If you read my last post, you’ll recall that I have a lot of questions about prophetic art. I’ve been working to be deliberate with my creative time but time has been scarce so I fear I’ve not made it very far.
However, I’m confirming other long held understandings like — 1. there’s always something that seems more important than time with the Holy Spirit and 2. that seems is a lie because nothing is more important than time with the Holy Spirit.
Life is busy.
I tend to want to say things like “There’s not much time right now but…” or “I’ve just got a lot on my plate but soon…” or “I’m just really busy lately.” But the reality is, there will always be something. There’s always one more thing (whether necessary or not) that needs doing.
As time continues to tick away, I’ve learned a few things that help me keep in touch with God. If you’re looking to be more disciplined with your Jesus time, you may find some of these helpful.
As always, I don’t have all the answer, this is just what works for me.
1.Block off time
I hate when people say that you have to take your Jesus time in the morning/at night/etc. The reality is, take it when you can! But be consistent. I read my Bible with a cup of tea before teaching. I pray and spend time in quiet meditation after I teach.
Whatever time you can find (nap time, 15 minutes in the morning, just before bed) set aside that time and build it into your routine. Personally, I recommend time when you’re not doing something else (like driving) but that’s because I like uninterrupted Jesus time. Whatever time you can block, do it! It’ll be worth it!
Over the years, I’ve missed more than a few days with God. Sure, I may offer up quick prayers but it’s just not the same. I’ve learned to consider my day the night before. If I know that I have an appointment after teaching, I wake up a little earlier to spend that time with Jesus.
If something shows up last minute, like the man coming to install a new meter, well, I roll with it. I adjust and steal time from other tasks to still have time with Jesus. The time may not look like I expected but that’s okay too. The important thing is to spend the time reading my Bible, listening to the Holy Spirit, and letting worship soothe my tired soul.
Three and four were game changers for me. In the past, I went into my Jesus time with a “general idea.” What actually took shape was a lot of whining on my part. “God, this…” and “God, that…”
Now, I go in with a short list of things that I want to talk about. Yes, I said short. I don’t talk about God’s dream for my life (although there’s a time for that). I don’t pour out all of my needs (although this a good thing.) God already knows what I need so I keep things short and sweet and already prepared.
A plan also helps me to keep my prayers focused. My mind doesn’t wander as often if I have only a few things on my prayer list. For example: presently, I’m praying for peace in a specific situation, I’m asking for discernment, and I’m asking for specific things for family members.
4.Have a back-up plan
Best laid plans and all that… Blek! My plans are constantly changing. I think it’s because I often plan with an ideal in mind and in this last season, God’s been teaching me to be flexible and allow the waves of life to roll over me.
I can panic when things don’t go my way or I can have a back-up. And when it comes to back-up planning with Jesus, it’s easy! I have list of people and things to pray for. If my own agenda isn’t fitting for the day, I fall back on that list and just pray my way through. Of course, as always with prayer, it’s important to slow down when the Holy Spirit puts a pause in the way.
Sometimes these are my most beautiful prayer times! Although I came in wanting God to tell me if the opportunity presented to me is His will or not, I find that prayer giving me pause. I start down my back-up list and eventually spend 20 minutes interceding for the fourth, seventh, or eleventh person on the list.
I fear this is most often overlooked. However, I’ve found it to be vital to a healthy spiritual life. Sometimes this sounds like singing (or what passes for singing from my mouth) but often it’s just me telling God about Himself.
That may read a little funny but it’s the truth. I spend time telling God that He’s beautiful, wonderful, holy. I declare that His plans are perfect. I tell Him that He is full of mercy and justice. I spend time just admiring all the good and perfect things of God.
This may be number five but it’s always the first thing I do. It’s from this place of worship that my pre-planned prayers come easily or fall away. It’s in worship that a busy life seems less busy and my priorities re-align.
I’m not gonna lie — my brain isn’t usually ready to fall into a place of worship but as it’s said “I fake it till I make it.” Eventually worship gets easier and that time that I set aside for God become worth the cost of the things I gave up.
Jesus time with a busy schedule isn’t easy. However, with a little preparation and a lot of listening to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, I find that it’s not just possible — it’s amazing!