About ten years ago, during a time when I was desperately hungry to know God more, I came across an article that impacted my walk with God in a profound way.
I had had people tell me before that it was important to spend time with God, and I had begun reading my bible regularly, but I didn’t really know how to spend that time in a way that would be most fruitful. When I read the article, An Hour with God, it was as if a friend were letting me sit in on an intimate hour of powerful, renewing, and prayer-filled time with God. I was so intrigued by the pattern laid out by Mary Anne Voelkel in the interview, that I decided to try it out.
I’ll admit, the idea of spending an hour with God was a little intimidating. I decided to give it a shot anyway, and I am so glad I did. With a little bit of structure (see below) to my daily “quiet time” with God, I found that every day I was being encouraged, renewed, and strengthened while I grew in intimacy with the Lord. I also found that my prayers were taking on more power when I prepared myself before going to battle in the spiritual realm. I came to expect that when I spent that time with God every day, I would feel his presence, hear his voice and receive direction for the day ahead. My daily time with God became so important to me that I couldn’t stand to miss a day, and for years I didn’t, even if it meant getting up at 5am (as a college student) to get that time in before a 7am class.
During those years when I followed this pattern in seeking God daily, and also began reading through the bible each year, I grew in intimacy with the Lord and began to mature as a new believer. I was continually hungry for more of God, and eager to serve in any and every capacity, both inside and outside the walls of my church. I know that much of that growth directly correlated to my time spent in God’s presence daily.
In recent years, I noticed my spiritual life falling stagnant, and I didn’t give much thought to why that might be. After getting married, I had abbreviated my daily quiet time to mostly just bible reading and some quick prayers because it became more difficult to really get alone with God. In all honesty, my priorities shifted and I thought that what I was doing was good enough to keep me walking with God. In the last few months I found myself often reminiscing about those amazing moments I used to have in God’s presence, and how those seemed so few and far between these days.
That’s when I decided I would try, somehow, to pursue Him in the way I used to. Now, however, it is a much more costly sacrifice to dedicate some uninterrupted time to the Lord, and it may not be an hour like it used to. On most days, the only way that I can make it work is as soon as I get the kids down for a nap, I sit down on the floor with my bible, some worship music, and my journal and pen, and leave all other tasks undone until I am finished spending time with Him. Those times have been so sweet, and I have found that God has been there all along just eagerly waiting for me to come and pursue Him again. My heart is drawing near to Him and being filled up in those moments. He knows just what I need for the rest of my day. He puts people on my heart to pray for, and gives me heavenly perspectives when I get stuck in the muck of life.
This structure for spending time with God, which I used to follow on index cards, has been so instrumental in guiding my devotional time, that I felt compelled to make a tool to help others who might be looking for some guidance. So, I created a bookmark to keep in your bible or journal.
Who is this tool for? It is for anyone who:
- desires to draw closer to God but doesn’t know where to start
- wants to experience God’s presence and hear His voice as they spend time with Him
- has grown stagnant in their walk with God and needs to stir things up a bit
- would like to grow in the disciplines of worship, meditation, prayer, silence & solitude, and bible reading
If any of those apply to you, print out the front and back of the bookmark below, and let me know if you find it helpful or if you have any questions about how to use it!