On a daily basis, we need to experience God. We live in a world that pulls us away from Him, and we need that daily time where we get alone with God to stay close to him. It’s our time of devotions and daily communication with God where He can speak into our lives and meet our deepest needs.
Previously, I wrote about the importance of studying God’s word, and that’s so critical to our Christian walk. But time set aside daily to worship God, to communicate and commune with him is essential, too.
It’s not easy to discipline yourself to find some time for communion with God. Most of us lead busy lives, and busyness is one of the key tricks of the devil. We get too busy to spend time alone with God, and the next thing we know we find it so much easier to fall into temptation in various areas of our lives. We get weak when we don’t have that daily connection to our Savior. But when we discipline ourselves to experience God speaking to us each day through His Word and through our prayer time, that’s when God breaks through and speaks to your soul and mind, making you stronger in him.
Is finding daily time to “have devotions” or commune with God essential? Simply look at Jesus. Read through the gospels and you’ll note that Jesus often heads off on his own to be alone with his Father. And even the Psalmist wrote about how much we need to have communication with God, saying, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.” (Psalm 42:1 NKJV)
Consistent Communion – The Most Important “Meal” of the Day
You’ve likely heard the old admonition – breakfast is the most important meal of your day. And there’s plenty of science to back that statement up. Think of your daily communion with god as your “breakfast” or the most important “meal” of your day. Spending time focused on prayer and time spent in God’s way should be the most critical “meal” that you consume daily.
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sites in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2 NKJV)
Unfortunately, while we know how important it is to keep a consistent devotional life, it’s often difficult to keep up. Perhaps you’ve resolved year after year to read the entire Bible in your devotions in the new year and keep up with daily prayer time. And then somewhere in another genealogy found in Chronicles we wimp out.
Sometimes we feel excited to spend time alone with God, and then other times we’re faced with overwhelming apathy or perhaps distracted by the cares of life. Realize this: it’s not always going to be easy, natural, or fun to pursue a relationship with God through time reading His Word and praying. Discipline and effort can easily fall by the wayside if you forget why you need to spend time in daily communion with God.
Think about the time’s you’ve skipped breakfast. You probably found your stomach growling well before lunch time. In fact, maybe you were so hungry that you grabbed something unhealthy instead of a good lunch. It’s like that when we skip time alone with God. When you’re not plugged in and filled daily with God, it’s easy to reach for something you shouldn’t have or give in to that temptation.
Daily Communication Builds Relationship
The Christian walk is unlike any other religious on earth – it’s about relationships. Jesus wants to have a relationship with us. He reminds us in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” He wants us to come to him, to share with him, and to lay our burdens on him. This is an invitation to come rest in God’s presence and find peace when the world around us is in turmoil.
You can’t have a relationship with God if you don’t speak to him. You can’t learn about Him and what he loves if you aren’t spending time in His Word soaking in his words. If Christianity is about a relationship with Jesus, how can it function if you never take time to spend with Him? It can’t!
One of the most beautiful things about becoming a Christian is the chance to fellowship with Jesus. But so many of us miss out on that beautiful fellowship with inconsistent devotional lives. When something bad happens in our life, we’re right there seeking comfort in the Bible and asking God for help. Yet when times are going okay, it’s easy to let all the things going on in our lives keep us from communicating with God.
Any relationship needs communication. If you’re married, think of the relationship with your spouse. What would happen if you blew off your spouse for weeks at a time? How would things go if you only spoke to your spouse when you needed something? Things likely wouldn’t go well. And how can we expect to build a relationship with Jesus if we don’t speak to Him, if we don’t take time for Him, or if we only take time when we need something?
The whole purpose of personal devotional time is to get alone with our Savior and commune with Him, having a conversation with Him so we can get to know him better. Listening to what He’s telling us in His word and sharing our thoughts and needs with him in prayer bring us closer to Him. It fills us with His Spirit daily so we’re prepared to handle what comes our way. It builds that strong relationship so when something happens in our day it’s as easy as breathing, “Jesus help me,” and we’re in touch with Him because we talk with Him consistently.
