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Spiritual Growth - Living a Life of Faith

Spending Time With God When You Are Struggling to Find the Time

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Spending time with God seems like a given when you are a person of faith. After all, isn’t that what a relationship with the Lord all about? When we are in relationship with people we spend time with them, talk with them, get to know them, right? But yet we all, at one time or another, struggle with spending time with God.

Why is this the case and what can we do about it? How can we spend more time with the Lord when that is exactly what we WANT to do, and yet somehow have difficulty doing! Read on to learn some practical ways to make spending time with God a part of your daily life!

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Importance of Spending Time With God

As I mentioned, when we are building relationships with people, we get to know them by spending time with them. We ask questions about them, we learn more about their past, their dreams for their future.

We learn about their character, their personality. And we also share with them things about ourselves.

Well, the importance of spending time with God can be summed up in the same way.

How can you really know your Heavenly Father, the Creator of the Universe, the First and the Last, without spending time with Him and learning about Him and His character?

You can’t! You can have a knowledge of Him but without spending time with God you won’t have a relationship with Him.

I can have the knowledge that my friend Jennifer lives in the next town over, she attends my synagogue, she has a husband and kids and grandchildren. But unless I spend time WITH Jennifer, I only know ABOUT her…I don’t truly know HER!

When you don't spend time with the Lord, you may know ABOUT Him but you won't really know HIM! #faith #prayer #biblestudy Click To Tweet

And with the Lord it is no different. We are not just called to know ABOUT the Lord but to know Him as deeply as we can.

Exodus 3:6 says:

“Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” 

TLV

The Lord told Moses that He was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He was intimating a personal relationship with Moses’ ancestors.

An image of Jerusalem with a text overlay with a quote from Exodus 3:6 from the Tree of Life Version

When Messianic and traditional Jews pray the Amidah, the Standing Prayer, during our time of davening (praying the liturgical prayers), we begin with the following:

“Blessed are you, HaShem our God, and God of our fathers,
God of Abraham, God of Isaac and God of Jacob,
the great, mighty and awesome God, God Most High,
who bestows acts of loving-kindness and creates all,
who remembers the loving-kindness of the fathers and will bring
a Redeemer to their children’s children for the sake of His Name, in love.
King, Helper, Savior, Shield:
Blessed are You, HaShem, Shield of Abraham”

The Koren Shalem Siddur, the Lobel edition – Koren Publishers Jerusalem 2019

We, as Jews (obviously gentiles do not pray this as they are not physical descendants) begin the prayer by recognizing that we merit coming before the Lord, not on our own, but by our lineage and, if you are a gentile believer, you merit it based on Yeshua’s Name, as our Messiah or Tzadik (Righteous one).

We begin by reminding the Lord (not that He needs reminding but WE do so we do not become haughty) that our ancestors, as the Jewish people, were “friends” to Him and we are their children. It’s sort of like me going in to a restaurant and while I may not know the owner, a relative of mine does so I give their name and get the best table!

So even the holiest of prayers in Judaism recognizes the importance of relationship to the Lord.

Not Having the Time to Spend With God

So if your life is crazy and you struggle just to get in the shower, you may be thinking spending time with God is a lofty goal but the reality of your day just doesn’t allow it.

I get you! I really do!

But the truth that I had to face, especially as things in my life just seemed to fall more apart the less time I spent with God, was that spending time with God couldn’t be an “if I have time” thing but a “I MUST have time” thing.

Spending time with God couldn’t be an afterthought. It had to be THE most important part of my day. It had to be!

Few people are worse at scheduling their days than I am. My friend Sue and I developed a block scheduler for our site Faithful CEOs and I use it…then I don’t pay any attention to it. My husband showed me how to schedule my day in blocks in Outlook. I used it and then paid no attention to it. It’s there! Stuff is on it. But then that one email comes in that I am not supposed to even check until 1PM and next thing you know, an hour has gone by doing something that wasn’t on my schedule!

You can relate can’t you? I know you can!

I am the epitome of squirreling through my day even with two schedules and a calendar in front of me. And I can tell you that the one thing I do NOT ever let anything or anyone pull me from is my daily prayer time!

