- Breathe deeply. Practice a breath prayer where you inhale God’s grace and exhale your brokenness and disappointments. The most famous breath prayer is called the Jesus Prayer: “[inhale] Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, [exhale] have mercy on me a sinner.”
- Write down your tasks. Sometimes we’re distracted by what we need to do – we’re afraid that if we take our minds off of it, we’ll forget to do it. So write it down – come back to it after you’ve tuned into God. God may just tune you in to what you need to do in a deeper way.
- Create a mental picture. One of my favorite practices is to imagine what Jesus looks like and myself there with him. Talking to him. Listening to him.
- Read a short passage from Scripture. Use the “read until” approach: read until something hooks you, resonates with you, speaks to you. You may not get past the first verse – and that’s okay! It’s not a Bible reading contest!
- Sing or listen to music. Music has a way of centering us, especially repetitive choruses that focus on God.
- Do something else. Most people have a hard time slowing their minds and hearts down while sitting still. So do something with which you have “subconscious competence” – something automatic – like driving, gardening, or exercising. Tune into God while doing something that keeps your body busy. Some of my best moments with God are on the treadmill.
Inspired by How to Hear God’s Voice by Mark & Patti Virkler.
I have moments with God on a treadmill too…but they’re more cries for deliverance or death than a transcendent moment of reflection…
Good thoughts Charles.
I would also add two other suggestions (not that we couldn’t look at even more):
1. Consider previous moments of connection – perhaps you are naturally prone to listen to God while walking in the woods, sitting in a busy coffee shop or perhaps in a quiet sanctuary (your own private place or even an empty church building). We are all wired in different ways, so don’t feel compelled to seek out places or activities that someone else has told you are “spiritual.”
2. Spend some time reflecting over the events of the day, week or even month – ask yourself a couple simple questions like: “What was life affirming during this time?” and “What was death dealing?” – or “Where did I see Christ?” and “Where did I miss the opportunity to see Christ?”
Great post, CK.