rebelling against low expectations

How can I enjoy my time with God more?


PETER WRITES: Do you ever feel bored when you spend time with God? Are you falling asleep reading your bible? I know sometimes I have a hard time just getting started, because I know it might take a while. There are times in the morning when I just want to go eat breakfast, or read some other exciting book instead of spending time with God.

I know this isn’t good, and I want to find myself getting excited about what I’ll learn today from God. I want to yearn for His wisdom, and not dread getting up at 6:00 A.M. in order to start school on time. How do I make spending time with my Father more about delight than duty?

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  • I have most definatly struggled with this! I’m a box checker. I catch myself all the time putting God in a box. I’ve found that having a good routine in the morning helps so that I already know when I’m going to read and I don’t find myself at the end of the day exhausted and not having done anything. I find that in the morning there’re less distractions. Also, for me to not get distracted during prayer I actually write them down. Boredom does set in sometimes, but I try to concentrate on the relationship and I stay motivated when I see the ways God has answers my past prayers.

    • Yeah! Those are some great tips! The only problem I run into is that I have SO many things I could pray for. That’s a good thing:)

      • Having many things to pray about is definitely a good thing, although it can be overwhelming! I used to avoid praying simply because it would take too long (which is terrible to admit, but true). What has helped me is scheduling out who I will pray for which days of the week. For example, on Sundays I pray for my immediate family, Mondays for my close friends, Thursdays for myself, and Saturdays for missionaries, as a few examples.

        And of course this shouldn’t limit you! Be sure to pray for whoever God lays on your heart, no matter what day of the week it is!

        • If you have a smartphone, a really helpful app for this that I use sometimes is called PrayerMate. You can set it up so that it will remind you of a specific person (or people) or situation(s) to pray for every day. I’m pretty sure they have it for iPhone and android.

          • I tried that for just regular reminders on my iPod, and it got WAY too hectic. Like, it would remind me, then re-remind me without me even hitting snooze or whatever. All the while having seven others going at the same time. I could probably fix it, but I’m lazy.

  • What works for me may not work for you, but here are some things I do:
    1. Read another book when I first wake up – maybe a fiction one with some action or something to get me fully awake. Don’t feel like you have to literally start your day by reading the Bible. You will learn a lot more from it if you are fully awake!
    2. Have a place you go to read your Bible – and it can’t be your bed. I know it’s easier to just roll over and pick up your Bible, but it’s also much easier to then roll back over and go to sleep. Get out of bed, grab a glass of water, and sit down in your Bible study spot. For me it’s the corner of the living room couch. I leave my Bible here, ready for me every morning.
    3. Start a Bible reading plan. I know we’ve all sat down with the Bible and opened it, hoping the passage would speak to us, but that doesn’t usually happen. Find a plan that works for you, whether it’s picking a book of the Bible and reading a chapter a day, a plan that has you read through the Bible in a year, or a topical plan that has you studying a topic in the Bible that interests you. Whatever you choose, stick to it!
    4. Read to learn. Don’t see the Bible as a fictional book to read a few chapters of and move on. We are to be reading the Bible and then living out what we read, so as you read, look for insights! And when you’ve finished, jot down what you learned and how you will apply it – or just review it out loud – whatever works for you.
    5. Most importantly, be consistent. Make a habit of reading God’s word and meditating on it. The more you read and learn, the more you’ll hunger after it.

    Hopefully these tips help you! I pray you are able to become more consistent with Bible study and prayer and grow to know more about our Savior and to be more like Him through your time spent in the Word.

  • Maybe you should try having your “God time” during a different part of the day, such as the evening before bed, if you tend to be on the wakeful side.

    Sometimes, if I find myself running out of ideas as to what part of Bible to read, or getting bored with what I am already reading, I’ll change it up.

    I’ll choose a word or theme such as: “love,” or “Does God specifically say he loves us?” and look up verses of passages that coincide.

    Another thing I really like to do is to pick a book, such as: Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Such a Time: How to Live Like Esther in a Rapunzel World, Pride and His Prisoners, Real Christianity, (by William Wilberforce) Start Here, etc.

    Then, I read and use it to guide my Bible reading. (Often accompanied by a fun journal:)

    If you’d like to try it, any well-reputed book, (that is written by a understanding person of the same professed doctrine) which helps you along in your Christian walk, even fiction, (but preferably stuffed with Bible verses or study bits:) will do.

    Another idea is to study the same part of the Bible as someone else, like a friend of family member, and discuss it with them.

    For prayer, I do different things depending on my mood. Sometimes I pray silently, or sing my prayer, or I’ll write God a letter or a poem.

    I hope this helps!

  • I, too, get up at six o’clock so I can read my Bible and still start school on time. It can be hard and sometimes it takes me at least ten minutes t just get awake enough to read my Bible. I agree with all the tips that @tallgirl95:disqus said and those are definitely things that help me 🙂 Also, as to enjoying the Bible, I think that’s a part of sanctification that we have to ask God to work on in our lives.

  • I literally just heard one of my church Bros say, “My heart follows my investment… so if I don’t love the Word I need to invest my time to read it.” That was really helpful for me, and hopefully you to. ☺

    • Also, if you go to you can find a ton of helpful articles and vids about how/why we should aproach scripture. I really enjoy Look at the Book.

