Happy Hump Day! This first week back can sometimes feel such a slog. Gone are the new year resolutions high, leaving us with the cold, the dark nights and for some of you even exams. We are praying for you during this series, that you will encounter God in new ways and that He will fuel you with hope.
I was thinking today about these verses in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Pray continually? That’s a lot to ask, isn’t it?
Make your Life a Prayer
In times when a Bible verse seems overwhelming, I have sometimes found myself trying to avoid it by reading it in different translations to find a loophole. Surely I am not meant to pray in every moment! What about when I am sleeping or trying to concentrate at work or in school? More often than not, Jesus uses other translations to open up something new in a verse. IN this case that is exactly what He did. The Passion Translation uses the words ‘make your life a prayer’. This opened up my mind to possibilities, how can my life be a prayer. Here are 5 ways to try connecting with God in this new year:
1. Start a Journal
I love writing out my prayers, or sometimes even drawing and doodling them out. God uses it to highlight certain words to me. I can use those words to ask Him more or look them up in other places in the Bible. Sometimes I just know what God is saying because the same words keep popping up everywhere. Journalling is helpful because it’s something to look back on, or to help me talk through my faith growth with my mentor.
2. Get SOAPY
If you need something to guide you then use this acronym. First of all write a Scripture down (or just highlight it in your app). Observe what it says, make note of any words that stand out to you. Ask God what He is showing you and how you can Apply it to your life. Now you hae all this in front of you turn it into a Prayer. It can be as simple as (taking example above) “Jesus, help me to trust your word as a lamp to my feet and to use it more as a light to my path. Please show me how to do this, amen.”
3. Go for a Run
or jog… or walk! Whichever works for you. Around the age of 13, my homelife became difficult. When my parents were arguing, I would often take the dogs for a walk. Over time I learned that when my brain is becoming overwhelmed or bored, a walk and a pray is where God will speak to me or calm me. (Please tell your parents where you are going)
4. Take some Pictures
Another way you can connect with God is to take your camera/phone out and take pictures of the things you can see. What is God showing you through them? Is He showing you the same theme?
5. Create a new routine
I struggle with mornings! Over December I was just feeling more and more guilty that I wasn’t sitting down and having a devotional every morning before work. Jesus has released me from this by helping me create a new routine. I’ve stopped watching Hollyoaks(!!) and instead this is my downtime, where housework and other distractions are closed off and I come before God. It has totally revived my time with Him
However you do it, work out what is best FOR YOU! Let us know in the comments if you try anything out!