I’m all about a good spiritual routine, but sometimes, it’s nice to change it up a little. Today, in this post, I’ll be sharing three fresh ways to spend time with the Lord.
JOURNAL THROUGH A PSALM
I tried this for the first time last week and was impressed by how refreshing and encouraging it was. I chose Psalm 23 because that’s a Psalm that I’m especially familiar with and I wrote it out, verse by verse, skipping a few lines between each verse. Then, I journaled after each verse. Rather than just glazing over the Psalm, saying, “yep, the Lord’s my Shepherd. I’m glad…” and moving on, this activity made me slow down and focus on what the Psalm was actually saying. Just after verse 1 (“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want”), I wrote a small paragraph thanking the Lord for His guiding hand in my life and for His unfailing providence. I asked for forgiveness for how often my heart is discontented and wrote myself a reminder that, in Christ, I have riches immeasurable.
If you love the Psalms but tend to skim over them without careful thought, I’d recommend journaling through some Psalms. And if you’re not so familiar with the Psalms, this is a great way to get acquainted with this set of inspired poems.
Robert Godfrey sums up the importance of the Psalms this way: “God gave His people the Psalter so that we could more and more be defined by it, so that we could find our identity in it. We, as the people of God today, need to learn for ourselves what it means to live in the Psalms. In a real sense, they give us words to express what it means to live as a Christian. We should live in and out of the Psalms” (Learning to Love the Psalms).
“Blessed is the one…whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law day and night.” Psalm 1:1-2.
SING & PRAY
Another way (my personal favorite) to spend time with the Lord is to choose a few songs, sing them, and then, after each song, pray a short prayer that is related to that particular song. Here’s an example of what this might look like for me.
Sing Brokenness Aside [All Sons & Daughters]
- Repent of my sins and give thanks to the Lord for His gracious forgiveness
Sing The Same Love [Paul Baloche]
- Praise God for His unchanging character
Sing How Firm a Foundation [Catherine Lovett]
- Pray for my relationship with my fiancé, asking that the Lord would strengthen us through seasons of long distance and continually prepare our hearts for marriage
Sing Multiplied [Need To Breathe]
- Pray that God would strengthen my faith, grow my zeal for His Word, and “multiply” my joy in Him
Sing Rock of Ages [LSB 761]
- Give thanks that I am justified by faith alone and pray for my continual sanctification
As you can see, each of my prayers is somewhat related to the content of the song I sang directly before. Not only can the lyrics help shape your prayers, but singing is also one of the best ways to clear your mind and prepare your heart to bring your supplications before the Lord.
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs.” Psalm 100:1-2.
MEMORIZE SCRIPTURE WITH LETTER CARDS
I learned this one from a classmate, who was convinced that she had the hands-down best way to memorize Scripture. It goes like this…you take the passage you’re trying to memorize (let’s say John 3:16, for example) and write out the first letter of every word on a notecard.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” [NIV]
F G S L T W, T H G H O A O S, T W B I H S N P B H E L.
There’s no hidden code in that line above. It’s just a technique to help memorize Bible verses. But it’s a technique that works impressively well.
There are many benefits to committing Scripture to memory. Hiding God’s Word in our hearts will aid us in our fight against sin (Psalm 119:11). It will comfort us in times of difficulty and inspire us to praise in times of joy (Psalm 119:50, Psalm 69:30). It will help us help others and will sanctify our hearts in the process (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Finally, we are commanded to be familiar with God’s Word (Deuteronomy 11:18). Memorizing Scripture is something that I need to be better at, so I’m planning to use this technique more frequently this year. I’d encourage you to try it out as well!
“Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105.