My kids know it. I have a signal worked out with them for when I am in the middle of the most important part of my prayer time and I cannot and will not be interrupted unless the house is on fire, someone is bleeding or any other emergent issue.

But my kids are older. They can fend for themselves for an hour and honestly, with Covid, my husband is also around most days. But even he knows…NOTHING short of an emergency interrupts that time.

But what is you don’t have self-reliant teens? What if you have a toddler? What about an infant? What about both? How do you do it then?

I have! And I am going to be REALLY real with you here! Just like you could relate to my squirreling, I can relate to you here as a mom and a wife and a business owner and a student…sometimes all at once!

Are you ready to hear some realness?

You may have to give something up. You may have to GET something up…like YOU, a half hour earlier! You may have to give up a TV show (DVR is great!), you may have to say no to some things.

If you are a follower of God, it is not a side gig! It is THE gig! And it means that, short of having to feed an infant or patch up a cut, things may have to wait.

If you are a follower of God, it is not a side gig! It is THE gig! And it means that, short of having to feed an infant or patch up a cut, things may have to wait. Click To Tweet

You can pray with a baby on your lap! You can pray in the car! You can read your Bible daily in small portions or once a week in a longer study time.

God cares more about your presence than your presentation! Show up with PJs on and a baby on your lap…He will just be happy you showed up!

God cares more about your presence than your presentation! Show up with PJs on and a baby on your lap…He will just be happy you showed up! Click To Tweet

So how do you spend time with God?

Ways to Spend Time With God

So we went over the importance of spending time with God and how to combat the time issue (well, at least we touched on the need to combat it). But HOW do you spend time with God? You may especially be curious about this if you are a new believer.

What are some ways to spend time with God and REALLY get to know Him?

  • Read the Word – There is no better way to know God deeply and know His character and His loving-kindness than reading His Word. It is often called His love letter to us. Well, sometimes when you read the Tanakh (known as the Old Testament) it doesn’t come across that way as you read about laws and battles and so on. But it is! It is all a narrative to show God’s faithfulness to His children and His deep love for us in giving us our Messiah.

    Even if you can only spend time reading one or two verses a day, REALLY read them. In Judaism it is said one should not just read Torah, you should ACQUIRE Torah (and Torah is often used not just for the 5 Books of Moses or the Law…it is used to describe the entire Tanakh). You should make it part of your every day life and live it!

    It says in James 1:22:

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.”

TLV

  • Pray – Yes we are back to prayer! It is relationship building! We speak to God and He hears us!

    Psalm 66:17-20 says:

“I cried out to Him with my mouth,

and exaltation was on my tongue.

If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,

the Lord would not have listened.

But surely God has heard.

He has listened to my voice in prayer.

  Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer,

nor His lovingkindness from me.”

TLV

He listens to your voice in prayer. He hears you! But you also need to listen as well as speak! You don’t need eloquent words, you don’t need to say His Name a certain number of times, you don’t need to kneel or be in a certain place. I have cried out to Him in prayer with a baby on my lap on my bed, I have prayed in the car when it was the only quiet time I had. Then take the time to see if He has anything He wants to place on your heart. It is a two way conversation that builds that relationship. Share anything on your heart.

Or if you are so worn out you have nothing left, if you are in so much pain you cannot speak, sit in His presence and cry. He hears that prayer too! He knows what is on your heart!

Pink background with images of tablets and a workbook from - Sunshyne Gray - How to Stop Feeling Anxious (Workbook and Video)
  • Listen to Music – Music is powerful! In Messianic synagogues we sing most of our prayers because most of them were composed by David who wrote them as songs! Song has always been a wonderful way to not only praise the Lord but to convey the words we cannot seem to find in those difficult moments. Don’t rob yourself of this wonderfully precious time in the presence of Adonai! Sing out to Him! It doesn’t matter if you have a voice that would scare cats..I do and I will sing out to Him because it is precious to the One who matters!

    My husband is extremely busy, especially these days. He uses his time at the gym as what he calls “Praisercize” because he will put on his headphones and listen to his playlist and he said sometimes he will find himself on the elliptical with his hands open at his sides and eyes closed in praise. I just hope he doesn’t hurt himself during Praisercize but it literally sometimes means grabbing those moments when you can!

