The Ultimate Guide to Connect with God

The Ultimate Guide to Connect with God (Over 120 Ideas!)

If you’re stuck in a spiritual rut, chances are you’ve tried the same formula of Bible reading and praying, and it’s just not helping you connect with God, it’s not  moving the needle in your spiritual life.

But whether you call it “quiet time,” “devotions,” “Bible study,” “prayer,” “meeting with God,” or anything else, figuring out how you personally connect with God on a daily basis is essential to the life of every believer.

Contrary to popular belief, God did not create us all to worship Him in the same way. We’re different not just in our physical appearance and spiritual giftedness but also in the way we connect with God. And it’s a beautiful thing. One body, many parts, and lots of great ways to connect with the One True God through Jesus Christ.

To revitalize your spiritual life, look for ways to connect with God that are true to who God create you to be. 

The list below, inspired by a radio interview with Gary Thomas that I heard a few months ago, is NOT a to-do list to earn God’s favor. Jesus already did that. God won’t be impressed or more pleased with you if you do any or all of the activities below. Really, He’s after the heart. But if your heart is right with God, this list will give you ideas to seek Him in new ways that may open up fresh paths of communication with Him.

So stop trying to mimic someone else’s spiritual walk and discover the way God created YOU to connect with Him!

Naturalists–Loving God Outdoors

  1. Go for a prayer walk around your neighborhood, praying for each neighbor individually by name
  2. Rest. Take a nap. Thank God that He gives sleep to those He loves (Psalm 127:2).
  3. Read the Bible outside
  4. Worship God while watching a sunrise or sunset; delight in His artistic expression and praise Him with each changing color
  5. Read and memorize Bible verses that tell of nature declaring the glory of God (Psalm 19, 29; Job 38-41)
  6. Read poetry about how God reveals Himself in nature (i.e., Gerard Manley Hopkins’ “God’s Grandeur“); reflect on what you learn about God from these poems and how you can respond to Him
  7. Lay down in the grass and look at the clouds, “the dust of God’s feet” (Nahum 1:3); reflect on where God is moving and what He is doing in the world and in your life
  8. Sing songs about God and nature (e.g., All Creature of our God and King; How Great Thou Art; I Walk in the Garden Alone; Great Is Thy Faithfulness)
  9. Meditate on God’s majesty while going on a hike; be inspired by the skies, the trees, and the rocks–if we don’t praise Him, they will!
  10. Learn about macro and micro biology and astronomy and worship God for how He created everything so meticulously and still cares for us (I really enjoy this presentation on The Starmaker by Louie GiglioIf you're in a spiritual rut, doing the same thing won't help. Here are over 120 creative ideas to help you reconnect with God.

Sensates–Loving God with the Senses

  1. Listen to worship music from all different countries and get a preview of heaven, praising God with brothers and sisters from “every tribe and every tongue” (for a preview, check out Hillsong’s rendition of Amazing Grace in 50 languages)
  2. Make up music for your favorite Scripture and sing it out loud
  3. Light a candle during your devotions or use incense to engage your smell in the act of worship as well
  4. Absorb worship-producing art by meditating on God’s Truth as revealed in the art (painting, sculpture, film, music, dance, etc)
  5. Make art as an act of worship
  6. If you play an instrument, have a private time of worship by playing for an audience of One
  7. Pray in various positions: standing, sitting, kneeling, dancing, laying face-down, walking
  8. Make one of your favorite snacks or beverages and share it with God while you talk about your day
  9. Find local cathedrals open to the public and spend time in personal prayer there
  10. When reading a Bible passage imagine the scene in your mind: listen for the sea gulls, feel the scorching sun on your face, taste the fish, hear the thunder, smell the smoke… become one of the characters in the story and recreate the scene in your mind (this practice is commonly called lectio divina)

 