Spending Time in God’s Word – An Essential Part of Daily Communication with God
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”(2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV)
One of the important parts of daily communication with God is reading the Word of God – the Bible. The Bible tells us of many reasons we should make reading the Word a priority, and the following are three to keep in mind.
The Bible Reveals God’s Will to Us
How many times do we find ourselves in situations wondering what God’s will is for us? Undoubtedly, we want to honor God with our decisions. But we can’t complain about wanting to know God’s will while leaving our Bibles left closed alongside our beds. In Psalm 119:105 we’re reminded, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” We have the light right there if we’ll just open The Word! It will light our pathway and guide is in the will of God if we’ll only read it.
God hasn’t left us alone to speculate on what His will is. He’s laid out a complete guidebook in the Bible. When we make regular Bible reading and meditation a priority, our decisions will be easier and our pathway will be straighter as we find God’s will and walk in it. Knowing that the Bible is the place where God’s will is revealed helps kindle the fire to start digging deeper into the Scriptures as we work on being more consistent in our devotional lives.
God’s Word is a Light That Convicts Us
“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.”(Romans 7:7 NKJV)
We’re reminded by the Apostle Paul in this verse that it’s the Scripture that can shine a light on our lives to convict us of sin. Some things may look okay in the dark, but when you shed some light on them you can see the scratches, bruises, and marks that were hidden by the shadows. It’s the light that will reveal what’s really there, and the Bible does that in our lives.
If we take the time to commune with God, read the Word and pray, we’re going to walk away with conviction because the Bible shows us our shortcomings. Every time you pick up the Bible, you’ll be reminded of the areas where we fall short and how dependent we are on the grace of God. It’s a time of being humbled, a time when we learn where God wants us to make changes to be more like Him, and a time of realizing how incredible God’s grace is in our lives.
The Bible Revives Our Spirit and Heart
“This is my comfort in my affliction, that your word has given me life.” Psalm 119:50 (NKJV)
Let’s be honest, daily life can wear us down. Trials and tribulations can leave us weary. Living in a world of sin can weigh heavy. Sometimes we need to be revived. While sleep can help revive your body and perhaps some laughter with loved ones can revive your emotions, it’s the power of God’s Word that can revive our spirits and hearts – the deepest parts of our being.
The entire Bible points us to Jesus, who He is, and what he’s done for us. The Holy Spirt takes the Bible and fills our hearts with the fruits of the Spirit that have been promised us: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, kindness, patience, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control. We need to be revived by God. Our spirits and hearts need to be refreshed daily, and only communication with God through reading His Word can accomplish this.
Prayer Time – Your Place of Peace and Security
Along with daily reading of the Bible, prayer time is another important part of communing with God daily in our personal devotions. God wants to meet with us and in Hebrews 4:16 we’re reminded, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
The Bible goes on in Philippians 4:6-7 to say, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Jesus wants us to come to Him in prayer, and while we’re told to come with thanksgiving, we’re also told to bring our requests to him. If we have burdens, Jesus wants to hear about them.
Just as Jesus often retreated to pray in the New Testament, we need time to retreat and spend time in prayer. Not only is it a retreat, but a chance to completely shift our focus. When there are a million things vying for our attention, our brain rarely gets a rest these days. But when we get alone, put everything aside, and shift our focus and attention to Jesus, we’re able to get the renewal that we need from God. It’s a time to share our praise and our burdens with Him – the one who is always with us, our Comforter.
The Benefits of Daily Prayer and Bible Reading
Our longing for communion with God is a God-given desire. Several places in the Bible writers have talked about longing after God. There’s a part of us that is constantly longing and thirsty for that communication with the one who loves us more than anyone else – the one who loved us enough to come to earth and die for our sins.
The discipline of daily devotional time spent in prayer and Bible reading offers a number of spiritual benefits to use, including:
Exercise for the Soul
To keep our bodies healthy and strong, we exercise. Daily devotional time and communion with God is like exercise for the soul. Time spent in Bible reading and prayer makes us shift our attention away from the cares of the world and all the distractions around us to the promises and purposes of God. If we fail to spend time with God, we’ll grow weak and out of shape spiritually.
