Pursuing God

How To Build a Daily Time with God and Enjoy It – Pt. 1

Building a daily time with God and enjoying it is vital to a wholehearted pursuit of God. I noticed both in my personal life and in the lives of others that much of our time spent with the Lord is out of balance.

We spend too much time repenting, praying for our needs and the needs of others and not enough time in thanksgiving and adoration.

This results in so much introspection and work that we actually begin treating prayer like having surgery, needful but not enjoyable.

So many of us pray to God not with God. I measured prayer by how much time I talked to God. God measures prayer by how much time I interact with Him.

Prayer is communion. Prayer is a conversation. Prayer is dialogue.

Finding balance is key to enjoyable prayer.

So I switched things up and shifted a significant amount of time on the front end of my prayer time focusing primarily on the Lord, not on myself and/or my list.

The 4 Focus Areas

Time with God works best when these four area’s (below) are in balance. Each area intentionally builds on another. I encourage you to give it a try. I believe you will enjoy your time with God far more and feel refreshed when finished.

  1. Thanksgiving: Giving thanks to the Lord based on what He has done.
  2. Adoration: Meditating on who God is.
  3. Repentance: Aligning our hearts with His. Repenting to know His thoughts.
  4. Intercession: Discovering and praying what is on His heart for yourself and others.

The first two areas, thanksgiving and adoration, focus primarily on thanking and knowing God. The second two areas, repentance and intercession, focus primarily on my needs and the needs of others. This is the balance we are after.

The goal across all the areas is communion and dialogue with God.

1. Thanksgiving

Start your time with thanksgiving.

Psalm 100:4 “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”

Thanksgiving expresses gratitude for what God has done.Thanksgiving honors God regardless of how we feel and creates the atmosphere for His presence. It refreshes the heart.

As we meditate on what God has done we gain confidence in what He can do. Giving thanks activates hope and faith in a living God. We become awakened once again to His goodness!

Thank God for the following:

1 – His promises over your life.
2 – Prophetic words you have received.
3 – Family, co-workers and friends
4 – Circumstances, miracles, experiences and adventures with God

Turn your Bible reading into times of thanksgiving.  In the passage below you can literally pause on each phrase and return thanks. Give it a try.

Psalm 145:4-9 “One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts. They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds. They will celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.”

2. Adoration

Adoration is the pursuit of who God is, his nature, attributes and character.

While thanksgiving is about the deeds of God, adoration is about the ways of God.

Moses made a clear request to move beyond God’s deeds and onto knowing his ways.

Exodus 33:13If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you.”

We see the result of Moses’ request here.

Psalm 103:7He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:”

God delights in revealing who He is to the humble who make adoration a part of their daily pursuit.

Psalm 25:9  “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.”

Ask the Holy Spirit for clarity and revelation as you explore the character and attributes of God. Knowing God is the true treasure.

When we discover who God is we begin to understand who we are. This is crucial in keeping our minds renewed and our faith alive.

Rom. 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

I recommend that you grab the Adoration workbook. This workbook is an exploration of the attributes and character of God, arranged by the letters of the alphabet, with scriptural references and sections to journal.

They also provide an iPhone app for an easy resource while on the go. Here is a sample of what this looks like.

 

The adoration app is simple and powerful and it only costs $1.99.

The Vertical Focus

Thanksgiving and adoration are the first two steps in building a balanced daily time with the Lord. These two have an intentional vertical focus of thanking and discovering God. Slow down enough to make these a top priority in your time with the Lord.

Make thanksgiving and adoration a daily habit. Start with 5 minutes on each of these and slowly increase your time.  I suggest spending 15 minutes a day in each of these 2 areas.

The Horizontal Focus – Part 2

In our next post we will finish up by looking at the last two areas, repentance and intercession. These will focus on keeping our hearts pure and going after both our personal needs and the needs of others. Stay tuned!

Your Thoughts

What do you think about spending significant amount of focused time on God when we pray? Agree/Disagree? What has been your experience? Or just share your thoughts about the post. 😉  Add your comment below.

Greg Simas

• Pastor | Writer | Leader | Coach • Senior Leader of Convergence House of Prayer in SF Bay Area. "Building people whose lives change so they can change lives."

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12 thoughts on “How To Build a Daily Time with God and Enjoy It – Pt. 1”

  1. Yes this is true. When I pray, I follow the model prayer as Jesus taught the disciples and the most important PART of praying is being in the presence of God. I do not leave that place of only thanking and praising Him until I KNOW I’m in His presence (and I can sense it. It’s a deep peace that I only experience in God’s presence alone.) So once I know I’ve entered the throne room and I’m standing before God I continue with my prayer and just talk to God, but instead of asking for so much I just thank Him for giving it to me. But I do ask for things too, but then I thank Him and praise Him during the asking as well. The whole prayer if filled with thanksgiving and praise and it’s finished with thanksgiving and praise too. It just feels good to tell God how good He is and to thank Him for Who He is and all He does. I know He delights in seeing us being thankful and worshipful. It’s no good to rush through prayer and just say the words. It has to be from the spirit and from the heart and it has to be real. And there’s something about being in God’s presence that gives me great faith to believe that I will in fact receive every single thing I ask God for because I know He’s there, I know He loves me and I know He’s listening attentively. I’m more selective about what I say to Him and more specific with my requests than I used to be too. He is always faithful. God always gives me the desires of my heart. This is a great post brother Greg 🙂

    1. Hi Lisa. I want to zero in on a key phrase you mentioned in your comment… “I do not leave that place …until I KNOW I’m in His presence”. I think this is a great addition to what I have written in the post and so key to our time with God. Being conscious of His presence is vital for the assurance that He is with us. And yes, there is totally a feeling and sensing aspect to our time with God. So good. Thanks for bringing this out! 🙂

  2. Praying “with” God vs. praying “to” God. I like that. It’s challenging. We are so transactional, so about “doing” things, about conducting business. Even in prayer. Americans are probably the most challenged with this. What misery! To be hyper introspective and cocooned in our own things. Your first two steps gets us out of that mode in a hurry. What’s sobering is that without more thanksgiving and adoration, looking away from all things to Jesus and the Father, we often end up praying about the wrong things, in the wrong way. The Holy Spirit will honor our thanksgiving and adoration by coming alongside us and praying with us in a way that really arrests the Father’s heart.
    Great post. Thanks …

    1. Hey Brian. I am with you. Your thoughts about “conducting business” hits real close to where I live. This is my biggest struggle, slowing down and enjoying Jesus as a friend and lover (yes I said that, we are His bride) instead of my business partner. Maybe guys have a bigger problem with “doing” instead of just “being”, especially guys like me where “acts of service” is my love language. 😉 But you are right about “praying about the wrong things, in the wrong way.” This is true, we just wind up loosing more time because we go around the same ol’ mountain. Starting with thanksgiving and adoration is a growing reality for me. Thanks for sharing!

  3. such a good reminder for me in this season. i have found myself so burdened with peoples needs and the world around me i have gotten off balance. i love this because its like someone giving you permission to “enjoy” prayer. we all need that. good word.

  4. on the way to school on weekdays, i have been doing the acts model with the kids. it is so easy and covers all your 4 points – adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. my heart is often moved by hearing the names and attributes of God that are highlighted to my kids. it is a tender way to start the morning together before sending them off to school. i agree that the adoration and thanksgiving are two keys that we forget about way too often. i seek to weave them throughout my day, so i can learn to continually meditate upon Him and His goodness regardless of the life circumstances around me.

    1. Charis. Love what you guys do with the kids. Awesome! Great testimony. Hopefully what you do with them will inspire others to do the same. 🙂

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