Traditionalists–Loving God through Ritual and Symbol

  1. Read Scripture out loud
  2. Use the Book of Common Prayer or Valley of Vision to guide your prayers
  3. Meet with God at the same time and place every day
  4. Study the history of the church to learn how God has been working throughout the ages
  5. Read the Bible chronologically to gain a new understanding of how the events in the Bible fit together (or pick one of the other many Bible reading plans Bible Gateway offers for free here)
  6. Celebrate significant days in the church calendar like Lent, Pentecost, Advent, etc
  7. Practice “prayer breaks” throughout the day, pausing for a few moments of prayer every hour; set an alarm on your phone to help you remember
  8. Read three chapters of the Bible a day, but don’t stop there: talk to God about what you read and what you’ve learned about Him in the text
  9. Learn about the Jewish festivals and incorporate them in your yearly calendar
  10. Study the creed and use it to reflect on how God has revealed Himself to us

Ascetics–Loving God in Solitude and Simplicity

  1. Rise up early in the morning for prayer in the stillness of night
  2. Create daily rhythms that center your heart on Jesus; this can include saying a prayer as soon as you open your eyes, reciting a specific passage each day as you dress, reading from a devotional book at every lunch, etc
  3. Practice silence by not speaking AND silencing the soundtrack in your mind
  4. Fast from food and use meal times to pray
  5. Clean out a closet and donate items to a relief organization
  6. Practice “heart cleaning” where you ask the Holy Spirit to reveal sins that you’ve harbored in your heart and you repent of them
  7. Practice solitude on a regular basis, getting away from people, phones, social media, and chores for a quiet respite to “be still and know that [He is] God” (Psalm 46:10)
  8. Look around your house and bundle together any surplus you have to make basic care packets (shampoo, gloves, socks, oatmeal packets, nuts, etc); give these to homeless people standing on street corners
  9. Spend time on a night watch, staying up a portion (or all) of the night to focus on prayer, repentance, thanksgiving, and listening to God
  10. Live on a tight budget and give the surplus to families in need and organizations you believe in

Activists–Loving God through Confrontation

  1. When you read or watch heart-breaking news, reflect on God’s faithfulness despite the evils of the world and ask Him to comfort, strengthen, and intervene in the situation
  2. Make a list of God’s characteristics and over the course of a few days reflect on how each one has touched your life
  3. Seek an older woman who can pray and talk you through seasons of your life
  4. Research current legislature that’s being discussed in your state and national congress, and pray for those issues as they come up for debate and vote
  5. Serve Jesus at a local homeless shelter
  6. Write a letter to your congressman asking for their intervention in the release and relief of persecuted Christians around the world (for ideas of what to say, check out persecution.org)
  7. Participate in campaigns that help rescue trafficked women and children, provide care for orphans, help widows support themselves, offer encouragement to terminally ill patients, etc
  8. Pray for your city as you drive around running errands
  9. Wherever you go, sit next to the loneliest person in the room and show them they’re valued in Christ
  10. Spend some time prayer-journaling what causes are heavy on your heart, then research organizations that aid in that way and prayerfully consider how you can get involved with others who are doing kingdom work

Caregivers–Loving God by Serving Others

  1. Open your home to students and love on them
  2. Offer counseling and support at a local crisis pregnancy center
  3. Visit an elderly member of your church and ask them to tell you stories of God’s faithfulness in their life over some baked goods that you brought with you
  4. Join a prayer team at your church and pray for the needs of your congregation
  5. Volunteer to babysit your pastor’s kids so he and his wife can have a date night
  6. Pick a missionary family your church supports and get to know them; send them birthday cards, small care packages, call them on Skype, pray for them, learn more about the culture they’re in, and look for practical ways to encourage them
  7. Visit the hospital and seek out those patients who haven’t received any visitors (flowers optional)
  8. Take a meal to a new mom or someone who’s going through a long-term illness
  9. Volunteer at an inner city ministry
  10. Write a letter of encouragement to a persecuted brother or sister in Christ who is imprisoned for their faith (you can check out Voice of the Martyrs for more information)

