Whenever we think of such growth, it seems the most likely place
for such things to happen is during an extended retreat, camp, or
wilderness trip, but who has time with a packed schedule and full
life! These getaway experiences can only happen every now and
So if you long to get closer to God, don't pack your bags!
Instead, take a look at these 14 ways to transform everyday steps
to take you closer to God.
1. Start the day with prayer. Develop a daily habit of starting
out with a blessing and prayer. At the beginning of the day, I use
the Catholic sign of the cross as an inspiration for my daily
prayer. I pray, "God, be in my head (as I touch my head), God be in
my heart (as I touch my heart), God be at my left (as I touch my
left shoulder), and God be at my right (as I touch my right
shoulder)." Then I ask God to lead me to do his will throughout the
2. See God everywhere. Thank God for his glorious creation. Put
yourself in a sense of worship as you behold the majesty and wonder
in trees, a hawk, seasonal changes, homes, places of work, and
people. Look for God's fingerprints everywhere.
3. "Wear" God. A beaded prayer bracelet or a cross or butterfly
necklace can remind you that God is with you. Seeing and feeling
this jewelry can remind you of what God wants you to wear inside:
compassion, kindness, forgiveness, servanthood, and love for
4. Hear God. Every day, listen to Christian tapes and CDs.
Listen to talks by leaders who grow, stretch, teach, comfort, and
redirect your life. Play devotional tapes with Scripture readings
and beautiful music-in the car, at home, even at work as the
climate permits. Or sing along, worship, get all revved up, cry,
and praise God with worship music. While in the car, tune into a
Christian radio station in your area.
5. Talk to God. Make your day an ongoing dialogue of prayer with
God. Thank God and ask for help, forgiveness, insight, and wisdom.
Praise God. Ask questions. Wonder aloud or silently about God. Make
your journey here on earth a living, breathing, prayerful one.
6. Retreat at home. Find an area in your home to be your
personal retreat area. In our four-season sunroom, I designate a
chair with an ottoman as a personal retreat space. It's my prayer
chair. I keep a blanket nearby for those cool Minnesota days. I've
placed a lamp, candle, matches, and reading glasses on a table next
to the chair.
I look out into God's creation through a window. Across the
room, I've placed a picture of Jesus. In a basket by my chair, I
have my Bible, devotional books, paper, pens, and sometimes cards
and letters that I've received.
I try to get there as often as I can-morning, noon, or night.
It's an area that invites and calls me to come, sit, be, listen,
pray, and read. Five minutes or 50 minutes-just be with the great I
7. Serve others. What would the world be like if we all went
about our day thinking of ways to serve those around us? Open a
door, pick up something that someone has dropped, pray for someone,
make a care call, allow the other person to go first, help someone
lift something, guard our words, see others as God sees them, tip
well, send an email prayer, share words of affirmation or thanks,
listen to someone, smile, or talk to people.
Encourage other people in their relationship with God. Affirm
them, pray for them, and help others grow deeper with God. Seek to
walk as a humble servant to grow deeper with God.
8. Study the Bible. Place Bible verses where you'll touch, open,
or look at them. For example, insert a Scripture card in your
wallet with your credit cards. On it, have a verse that you want to
learn or remember.
Place Bible verses on a mirror. As you look in the mirror, read
the verse and seek to mirror what the verse says. Post Scripture on
your walls, on your refrigerator, in the garden, at your doorways,
or on a cup, vase, or bookmark.
How about your computer mouse pad or computer screen?
Intentionally place the Word of God in places where your eyes fall
upon truth throughout your day. Pray that your eyes and heart will
be open to see God through these Bible verses.
9. Drink an awareness of God. When you take a drink of water,
think of the words of Jesus. He said that he is the Living Water
and when you drink of that water, you will never thirst again.
10. Remember the Bread of Life. Whenever you bite into bread, be
mindful that Jesus referred to himself as the Bread of Life. When
you taste something sweet, remember how God has been there in the
sweet times of life. When you taste something sour, think about
difficult times in life and how God has been there with you,
11. Read for inspiration. Keep Christian reading materials in
your briefcase, purse, glove compartment, bathroom, and on tables
or a nightstand. When you rest, wait in line, or travel, you'll
have at your fingertips reading resources to help you grow deeper
12. Live in God's presence. Think about your daily
activities-gardening, working on the car, painting, cooking,
rocking a baby, walking, jogging, cleaning, and more. Think
metaphorically. How does what I am doing remind me of God's Word,
way, life, and love? Stretch your thinking. Ask God to reveal
himself to you during these activities.
13. Take a Blessing Walk. Intentionally go on a Blessing Walk
into every room of your home. As you walk into each space, pray a
blessing on that area and for those who live there.
At your place of employment, walk and pray for workspaces. Pray
a blessing for all who work there.
Bless spaces where you live, work, and play. Bless all those who
gather. As you pray for the spaces and the multitudes, focus deeply
on the mind of God. Then be open to receive God's blessings within
these areas and through the people who are there.
14. Redeem the time. Be alert to God's touch and miracle. It can
move, wake, stir, influence, heal, redirect, and call to you within
a second. Stay alert. God can and will get your attention and
influence you in quick, brief moments of your day. Stay sharp in
looking and listening for God.
Lift your eyes off your daily planner and enter into your Savior's
sunrise to sunset schedule. Here, you'll find what you're searching
for-ways to grow deeper with God and ways to move throughout your
God's desire for us is to grow deeper with him. God wants a
passionate relationship with us. In growing deeper with God, he
will provide us with the breath and stamina to make the climb, walk
the path, and experience growth. Here's to the journey! cm
Sue Lennartson is a small groups pastor in White Bear Lake,
Minnesota.Please keep in mind that phone numbers, addresses, and
prices are subject to change. Originally published in July-August,
2003 in Children's Ministry Magazine.