we open our eyes to the beauty of the world around us, we start to remember God is everywhere. Making time for God means taking Him wherever we go and spending thoughtful moments of appreciation on the little things. God is in everything, from a beautiful rainbow that appears after a sudden rainstorm to the delicious taste of a rosy red apple.
2. Switch Up Your Prayer Format
If reading the Bible isn’t necessarily for you, don’t torture yourself in the name of spending time with God. Download a Christian audiobook to listen to on your daily walk or tune into Biblical meditations on Abide before you sleep. During the busy holiday season, allow yourself to switch up your standard Bible study routine without losing contact with God.
3. Start Your Day With Jesus
Instead of opening Instagram or scrolling through Twitter the moment you wake up, why not start your day with Jesus instead? Enjoy the peace and quiet before the hustle and bustle of the day begins to set your intentions, express gratitude, and pray. Mindful mornings are widely recognized to reduce stress and boost productivity—find space to do it with Jesus.
4. Be Intentional During Prayer
Building a structure for your daily prayers helps you stay grounded and focused on God. Start by giving thanks, be patient, share anything you need help with, pray in God’s own words using scripture, then write the prayer down if you need to. Scheduling an alarm on your phone to remind you to pray at the same time every day will help you get in the zone and be intentional.
5. Prioritize Alone Time With God
When things get busy, it’s easy to fall back on group worship routines like going to church or singing in a choir. While these are wonderful practices that strengthen community bonds, alone time with God is absolutely essential. Your relationship with Him is your own, and if you rely too much on social occasions that distract you from His truth, the distance may grow between you and Jesus.
6. Make Time to Serve the Community
Giving back to the community is a must for Christians, helping them stay close to God and make the world a better place. Volunteer for a local homeless charity, women’s shelter, or hospice to spend time with less fortunate people who need some help. Christmas can become overly centered on materialistic things and thinking about what other people have rather than being grateful. Share random acts of kindness and offer to go grocery shopping for an elderly neighbor or babysit for a parent at your church.
7. Plan Events Well to Prevent Burnout
It’s easy to overschedule ourselves over the holiday period, causing us to become worn thin and exhausted. Planning is everything, so make sure you book a few days of your time in between any vacations or big events. Unfortunately, prayer time and Bible study often slip first when people feel exhausted, so keep yourself in a position to get the most out of your days by getting enough rest. Read this blog for more information on how to spot and treat burnout.
8. Get Rid of Unhelpful Distractions
Don’t try and squeeze a prayer in when you have 101 other things on your mind, or it will be a half-hearted gesture that doesn’t really mean a thing. Making time for God intentionally involves clearing away distractions, letting peace settle in your mind, and then opening the door to let Him in. Of course, there are days when we need Him in a specific moment, but make setting up a meditative environment a standard procedure when you pray.
9. Take Some Time for Nature
Whenever you feel overwhelmed, take yourself on a short walk outside to change your environment and reset your senses. Breathe in fresh forest air while out on a walk, and appreciate the beauty of nature, remembering that God is the creator of all things. Spending peaceful time in nature is one of the best ways to spend time with God, so make it part of your routine.
10. Handwrite Thoughtful Cards
This one might not seem obvious when wondering how to stay close to God, but dedicating time and energy to writing meaningful cards that will put a smile on the faces of friends and acquaintances is a great way to spend your time. Choosing how to spend time with God is a personal choice, and it could look like adding a small prayer to each heartfelt card.
Making time for God throughout the holiday season comes in many different forms. Whether you volunteer your time to help others, wake up with Jesus in the mornings, or start a new Christian audiobook, carving out some essential time for God will strengthen your bond this holiday season.