Enthusiasts–Loving God with Mystery and Celebration

  1. Write down significant dreams and talk them over with God and someone you trust
  2. Ask God each morning to bring someone in your path who you can minister to
  3. Say something nice to a stranger
  4. Still your heart and listen to God; write down what you hear Him saying
  5. Act out Bible stories with your children
  6. Seek out a prayer partner and set a specific time and day each week to pray, whether together or apart
  7. Take classes on theology, evangelism, counseling, etc
  8. Serve in your church’s nursery or children’s department
  9. Go through old picture albums and reflect on how God moved in different seasons of your life; think about people He used, conversations that drew you closer to Him, successes and failures, special events
  10. Be the first to celebrate what God is doing in your life and in others’ by throwing dinner parties, writing cards of congratulations, sharing others’ good news on social media (with their permission, of course), and dancing wildly around the house because of God’s miracles

Contemplatives–Loving God through Adoration

  1. Use a short, set prayer to focus your mind on God (e.g., the Jesus prayer, Psalm 46:10)
  2. Read an account of Jesus’ crucifixion from one of the gospels and slowly work through the scene in your mind; imagine the emotions of those present; picture the sights and smells; reflect on relevant prophesies Jesus fulfilled; end with a prayer of repentance, thanksgiving, and praise
  3. Read a psalm and pray it personalized to you, by inserting “I” or your name
  4. Pick a verse to meditate on while you close your eyes and breathe deeply
  5. Keep pen and paper close to you while you pray and write down any stray thoughts or to-do items that come to mind so you can return your focus on God; before you finish your time of prayer, pray over each item you wrote down
  6. Study artistic renditions of biblical scenes and meditate on that story, using the passage to help you with details; identify emotions, expectations, and actions in the story; reflect on God’s character as revealed in the story and illuminated by the painting
  7. Write down what comes to mind when you think about God; spend some time thanking Him for all the ways He cares and provides
  8. Moving beyond what God does, take time to reflect on who He is; read Scripture on His holiness, love, compassion, patience, righteousness, faithfulness, etc
  9. Find a prayer warrior and spend time together in prayer; focus your prayer time not on a list but on who God is and how He is working
  10. Practice incorporating God’s characteristics in your prayers; for example, when praying about job loss, thank God for being Jehova Jirah, the One who provides, for taking care of you in the past, for giving daily bread and for being the Bread of Life, for knowing the future that is unknown to us, for already working at opening doors for you to walk through, for being ever-faithful, etc

 

Intellectuals–Loving God with the Mind

  1. Write down 15-20 observations on the Bible text you’re reading (the first few are easiest but the last ones are the most rewarding)
  2. Use a commentary when studying a passage to gain a broader understanding of the text
  3. Find other Christians who are interested in ethics and doctrine and discuss what you believe; challenge each other to question presuppositions and go deeper, but always with grace and truth
  4. Read one book of the Bible at a time, studying a short paragraph a day to delve deep into the text
  5. Take notes during the sermon and at the very end, identify one practical way to apply that day’s teaching to your life that very day
  6. Read books about the character of God (Knowledge of the Holy, Tozer, Knowing God)
  7. Listen to podcasts or sermons while driving or working out
  8. Pick a topic that interests you and spend a year studying it; read each Bible reference, listen to sermons on it, read books on it, talk to others about it, write your thoughts on it, watch movies about it; ask the Holy Spirit to teach you about that topic through events in your own life
  9. Study the seven basic topics in systematic theology and know WHY you believe what you believe: God, humankind, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Church, eschatology, and revelation
  10. Audit an online class at a Bible college you respect on a topic that interests you; talk to God about what you’re learning and seek ways to practice it in your life