The body takes its shape from the ways that we exercise it. For example, lifting weights can sculpt muscles, while running may sculpt and shape the body in a different way. It works the same way spiritually. Our spirit will conform to the ways we exercise it. Daily prayer and Bible reading help sculpt our souls into what God wants them to be.
Training for Spiritual Warfare
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:10-18 NKJV)
The armed forces undergo serious training to gain knowledge on the weapons they have to use when they’re faced with combat. This way they’re well-versed in properly handling their weapons whenever necessary. Daily time spent in the Word and praying is like our training for spiritual warfare. We become more skilled with our weapons of prayer and the sword of the Spirit (the Bible) when we use them daily.
Cultivation Relationship and Delight
Good relationships must be cultivated. This involves faithful, affectionate, intentional, consistent pursuit of an individual. If you’re married, this may be your spouse. And in our relationship with God, we must cultivate our relationship with God. It takes consistency to increase our ability to delight in God. Our love and devotion for Him becomes deeper as we spend more time in the Word and in prayer.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Daily Communion with God
A personal time of worship and communion with God each day keeps us full of the Spirit and draws us closer to God. While everyone’s devotional time is very personal, here are a few tips that may help you get the most out of that daily devotional time.
- Set Aside Time – Consistency is key to getting the most out of your daily communion with God and setting aside a specific time makes it easier to be consistent. Come up with a time that works for you and treat that time as an appointment. Some people prefer morning devotional time while others prefer evening. The time doesn’t matter as long as you’re spending time daily with Jesus.
- Eliminate Distractions – If you’re going to focus on experiencing God and talking with Him, you need to eliminate distractions. Choose a comfortable, quiet spot for your quiet time and turn off the radio or other distractions so you can keep all of your intention on communicating with Jesus.
- Begin with Prayer – The book of James tells us, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…” Beginning your devotional time with prayer allows you to get started with an open, humble attitude. Reach out to God immediately, let Him know that you want to spend time with Him, and ask for His presence in your worship time.
- Read the Word – Spend some time reading God’s Word, which is the best place to find God’s message for us. Maybe you’re reading the Bible through or you’re using a devotional. Everyone is different, just make sure you’re spending time in the Bible daily.
- Take Time for Reflection – Absorb the Bible passages you’ve read. Think about how it applies to your life and your own relationship with God. Continue allowing the words you’ve read to speak to you through your day.
- Consider a Journal – Keeping a journal may not be for everyone, but a journal allows you to look back through your spiritual journey. You can job down thoughts about what you’re praying about, the verses you’re reading, or something that stood out to you during your time alone with God.
- Add Some Praise – If you love to worship through song, sing a song of praise that makes you feel closer to God. God loves it when we sing to Him with songs of praises. It brings the presence of God close to us. And even if you’re not a singer, spend some of your personal devotion time praising God in some way.
- Close with Prayer – Even though you started with prayer, it’s a great idea to end your time with prayer as well. After all, this special time is all about communicating with the one who loves you most. Maybe you’ve been convicted by what you read and you need to spend time confessing. Perhaps you’re going through a tough time and you need deliverance. You may have others you’re praying for that need salvation or have other needs. And remember, even when you finish your devotional time, you can keep that communication open throughout the day. While it’s great to set aside time for intentional praying, we’re told to “Pray without ceasing” in 1 Thessalonians. When you’ve been in touch with Jesus in your quiet time, it’s easier to keep up that ongoing communication throughout your day.
Conclusion: Daily Communion Beyond Your Devotional Time
Remember, while daily devotional time and structured communion with God is a critical part of our Christian walk, it opens the door for daily communion that goes beyond that quiet time. As we build that deep relationship with Jesus, it takes it until a deeper state of worship that will overtake every area of life. Don’t just worship Jesus in your devotions. Worship Him on your commute to work, as you’re heading to the store, while you’re taking care of your daily chores around your home. When trouble strikes on the job, breathe a prayer, ask for guidance in your day as you make decisions.
When we discipline ourselves to experience God speaking to us daily, it changes our perspective and our entire lives. Working on our relationship with Jesus builds intimacy until we’re experiencing God in every area of our life. Remember, we are being called to daily worship and communion with God, and He has something to say to you every day that’ll strengthen you and be exactly what you need to get through the things you face.