- Look back over the past week and share any results from spending time with Jesus?
- What stood out to you from today’s message?
- Reread Luke 5:15-16. What challenges did Jesus face in finding time to pray? How did he overcome them?
- Read Daniel 6:6-10. What “supports” did Daniel build in his life? How can we go about building our own?
- Read Psalm 42:1-2. Can you relate to writers longings? Why or why not?
- What is God leading you to apply to your life this week?
For Further Reading Pastor Ryan Recommends
The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry. By John Mark Comer
Get Alone with Jesus support guide
1. Identify a time/place that works well for you
Time: For most people, first thing in the morning works best. You’re rested, fresh, and the day is young. For others, a more optimal time slot is when kids are napping in the late morning, or on a lunch break, after work, or before you go to bed. Feel free to experiment until you find the right fit.
Place: Find a place that is quiet and as distraction free as possible. A comfortable chair with a blanket works well for a lot of people. Or, weather permitting, take a walk.
2. Set a modest goal
Beginners: It’s better to start small and work your way up. We recommend you start with ten minutes, 3-5 days a week.
Intermediate: If you already practice time with God a few times a week, consider upping it to every day.
Advanced: If you already practice time with God daily, consider upping your time (to, say, an hour), or just giving your time a high level of focus.
Then, for the practice…
1. Put away your phone or any other distractions, settle into your time/place, and get comfortable or head out on your walk
2. Begin with breathing and a simple prayer
Close your eyes, take a couple minutes with calm slow breathing
Your mind will seize this opportunity to run wild with thoughts, feelings, memories, to do’s, and distractions. That’s okay. Don’t judge yourself, feel bad, give up, or worry. When you notice your mind start to wander, just re-center with a quick prayer, like, “Jesus I give everyone and everything to you” and come back to your breathing.
In the beginning, just 1-2 minutes of this is a huge win, and 10 minutes is a home run.
3. Spend a few minutes “abiding in the vine”
Spend time praising and thanking God
Focus on a verse or short passage of scripture
Take time to talk to Jesus
Pray about things in your life and for others
4. Close in a prayer of gratitude and commit the rest of your day to the Father
Remember; you can’t “succeed” or “fail”. All you can do is show up. Be patient. This takes some people years to master. Resist the urge to say, “I’m bad at this” or “This isn’t for me.” Don’t judge yourself, especially if you’re an overachiever type.