Good morning, y’all! I just got back from my trip to Corpus Christi Monday night, and it was so nice to spend some time with my mom’s side of the family before I have to pack my bags again and head up to Indiana for spring semester!
On Sunday, my mom and I found a Catholic church near my aunt’s house so we could go to confession and attend mass, and the service was so great that I decided to start the week with a faith-based post!
So, today I’ll be talking about a few different ways you can start spending more time with God! With the new year comes new year’s resolutions, and if yours look anything like mine, fitting in more time with Jesus is definitely a high priority. Being in His presence brings me so much peace and joy, and I can clearly see the difference in myself when I’m actively pursuing Him versus when I’m not!
But, just to preface, working on your relationship with God does not have to seem like a ridiculously lofty goal. I’m not telling you that you need to carve out five hours of Bible study everyday and go to daily mass six times a week – although, if you can actually do that, more power to you! However, even if you have a schedule full of classes, or appointments, or meetings – whatever it may be that’s keeping you from committing to your relationship with God – you do have the time for Him if you choose to make the time.
So, without further adieu, here are five practical things that you can do to start spending more time with God in your everyday life:
No. 1: Pray. Pray. Pray.
The easiest and most important way you can develop your relationship with God is by praying and actually talking to Him. No good relationship is one-sided, and your friendship with God isn’t any different!
In case that didn’t entirely sink in: as a human being, you have the ability to communicate with God, your Creator. You can be friends with God. If that’s not amazing, I don’t know what is!
If you take a couple of minutes in the morning (before scrolling through social media, checking your email, etc.) to just be in His presence and lift up all of your anxieties, frustrations, and/or joys, not only will you be able to start your day off on a better foot, but you’ll also begin to see and feel Him working in your life.
The same thing goes for nighttime – whether you had a great day or a terrible day, let Him know how you’re feeling! Tell Him what made the day so amazing or so difficult, express your concerns and your hopes for tomorrow, and allow His peace and grace to wash over you!
No. 2: Listen to Sermons & Podcasts
This is something that I started doing back in 2016 as a junior in high school, and I can’t tell you how much it’s helped me grow in my faith! Listening to speakers and pastors discuss topics and issues that arise in everyday life made me so much more curious about the Lord and His teachings than I was before.
If you grew up in the Church like I did, you probably know that reaching a plateau in your faith isn’t so uncommon. You go to mass on Sundays (or not), accept what you were always taught as a child, and that’s about it.
However, when I began listening to Christian podcasts and sermons, I started asking a lot more questions, doing a lot more research (especially with the Catechism of the Catholic Church), spending a lot more time talking to God and reading Scripture, and truly growing in my faith!
Since podcasts and talks are generally 45 minutes to an hour long, I usually listen to them while I’m getting dressed in the morning, but there are so many other times of day that you can work them in! During your commute, while you’re cooking, while you’re running on the treadmill, on your walks across campus between classes, etc. I also love that all of series I listen to talk about topics directly affecting young adults today that many churches tend to shy away from, so if you’d like to check them out, here are a few of my favorites!
(Watermark Community Church, Dallas-Based, Nondenominational)
Transformation Church with Michael Todd
(Transformation Church, Tulsa-Based, Nondenominational)
Passion City Church with Ben Stuart
(Passion City Church, D.C.-Based, Nondenominational)
No. 3: Listen to Worship Music
If you’re like me, you listen to music all the time – when you’re driving, when you’re getting dressed in the morning, when you’re studying, when you’re waiting in line for Starbucks, etc. So, incorporating worship music into your daily playlist is a simple and easy way to keep your mind fixed on the Lord!
Now don’t get me wrong, I love my country and indie music, but I’ve found so many great Christian artists and groups that are really uplifting, remind me to slow down when I’m rushing or anxious, and encourage me to take the time to reflect and give thanks to God throughout the day!
Just like any other genre, not all Christian artists are for everyone. So, if you’re not into super energetic and bubbly artists, like Mandisa (if you listen to Christian radio, you know ‘Good Morning’ was way overplayed back in the day), there are so many other great groups and artists to discover. Whether you’re into praise & worship, rap, pop, gospel, or whatever else, there’s bound to be an artist whose music you actually like!
Here are a few of my favorites:
No. 4: Read Scripture Everyday
I didn’t start truly loving and understanding my faith until I began really reading and studying scripture myself. Now, this doesn’t have to take up hours of your day, but scheduling 30-45 minutes of quiet time to read a few chapters of the Bible is a great way to spend more time with the Lord!
I could write an entire other post about how I read and study my bible, but here’s a great way to start:
Take a couple of minutes when you first sit down to ask God to open your heart and mind to whatever it is He is trying to say to you through the scripture you are about to read.
Then, open up your bible, find the book you’re wanting to study, and pay close attention to the word choice and the context in which it was written as you read.
Finish up with a reflection on the passages (this can be in your head or written down), as well as an application (what is this passage saying to me, and based on that, how can I change how I live in order to better serve the Lord?).
Now, I’m a huge fan of bible studies, but if you’re short on time throughout the week, incorporating scripture into your everyday life can also be as easy as reading the daily readings on USCCB.org or signing up for a daily bible verse email subscription.
As long as you’re reading the Word in some form or fashion, you’ll be filled with the Spirit on a daily-basis! And let me tell you – it’s life changing.
No. 5: Go To Church Every Sunday
By going to mass on Sundays, not only are you able to immerse yourself in scripture and receive Communion, but you are also allowed the opportunity to worship God surrounded by other believers. Community and accountability are both so important on your faith journey, and getting to know your fellow parishioners is a great way to learn, grow, and build a support system based on Christ!
Most services are an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes long at the most, so even the busiest of people can work in the time to go. As long as going to church on Sundays is prioritized as much as anything else on your full (or not so full) schedule – which, if you’re reading this and are really wanting to spend more time with God, it should be – you can make the time!
I truly hope these five things help you grow your faith and your relationship with the Lord! I absolutely loved putting this together for y’all, and I’m looking forward to doing more faith posts in the future! If you have anything you’d like me to talk about, or have any prayer requests you’d like to make known, feel free to leave them down below.
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