Introverts–Loving God by Ourselves

  1. Write a letter of encouragement sharing what God is teaching you; if you don’t know who to write to, ask the Holy Spirit to bring someone to mind
  2. Use the minutes (or hours, for us insomniacs) before you fall asleep to pray for the people that God brings to mind
  3. Divide your prayer requests into 7 days of the week so you can pray for each request at least once a week
  4. Identify a hope or fear in your life and pray about it every day for 40 days; repent of any sins He reveals to you on that topic; write down anything you sense God is telling you; do whatever He tells you to do; pray as the Spirit leads. At the end of the 40 days, reflect on what God has done and continue in prayer
  5. Pray through the fruit of the Spirit, one each week; ask God to cultivate that characteristic in you through specific events in your life that week (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control)
  6. Pray through a sketch of the temple, entering the gates with thanksgiving, thanking Jesus for being the showbread, asking God to wash you of your sins at the water basin, reflecting the sacrifice of the Lamb at the altar, and finally entering the Holy of Holies to stand in adoration of God
  7. Read books by Christians who are not contemporaries; learn from ways God has revealed Himself to others in the past
  8. Keep a list of daily blessings in your life (for inspiration on this simple daily habit, I highly recommend Ann Voskamp’s book 1000 Gifts)
  9. Find worship songs that put into words the thoughts of your heart, like Be Thou My Vision, Take My Life and Let It Be, All to Jesus I Surrender
  10. Practice talking to God throughout the day, making conversation about whatever it is you’re doing, and asking for the Spirit’s guidance in your actions

Extroverts–Loving God in Community with Others

  1. Keep a running list of prayer requests and each time you tell someone “I’ll pray for you,” put them on the list; then pray!
  2. Once a week, make dinner time storytime; tell your children and friends stories of how God has been faithful in your life and invite them to do the same
  3. Follow up with people you’ve said you’ll pray for and ask them how God has been moving in their lives
  4. Write down the story of your life, making note of the many ways God has provided for you and moved in different circumstances; save it for your family to cherish once you’ve joined Jesus in heaven
  5. Read the Bible in a short period of time, like four months, to get a birds-eye view of the entire storyline (Keith Ferrin hosts a Bible Read-Through every year; here was my experience)
  6. While reading a Bible passage, interpret what you’re reading by asking yourself: “What does this passage teach me about God? About myself? About the Christian life?”
  7. After reading a Bible passage, apply what you’ve read by identifying one action you will make that day in response to God’s Word; make it SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound
  8. Each night, share with your spouse or a friend at least one way God showed up that day
  9. Read the Bible in community with other women (like these online communities for women)
  10. Offer to host a Bible study or prayer group in your home

VAK–Loving God through Our Learning Styles

  1. Sketchnote your Bible readings by drawing pictures, using special fonts, and presenting what you’re learning in a visual way (visual)
  2. Journal your prayers like you’re writing a letter to God (this helps me stay focused so my mind doesn’t wander during prayer) (visual)
  3. Write important verses on index cards and keep them around the house (or you can use premade ones, like in our Scripture Art shop) (visual)
  4. Listen to the Bible on tape or CD [this one is my favorite recording] (Auditory)
  5. Read the Bible out loud, using intonation and expressions like you would while reading to a child (auditory)
  6. Sing praise songs throughout your day, whether you’re washing dishes, driving kids to school, or getting ready for bed (auditory)
  7. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and have a conversation with Jesus. Out loud. (auditory)
  8. Build a physical altar using items of significance from your past to remember God’s faithfulness (kinesthetic)
  9. Incorporate symbols you can touch and interact with in your prayer time, like a rosary, a prayer maze, stations of the cross, etc, and use them to direct your heart toward God (kinesthetic)
  10. Crochet or knit hats for the NICU at your local hospital, praying for the babies who will wear them and their families (kinesthetic)

I could keep on going, because “whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Our connection comes not from WHAT we do in worship but rather HOW we do it. We can read 10 chapters of the Bible and our hearts still be far from God, or we can wash our car in the driveway and have a wonderful time of fellowship with Him.

I’d love to hear how you’re breaking free from the one-size-fits-all spirituality and finding ways to connect with God that are specific to how God created you. Let me know in the comments: How do you feel most connected to God? Which of the ideas above do you want to try? 

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Comments 34

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  1. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    What a terrific list!

    With one foot in the grave, according to my doctor (whom I plan to outlive), spending time with God isn’t a problem. He’s become of somewhat sudden urgent interest!

    But mainly I work with Him through the care of the dogs at our sanctuary. They came from places that were a nightmare; I hope we are giving these guys, precious in His sight, a good and well-loved life.