    • Hmm…. are you saying that you are taking notes of what other people are taking, or that it is a good idea to take notes while reading the Bible? 😮

  • First of all, I want to encourage you-don’t be discouraged by this dryness in devotions. God has revealed this issue to you, and you are seeking to follow His direction-that’s a work of the Holy Spirit! That’s great! Who knows-perhaps God is teaching you to pursue Him even when you can’t see Him! Don’t grow weary while doing good! (Gal 6:9)
    So now to the main point, I would ask God to captivate you in your devotions. We’ve been commanded by Christ to ask Him when we need something-if you need Him to grab your attention in devotions, ask Him to! He is the best Father-He won’t hesitate to give you what you really need! Do keep in mind that He may choose not to take away the dryness-we know from the Psalms that God often chooses to seem far away to refine us.
    I find that when I get convicted about something (usually sin or a spiritual discipline) and I try and try for a while and am discouraged when I fail, and then when I’m confessing in prayer it hits me-I haven’t asked for the help I need, that only He can give me! I hope that made sense. The point is that I wouldn’t try to muster up a greater passion for God on your own-that’s a work that only the Holy Spirit can do. James tells us that if we lack wisdom (which I imagine would include enthusiasm in God) we should ask God in faith, who gives generously to all without finding fault. (Jas 1:5).

  • If you don’t mind writing in your bible try highlighters. Pick a book such as one of Paul’s letters or one of the Gospels and highlight away. Try picking one color for commands and another for names of God. Things like that. Then as you go through the book pull out the comands and things.

    It really helps me stay focused when I’m reading.

  • It may seem like a paradox, but the greatest advice I’ve received on that subject is that paying attention to what you’re studying actually helps you enjoy it.
    It works.

  • Definitely Highlighters! I actually just recently started using them during my bible time! After I highlight the part that spoke to me I like to think about it in-depth. Then I like to journal about what I highlighted. Getting the good old Webster dictionary out may help as well. Sometimes defining words that you already knew the meaning to, is a great way to truly understanding what has been read. Besides, we are supposed to “grow in the knowledge” of God’s Word, and “Hide it in our hearts.” I must admit that I sometimes struggle with this issue as well. I find that reading my bible before bed is an awesome thing to do, and gets my mind on God before I go to sleep at night.
    Some tips that will help you not be distracted:
    ♦ Don’t read your bible in your bed
    ♦ Don’t have your phone, (if you own one) next to you
    ♦ Seriously girls, you don’t need to be painting your nails during Bible time! ☺
    ♦ Food can be distracting
    Tips to HELP your walk with God:
    ♀ Use a highlighter
    ♀ Use a dictionary
    ♀ Memorize Scripture
    ♀ Pray
    ♀ Get out a hymn book and sing a hymn! ♪♫
    ♀Pick a specific book of the Bible to read, don’t just jump all over the place. I recommend the Proverbs as they are full of wonderful insights! ☺

    • Whoa how’d you get the little music notes thing in your comment? *geeks out cuz i’m a music nerd* Oh, and really good tips on Bible reading too 😀

    • Great advice! Thanks! Before Autumn, I used to do my devotions outside. Then… it was Autumn. So it got really cold! Actually, we had this gas heater that I used in our barn to keep me warm, but then we ran out of gas. Hahaha! I almost fell asleep in there a couple of times … The only reason I don’t read my Bible before bed, is that I share a small room with a brother, and holding a flashlight under my blankets can get sort of annoying. But I should definitely find another way to read before bed, and not just give you all the reasons I don’t:D

    • Good tips! Except I started highlighting when I was like 11… and ended up highlighting like every word of the gospels… 😛 Since then I’ve become a great fan of underlining. 😉

    • Lately I’ve been realizing how the first two tips on your first list are actually so so detrimental to my Bible time. I’m making some changes and it’s been working so uch better!

      • Aww, I’m so glad it was an encouragement and help to you! Praise the Lord! ☺

  • What helps me at 5 AM is to stand up, stretch and move somewhere that´s not my bed (so I don´t accidentally-on purpose fall back into drowsy pleasant warmth) and then proceed to grab a pencil and mark up my Bible, jotting down questions, drawing little diagrams, circling stuff I need to apply, etc. This helps me really interact with the meaning of text and not get distracted by all the things I have to do that day. While the first two verses always kinda suck because I´m still longing for sleep, once I get what I´m reading, it´s easier to stay awake and engaged.

  • Just as with any other relationship you want to keep strong, do stuff together that you enjoy! And change it up – if you like going for a drive and drinking coffee, grab one and go for a drive and just talk with God and worship.
    Go for a hike to a place you’ve never been to before and bring your Bible.
    I am so bad with falling asleep first thing in the morning, so I get ready a half-hour early before work, make coffee and drive to a parking lot to read/pray/worship. I’ve found inside my car is BY FAR the best place to study, I get distracted at my house way too easily.
    It’s alright to add a perk to your time-with-God time. For me, I treat myself to a coffee whenever I go to have some alone time with God. Since I’ve started doing that, my brain equates God-time with treat-myself time and I always look forward to it! And I know He does too!

    • So, I LOVE COFFEE! But… I can’t drive yet. Great advice though! I think shaking things up would definitely help me! Thanks.

    • I do the same thing with coffee! And I need to try your suggestion to change the scenery, I think that would help me so much because I also get super distracted/sleepy at home.

  • My Mom read a book that talked about doing what is called the “daily office.” It was originally a Catholic idea, but it can be really helpful. So, the point is to spend time with God more than once a day. In this case, you don’t have to spend tons of time at once, and can get “realigned with God” after or during the day. For example, you could spend time with Him in the morning and then some time at night, or even in the middle of the day, if that works. If you get up late and miss the morning time, you know you will be spending time with Him later in the day. I need to work on giving time to Him rather than giving preference to everything else, and taking time throughout the day to spend with Him. I think the more time I spend with Him, the more I will learn who He is, and then want to spend time with Him. I also find it helpful to remember that I can pray to Him any time, because often, I think “Oh, I need to pray about that, but right now I’m doing–fill in the blank–,” and then of course I never get around to praying about it.

rebelling against low expectations

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