Getting closer to God can fill your life with greater meaning, purpose, peace, and joy. If you feel distant from God or simply want to strengthen your relationship with Him, there are practical steps you can take.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Develop a regular prayer life and study the Bible, attend church services and small groups, serve others, and live according to Godly principles.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various biblical strategies for fostering an intimate connection with God.
Cultivate a Consistent Prayer Life
Set aside regular times for prayer
Finding time to pray consistently can be challenging with busy schedules. However, setting aside regular time devoted solely to conversing with God is crucial for spiritual growth. Many devote the morning, afternoon or evening to daily prayer.
For example, praying during the morning commute, over the lunch hour, or before bedtime works for some. Consistency leads to developing deeper intimacy in one’s prayer life journey.
Praying should feel like carrying on a conversation with a close confidant – because that is what it is! There is no need to use lofty religious language. Simply talk openly and honestly with God. Share joys, concerns, fears, and anything on the heart.
Remember, the Creator desires an intimate friendship with every person. Conversational prayer facilitates that special bond.
Pray scripture back to God
The Bible overflows with incredible promises and truths about God’s character. Praying scripture unleashes its power into situations. For example: “Lord, your Word says ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’ in Jeremiah 29:11.
I choose to trust Your heart for my life today.”Praying scripture builds faith and aligns one’s heart with His.
Recording prayers in a journal enables tracking the Lord’s faithfulness over time. Documenting the date, prayer requests, scriptures prayed, and answers received provides an enriching history of God’s work. Researchers have found that journaling prayers increases awareness of blessings (reference).
Plus, it stands as a reminder of God’s reliability when trials hit.
Study and Apply the Bible
Read the Bible daily
Reading the Bible daily is one of the most important ways to get closer to God. Set aside time each day to read at least a chapter or two. Try starting your day by reading a Psalm and a chapter from the New Testament. This will help frame your mindset for the day and fill you with truth and wisdom.
As you read, highlight key verses or write down thoughts and questions. Ask God to speak to you through His word. Over time, you’ll begin to understand more of who God is and how He wants you to live.
Memorize key verses
Choose key Bible verses about God’s character and promises to memorize. Verses like Philippians 4:6-7, Jeremiah 29:11, and Ephesians 2:8-9 are great ones to start with. Write them down on index cards or sticky notes and put them where you’ll see them frequently. Go over them in the morning or evening.
Memorizing Scripture helps renew your mind, gives you strength in tough times, and enables you to minister to others.
Ask questions and meditate on passages
As you read the Bible, ask questions to understand the meaning better. Who is writing and who is the audience? What is the context? How can I apply this today? Pick a short passage and meditate on it throughout the day.
For example, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). Turn it into a prayer and ask God to increase your trust in Him. The more you interact with and reflect on Scripture, the more it will shape your thoughts and actions.
Join a Bible study group
Studying the Bible with other believers provides accountability, insight and encouragement in your faith journey. Attend a Bible study at your church or do one online or through apps like Bible.com. Discussing Scripture in community helps you see different perspectives.
You can pray for each other and build godly friendships. According to a 2019 Lifeway Research survey, 67% of Christians who attend Sunday school regularly and read the Bible at least 3 times a week kept the faith as young adults.
Staying in God’s Word together keeps us tethered to Him through all of life’s ups and downs.
Participate in Church Community
Attend Sunday services
Attending Sunday church services provides an excellent opportunity to connect with fellow believers, worship God together, and hear teaching from the Bible. Here are some benefits of attending Sunday services regularly:
Making Sunday church attendance a weekly habit is a great way to stay plugged into a community of believers. This provides a consistent spiritual boost and helps you maintain a close relationship with God throughout the week.
So be sure to join with fellow Christians each Sunday to worship God together!
Join a small group or ministry
In addition to Sunday services, joining a small group or serving on a ministry team are fantastic ways to get more involved in your church community. Here are some key benefits of participating in these church activities:
Small groups and ministry teams allow you to experience Christian community beyond Sunday mornings. Serving alongside other believers draws you closer to God and them. You’re encouraged when you see God at work through your church’s ministries.
Getting involved beyond Sunday services vitalizes your faith!
Develop relationships with fellow believers
In addition to organized church activities, you can nurture meaningful relationships with fellow Christians outside of church. Here are some ideas for connecting with other believers:
These personal connections with believers provide uplifting camaraderie and accountability in your spiritual walk. You sharpen one another as iron sharpens iron through godly friendships. Nurturing relationships with your brothers and sisters in Christ leads to joy, support, and enrichment beyond organized church activities.
