Renowned Pastor, Rick Warren, said, “Real security can only be found in that which can never be taken from you – your relationship with God.” So, such a quote begs the question – how can a Christian cultivate a closer relationship with the Lord in practical ways on a daily basis? I believe it takes intentional time and continual time.
Intentional time with the Lord is exactly what it supposes – time you intentionally carve out of your day, week, month, etc. to be with the Lord. “Like all healthy and satisfying relationships, our relationship with God needs time and energy” (Murray, 2020). Some people are intentional by reading a portion of the bible and/or devotions in the morning or at night before bed. “The Holy Spirit illuminates the Scriptures in our hearts and minds” (Armstrong, pg 23). One could also be intentional by choosing a “prayer closet” or prayer chair where they pray intentionally about things going on in their lives or the lives of their loved ones. Additionally, still others are intentional by scheduling larger portions of their calendar out for prayer retreats where they may go away to a cabin and possibly even fast so they can hear clearly from and devote themselves to the Lord.
Intentional time is certainly needed but continual time needs to go with it. What on earth could that mean? 1 Thessalonians 5:16 talks about praying without ceasing. Seems impossible doesn’t it? Well, it’s not! Since God is spirit and is omnipresent, you can literally commune with Him continually. There are many verses such as Psalms 94:11 that speak of how God knows our thoughts. A person who is with God continually is ever aware of His presence, speaking little breath prayers throughout their day:
- “Lord, thank you for the beautiful day”
- “Lord, I need your wisdom as a parent in this moment”
- “Lord, check my attitude”
- “Lord, you are beautiful”
- “Thank you for this food. Bless it to my body”
- “Please help my kiddo at school today”
See? They pray continually as easily as they breathe in and out about every little thing in their day or thought that crosses their mind – it’s offered to the Lord. “Because God loves you, you can show your trust in Him by talking about all your feelings and circumstances with Him — the good and hard — through prayer” (Yesudasan, 2021)
The benefits of intentional and continual time are invaluable and so easy and practical. Relationship with Jesus doesn’t have to be hard or abstract. Being intentional and continual are practical and easy to do.
Armstrong, Aaron. 2018. Devotional Doctrine. The Gospel Project. Page 37.
Murray, David. 2020. 9 Ways to Guard Your Personal Relationship with God. https://www.crossway.org/articles/9-ways-to-guard-your-personal-relationship-with-god/