With our busy schedules and full lives, making consistent time to spend with God can be challenging. However, God wants us to continue to come to Him to be filled, refreshed, and renewed as we move forward each day.
Our devotional time should be peaceful and allow us an opportunity to stay connected with God through reading His Word and continually growing in Him. If you may be feeling overwhelmed or stressed lately, here are 10 devotional practices to welcome rest and refreshing for you.
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1. Set Aside 15 Minutes of Quiet Time Each Day
“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." Mark 6:31b
Set aside at least 15 minutes of quiet time each day for you to connect with God, center your mind, and receive God’s peace. Before the demands of the day consume your mind and schedule, taking the time to pause and sit still in God’s presence provides rest.
As you move forward, you can hear more clearly from the Lord in the stillness. Schedule your quiet time and do your best to keep the appointment.
2. Create a Gratitude Journal
“Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever.” Psalm 136:1
Creating a gratitude journal also helps to remind and reassure you of God’s faithfulness and helps to calm your anxieties. When challenges arise, it is easy to want to complain and focus on your circumstances. When you pause and count your blessings, it helps to shift your mindset and perspective reminding you that your needs are met and you are not alone.
God will refresh and restore your mind, as you worship Him in gratitude. Refer to your gratitude list when you need encouragement.
3. Sit Outside for Your Devotional Time
Weather permitting, having your devotional time outside on the porch, or a local park is a refreshing way to spend time with God. It helps to get you Vitamin D and clear your mind, as well as enjoy God’s beautiful creation. Having a change of scenery and setting helps to re-energize and recharge your body, mind, and spirit as you receive God’s peace.
I encourage you to switch up the location of your devotional time. God is diverse and invites us to hear from him in different ways and environments.
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4. Be Creative
Be creative in your devotional time. There will never be the “perfect” time, scenario, or set-up. There are many creative ways that we can connect with God (read Colossians 3:23).
You can pray, meditate, sing, write, dance or draw. God speaks to us in many ways and through diverse methods. God is not one-dimensional, but very diverse. Whatever brings you joy is the way I invite you to spend your devotional time. Try a new and different way to spend and refresh your devotional time with God.
As you develop more creativity in your devotional time, God will speak to you in new and exciting ways. Let us not limit the ways in which we can grow our relationship with God and embrace a creative devotional time.
5. Listen to Your Favorite Worship Song
Listening to your favorite worship song is another way for you to connect with God and strengthen your relationship with Him. Allow your mind to meditate on the scripture and lyrics and worship the Lord. If you feel led, you can sing your praises out loud to the Lord rejoicing! Don’t worry about formality; just enjoy singing or listening to worship music in God’s presence.
In addition to bringing you peace, listening to worship music helps you to clear your mind and drown out many daily distractions that consume you. Let God minister to your spirit through the worship music.
6. Journal Your Thoughts
Journaling is a calming way for you to connect with God and surrender all of your joys, fears, and anxieties. During your devotional time, you can write down how God is speaking to you through the scriptures and what is on your heart. When you write, I would encourage you to free write and not worry about getting your thoughts down in a specific way or aiming for perfection.
Let the Lord speak to you and write what God is speaking to you on paper.
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7. Disconnect from Social Media
Living in a tech savvy world, we are consumed with social media. The reality is that most people are preoccupied with their phones. Being on our phones keeps many of us from being fully “present” in the moment, especially when it comes to spending quality time with those who matter most to us.
While scrolling social media may fill a temporary void, such as perhaps the need for connection, absolutely nothing can replace growing in your relationship with God. I invite you to join me and regularly unplug from technology for a while and plug instead into a real presence and real conversations with people closest to you.
Unplug from social media and connect with family and close friends by calling them on the phone or going out to lunch with them.
8. Turn Off Electronic Devices
How often are you on your electronic device while talking to your family members or friends? We are so attached to our electronic devices that we become obsessed if we “miss” the latest news or celebrity gossip. We are inundated with so much information that it can be overwhelming at times.
A wonderful way to get much needed rest is to take off electronic devices during your devotional time as well as when you are spending time with family and friends. It will also help you to focus on enjoying the meaningful moments that matter most and spend less time comparing your life to others on social media.
9. Go for a Walk
Going for a walk refreshes your body with exercise and provides you with some quiet time to listen to the Lord or share your requests. Walking clears your mind and allows you to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. All you need is your tennis shoes and a few minutes to unwind. You can listen to worship music or walk in silence listening to the sounds of nature.
The bigger purpose is that you are connecting with God while moving your body and renewing your mind.
10. Give Yourself Grace
An important devotional practice is giving yourself grace each day. This will help minimize stress and help you to relax more when challenges arise. The most important focus is that you devote time reading and studying God’s word for wisdom, praying, and casting your anxieties and burdens to God. As life continually evolves, please give yourself grace and know that God knows your heart.
God’s grace is sufficient and is available to you each day. Just come to God and God will guide, direct, and empower you as you move forward.
As you move forward throughout the year, I invite you to incorporate some of these devotional practices as you continue to stay connected with God and grow in Him.
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Originally published Thursday, 22 July 2021.