    Holiness can invade any part of our day, even the gym!
  • Study the Word – Reading and studying are two different things. I can read a book and learn what I am reading but if I really dig into it, really look at the history behind it, the meanings of the words and so on, I learn so much more.

    Studying the Word means you sit down and even pick just one verse and dig into it like you are looking for buried treasure. The Jewish sages teach that the study of Torah (again, more than just the Laws or just the first 5 books) is equal to all the other commandments. Study of Torah IS a commandment. They say the study of Torah is equal to fulfilling all the other commandments because how can a person know HOW to fulfill the commandments without studying Torah!

    “Great is Torah study, for it leads to performance” (Kiddushin 40b).

    Now apply that to the Word as a whole, including the teachings of Yeshua. How can you know how to help others, how to treat people, how to walk out your faith if you never study His Words?

    James 2:14-17:

“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

TLV

Scriptures on Spending Time With God

Scripture About Spending Time With God

Matthew 6:6 CJB

But you, when you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Luke 10:38-42 CJB

On their way Yeshua and his talmidim came to a village where a woman named Marta welcomed him into her home. She had a sister called Miryam who also sat at the Lord’s feet and heard what he had to say. But Marta was busy with all the work to be done; so, going up to him, she said, “Sir, don’t you care that my sister has been leaving me to do all the work by myself?” However, the Lord answered her, “Marta, Marta, you are fretting and worrying about so many things! But there is only one thing that is essential. Miryam has chosen the right thing, and it won’t be taken away from her.”

2 Timothy 3:16 CJB

All Scripture is God-breathed and is valuable for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correcting faults and training in right living;

Psalm 119:11 NASB

Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.

Psalm 63:7-8 TLV

When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You through the night watches. For You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.

1 Chronicles 16:11 TLV

Seek Adonai and His strength. Seek His face always.

Ephesians 5:16 TLV

Make the most of your time because the days are evil.

John 15:4-7 CJB

Stay united with me, as I will with you — for just as the branch can’t put forth fruit by itself apart from the vine, so you can’t bear fruit apart from me.

“I am the vine and you are the branches. Those who stay united with me, and I with them, are the ones who bear much fruit; because apart from me you can’t do a thing. Unless a person remains united with me, he is thrown away like a branch and dries up. Such branches are gathered and thrown into the fire, where they are burned up.

“If you remain united with me, and my words with you, then ask whatever you want, and it will happen for you.

Romans 12:2 CJB

In other words, do not let yourselves be conformed to the standards of the ‘olam hazeh. Instead, keep letting yourselves be transformed by the renewing of your minds; so that you will know what God wants and will agree that what he wants is good, satisfying and able to succeed. (My note: Olam hazeh mean 'This World')

Psalm 119:147 CJB

I rise before dawn and cry for help;I put my hope in your word.

Matthew 25:1-13 TLV

Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.  Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish ones took their lamps, they took no oil with them. But the wise ones took oil in jars along with their lamps.

“Now while the bridegroom was taking a long time, they all got drowsy and started falling asleep. But in the middle of the night there was a shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’  Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. Now the foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, since our lamps are going out.’ But the wise ones replied, ‘No, there won’t be enough for us and for you. Instead, go to those who sell, and buy some for yourselves.’

“But while they were going off to buy, the bridegroom came. And those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was shut. Now later, the other virgins came, saying, ‘Sir, Sir, open up for us!’

“But he replied, ‘Amen, I tell you, I do not know you.’ Therefore stay alert, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

Psalm 1:2 TLV

But his delight is in the Torah of Adonai, and on His Torah he meditates day and night.

One Day at a Time With God

Don’t feel like you have to just jump in and have this perfectly scheduled time where you pray and study and have it feel like you’re under this bondage of legalism.

Start small and make that a habit. Then add some more to it and make THAT a habit and so on.

If you try to start spending time with God like it’s something you HAVE to do versus something you enjoy and look forward to, it won’t last. And if it does, it will feel like a burden instead of a blessing.

Start with one divine appointment at a time and, like anything with our faith, allow it to grow with you!

