I love my checklists. I make a neat little box next to each item I need to do that day, and I feel a surge of accomplishment each time I check off a box.
For a long time, that’s how my quiet time with God felt—like something to check off my to-do list.
Now, don’t get me wrong: Spending time with God even when we don’t feel like it is SO important. We will all have days when we don’t feel like it and we will all go through dry seasons on our faith journey. Spending time loving Jesus even during dry seasons and boring days is a sure way to make our roots go deeper.
But sometimes we go through long seasons when our quiet time just feels boring and lifeless. And I think God allows that because it pushes us to seek Him more, to find new ways to connect with Him, new ways of prayer and Bible study, new ways of coming closer to Him.
So if you’re looking for new ways to connect with God, why not try these seven ideas?
1. Paint your prayer. Instead of simply praying or writing out your prayer, why not turn it into art? Put on some worship music in the background, pull out your paints (or colored pencils) and begin to create a picture of what your prayer looks like. You could draw pictures of specific prayer requests or an abstract piece of what this prayer feels like. You may even want to add a date and short caption at the bottom to remember it by.
2. Sit in silence. It’s hard to get quiet nowadays. There’s always music going, text messages to read or thoughts swirling through our brains. But sometimes we hear God best in silence. So turn off, unplug and take some time in silence before God. You could choose a verse of scripture to focus your mind on during that time. You may even want to set a timer and start with just one minute of silence each day. Even a minute can feel like forever at first, but as you get used to practicing this discipline, you’ll find it doesn’t seem like nearly long enough!
3. Rewrite your favorite worship song. Take one of your favorite worship songs and put your own words to the melody. Spend some time with this. What do you really want to say to God? You could even use scripture verses or the Psalms to come up with lyrics. Then sing your own version of this song to God, with lyrics from your heart.
4. Take your quiet time outdoors. If you always have your quiet time in the same place every day, now might be a good time to mix things up. Instead of sitting at the breakfast table, take it to a picnic blanket in the park or a walk along a bike path. There’s something about nature that can stir our hearts to worship. On the other hand, if you prefer the indoors, just move to a different room than where you normally sit. Sometimes switching up the scenery can give our hearts a fresh start.
5. Rewrite a psalm. There’s something so powerful about praying God’s Word out loud. Here’s a twist on that. Choose a psalm that really speaks to you that day and look at what the psalmist is saying. What message is he sharing with God? Is it one of hope or despair, a request for help or a song of thanks? Look at the way the psalm is written, and then take that basic idea and put your own words to it. If the psalm is asking for help, then add in your own requests along with the psalmist’s words. If it’s a song of praise, be specific in what you thank God for. Write out your version of the psalm in your prayer journal. This is one way to get His word even deeper inside you!
6. Listen to your Bible. Instead of reading your Bible, why not try listening to it? Changing the way we get God’s Word into us can help us hear and understand it in new ways. You can find audio Bibles at the library or on your app store.
7. Summarize scripture verses. When you’re working your way through a book (or chapter) of the Bible, start to paraphrase each small section. Once you finish a few verses, go back and write just a few words in your journal, summarizing the message of those verses as best you can. Then when you finish that book (or chapter), you’ll be able to look back and understand the flow and context a little better.
The point of all these exercises is to get creative; to realize we don’t have to stay stuck in the way we’ve always done things with God. I’m convinced that He is so huge that we could spend our entire lives finding new ways to engage with Him and never run out of options! I hope these seven ideas can help as you continue growing closer to God.
Share YOUR creative ideas in the comments!