Make developing meaningful friendships with fellow Christians a priority!
Serve God and Others
Discover your spiritual gifts
God has gifted each of us uniquely to serve others and bring glory to Him. Discovering those gifts is an important first step to effectively serving God. Consider volunteering in different areas of the church or community to find out where your talents lie.
Could you teach a Sunday School class, lead a small group, serve meals to the homeless, or sing on the worship team? Pay attention to what energizes you and what gifts others notice in you. Sites like https://www.spiritualgiftstest.com offer assessments to help you identify your top spiritual gifts as well.
Volunteer your time and talents
Once aware of your gifts, actively seek out ways to use them to build God’s kingdom. Within your church, look for volunteer roles that align with your strengths – maybe you could lend a hand with administration, facilities upkeep, community outreach events, or youth programs.
In the wider community, options are endless too: tutor students struggling academically, deliver meals to homebound seniors, serve in a homeless shelter or soup kitchen, spearhead neighborhood beautification projects, provide respite care for special needs children so their caregivers can have a break, or use your musical abilities to entertain at a nursing home.
WOW – when we follow God’s lead in serving others, the impact is amazing!
Look for opportunities to help others
While it’s good to have dedicated volunteer commitments, also simply develop the habit of being on the lookout for opportunities to help. Assist a neighbor with yardwork when you’re out mowing your own lawn, offer to babysit for a stressed single mom at church so she can run errands, visit an elderly friend who might be lonely.
Let the Holy Spirit guide you each day to small acts of service. Showing God’s kindness and compassion to those around you will point them toward Him. The website https://www.operationchristmaschild.org gives ideas for blessing children in need around the world with shoebox gifts packed full of fun toys, hygiene items, and school supplies.
Live According to Godly Principles
Apply biblical values to decision making
When facing difficult choices in life, it can be helpful to reflect on biblical principles and ask how God may be leading us. Here are some tips for applying godly values when making decisions:
- Pray for wisdom and discernment. Ask God to help reveal His will for the situation (James 1:5).
- Consult the scriptures. Look for biblical principles and stories that may provide guidance.
- Consider how love, justice, compassion, humility, and other godly virtues should shape your approach.
- Reflect on whether the options align with biblical truths or could lead to sin.
- Seek counsel from spiritually mature Christians who can provide biblical perspective.
- Listen for the Spirit’s leading through His inward promptings.
- After making a decision, trust God with the outcome even if difficulties arise.
Keeping biblical values at the core of decision making helps followers of Christ make choices that honor God and reflect His character. This builds spiritual maturity and strong faith.
Practice spiritual disciplines like simplicity, purity, and generosity
Certain spiritual disciplines help believers live out godly principles daily. Here are three key disciplines to practice:
Simplicity – Declutter life of excess and seek contentment in God rather than possessions. Avoid consumerism, wastefulness, and chasing after more (Matthew 6:19-21, 33).Purity – Maintain sexual purity, honesty, and wholesome speech. Avoid immorality, lust, greed, and impurity in mind and body (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).Generosity – Cultivate a habit of giving time, money, and abilities to serve others. Avoid stinginess, selfishness, and living only for oneself (2 Corinthians 9:6-8).
Other disciplines like solitude, fasting, worship, service, and more can also help deepen devotion to godly principles. By regularly practicing these, Christians gain freedom from worldly values and habits that lead to sin.
Repent of sins and seek forgiveness
As humans, we often fall short of fully living by godly principles. When believers mess up, it is important to take these steps:
- Admit faults openly and honestly to God, acknowledging the specific sins (Psalm 51:1-3).
- Repent genuinely, turning away from the sinful attitudes or behaviors (Acts 3:19).
- Ask God for forgiveness based on Christ’s redemptive work, not personal merit (1 John 1:9).
- Make restitution when sins have harmed others (Luke 19:8).
- See forgiveness from God and make any necessary changes to avoid repeating the sins (John 8:11).
- Walk in God’s grace and healing as you seek to live more faithfully (Romans 6:1-2).
Repenting of sin deepens intimacy with God. It leads to spiritual renewal as believers align their lives more closely with His standards and receive empowerment to obey biblical principles.
Developing intimacy with God requires commitment and perseverance, but the rewards are exceedingly abundant. As you take practical steps to pursue Him daily, you’ll experience His presence, hear His voice, and see Him working in and through you.
This transforms life’s journey from mundane existence to spiritual adventure.