What are some ways you have found to fit time with God into your daily schedule? Any creative suggestions you can share with us in the comments?

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And be sure to grab your FREE ACTS Prayer Method Workbook below to help you in your prayer time if you are new to prayer or just want to keep track of your prayer time and requests and answers!

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  4. A woman in a white shirt with dark hair sitting on the floor with her knees up to her chest and her hands on her head
  5. An image of a young girl with dark hair up in barrettes and her head down on a table with her hands folded in prayer and text that says Teach Me How to Pray - Power in Praying the Lord's Prayer
  6. An image of a red-headed woman in a gray shirt sitting at a table with her hands folded in prayer and text that says The Power of Prayer - Intentional Prayer or Kavanah

CJB – Taken from the Complete Jewish Bible by David H. Stern. Copyright © 1998. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, 6120 Day Long Lane, Clarksville, MD 21029. www.messianicjewish.net.

NASB – “Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation

Tree of Life (TLV) – Scripture taken from the Holy Scriptures, Tree of Life Version*. Copyright © 2014,2016 by the Tree of Life Bible Society.  Used by permission of the Tree of Life Bible Society.

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14 Comments

  1. Yes! I think we set ourselves up for failure when we think we haven’t had a quiet time with God unless we’ve read so many minutes or chapters, or prayed through a list, or whatever. Just like our other relationships, sometimes we have more or less time on certain days, but we make an effort to connect. I’m more of a visual learner, but some people enjoy listening to the Bible while they are driving or doing chores. We have so many apps available to do that now. Plus even when we feel distracted or tired or not very spiritual, it’s good to still keep that time with God. He can transform it (and us!)

    1. Yes we can literally take it on the go with us. What I worry about with those things like audio Bibles is that sometimes, at least for me, words can easily go in one ear and out the other and not be retained or looked up and studied further. My personal belief, which comes from the Jewish sages so I can’t claim it as my own, is that one has to pray or study with kavanah…intent (I have a post on kavanah). It is intense concentration, which is why we can pray liturgical prayers with feeling and connection. So I know for me, listening to an audio Bible might be great while I am cooking and so on, but I am not listening intently and acquiring it. For those people who can…I applaud them because I would love to. Its just not my medium for it. I am a words learner (and visual).

  2. Yes! We can’t get to know Him if we don’t spend time with Him. Praying, talking with Him, reading His Word, listening to praise and worship music – the more time we spend with Him, the more intimate our relationship is with Him. Love this!

  3. Diane,
    We may need to “give up” and “get up” – Yes!! This scripture from Ephesians jumped out at me – “Make the most of your time because the days are evil.” This certainly describes our times and all the more reason to spend time getting to Know God vs. know about God. Great post and I love the Amidah prayer – beautiful! What a rich heritage you have!!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    1. Thank you so much Bev! The Amidah always seems to present something new to me in each of its blessings and requests (I only shared the first one but would love to do a post on the entire prayer). I am truly blessed by it!

  4. Thank you, Diane, such an encouraging post! I know I have struggled in the past with expectations that my quiet time had to meet a slew of standards, which only left me discouraged and thinking I would never have time to spend with God. But the fact is, he is with us every moment of the day, and we can fellowship at any time through prayer, song or Bible reading through an app on our phone. We can make the most of our time each day by acknowledging His presence with us!

  5. My way may sound a bit rigid. But I do it first thing in the morning. I set aside 15 minutes for Bible reading or study and 15 minutes for prayer. I set a timer, and many times when it goes off, I keep going. It sets my day with my eyes fixed on Jesus and starts my day with God walking with me.

    I skipped it yesterday, and boy, what a mess of a day.

    I love what you said; it isn’t a side gig it is the gig. Amen

    Thank you for sharing with Grace & Truth Link-Up. I always love your posts.

    1. Actually it might surprise you but I don’t think that’s rigid at all! I say whatever works to keep you on track is great! Believe me, I am sure people would call my prayer time rigid as well LOL Its a God-appointment you keep each day and I think that’s great! And yes, I know what you mean about the day being a mess when we miss that time!! It throws everything off. Thank you so much Maree!!

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