  2. Eileen

    Years ago God challenged me to find Him in everything. The Word of God tells us that Christ is in all things and all things exist in Christ. So I put the challenge to my rebellious son at the time. So his reply was, “If that is true mom, my first topic is toilet paper”. At first I wanted to get mad but God quickly calmed my heart and out of my mouth flowed the way the paper is processed and its purpose speaks volumes of the Christian walk. We must become pliable, bending our will to His. God will use hardships to soften us if we let Him. And of course the obvious, Christ cleanses us from our sins. There was more to it than that, but if we pick up the challenge we will learn so much. This lesson taught me to look for Christ in all things. It has been an adventure I would not trade for anything. Christ is in the crying child, the spiteful relative, not in their actions but in the breath of their life. We cannot be unforgiving of others faults, but pity the ones who are stiff neck, for without Christ their life is a prison that they do not realize. We find Christ in the sunsets and in nature, but can we find Him in the doctor’s report of our life being only so long, in the harsh words of an angry person, in the selfishness of a narcissist individual. Those are the harder lessons, but Christ is in the midst of it, if we allow Him. To Him be the glory. Mrs. J.

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      asheritahc

      What a wonderful lesson you taught your son… and using toilet paper as an example. Truly, the Holy Spirit works in all parts of our lives if we just open our eyes to see. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Emily

    What a list! It was great that you added the reminder at the beginning that this is NOT a to-do list to earn God’s favor or to impress.
    We need to trust that by grace we are saved regardless of what we do. But out of love and thankfulness we are to seek Him! Thanks for noting many ways to do this.

  4. Debby

    Wow, I never thought of these specific categories. Wonderful. I’ve enjoyed experiences of connecting with God in many of these ways. He meets our every need to connect with him. Stopping by from Meredith’s link up.

  5. Joanne Viola

    Loved this >>> “So stop trying to mimic someone else’s spiritual walk and discover the way God created YOU to connect with Him!” May we realize that what works for someone else may not necessarily work for all. He created us so uniquely & has relationship with us also unique to us. Great list to also make us realize we may experience Him in varied ways throughout the year. So glad I stopped here this morning!

  6. Beth

    Whoa! What a great resource you’ve provided, Asheritah! I love it and will be using it in the future I’m sure! Thanks for all the work you went to for us and Happy New Year, my friend!

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      asheritahc

      It was definitely a labor of love, but something that I knew would help me and many others. God is so much bigger than the boxes we try to put Him in, and I’m excited this year to connect with Him in new ways.

      1. Liz

        “God is so much bigger than the boxes we try to put Him in…” I love that truth! Thank you for a list of resources for so many different personalities…we are all unique, so it makes perfect sense that we would worship in unique ways.

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  7. Anita Ojeda

    I definitely feel connected most to God out in nature! Maybe that’s why I love photography so much. I not only get to worship him, but I get to capture some of the wonder and share it with others.

  8. Liz Petrie

    Good morning,

    Great ideas!! Speaking with Hod out loud has been a desire for a long time. Feeling inadequate to doing it.. Maybe just plain lazybones!! Lots of other good ideas. Will keep this post. I get it in my head to do to many things, I really need to journal, again lazybones….uggg. God is good !! Will pray for you & thank you for these gracious ideas.

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  9. Mildred Johnson

    Wow! I loved this list. I see myself in so many categories. There are so many great ideas. I am going to print this so I can share the ideas with others. Thanks, this took a lot of work.

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  10. Paula Sullivan

    i have to say: you are One Amazing Sister, Asheritah. Thank you for ALL the helpful inspirations God is speaking through you!

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  11. Paula Sullivan

    I have to say: you are One Amazing Sister, Asheritah! Thank you for ALL the helpful inspirations God is speaking through you.

  12. Yvette

    I love this post! I am on writing retreat at the moment and I feel so fortunate that I came across this list! Thank you, Asheritah, for sharing these tips to help us renew our connection to God!

  13. Coy

    Good way of explaining, and pleasant paragraph
    to take information about my presentation subject,
    which i am going to deliver in college.

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