Boredom kills intimacy. In my pursuit of God, I have found that with a structured and disciplined Christian life comes the potential for routine and boredom. As my daily spiritual disciplines become mere routine, before long they can degenerate into empty ritual, and empty ritual into boredom. What can I do to keep my relationship with God fresh, vital, and meaningful? Sometimes, a change in the way I practice the disciplines brings renewed vitality to my Christian walk. Here are some ways I’ve discovered to put zest back into my relationship with God.
Write your own Bible paraphrase
Choose a favorite book or long passage from the Scriptures. Think deeply about it every day for a week. Pray through it, attack it with questions, cross-reference it, talk about it with others, and read it in various translations. How would you take these same thoughts and express them to your friends? Write your own personal paraphrase.
Pray through the newspaper
As you read the newspaper, pray about people and events. Paul urged Timothy “that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Tim. 2:1-2). Pray not only for political leaders, but also for cultural leaders. You can also find issues that need prayer in the sports, comic, entertainment, real estate, and travel sections. Instead of frustration or despair, the newspaper should provoke prayer.
Do something good in secret
There is tremendous blessing in ministering to others without anyone knowing about it. Leave groceries, money, or a gift certificate by the front door of a needy family. Or try doing something anonymously that will encourage someone who is hurting.
Take a vow of silence
Ours is an age of continual noise. God does not like to shout, and often waits for our souls to still themselves in silence before He speaks. For 12 to 24 hours, remove yourself, as much as possible, from the noise around you. Try not to speak, consecrate that time to God, and listen intently to Him.
Practice redemptive remembrance
The people of Israel forgot the many times God delivered them. Avoid Israel’s sin of not remembering God’s many kindnesses. He may have rescued you from physical harm, from foolish decisions, from harmful relationships, or from adverse circumstances. Set aside a time to recall in detail each time He “saved” you and let Him know how you feel about each one. Jot down your memories and your praises in a journal. Then organize your thoughts and write your own psalm.
Adapted from 23 Ways to Jump-Start Your Spiritual Battery, copyright (c) 1996 Randy D. Raysbrook. Randy is cofounder of Creation Resources, a national project of The Navigators that develops training and resources for Christian leaders and laypeople to improve their learning, teaching, and ministry innovation.