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As pastors, our life-blood, our power and our strength comes from the time we spend with God. But if you've been in ministry for more than a few minutes, you may have noticed that as a pastor, spending time with God can feel like yet another task on the to-do list.
There's a tension here—because something that used to feel like an intimate, refueling time with your Creator has now become a part of your job description.
This can sometimes threaten to steal the peace, rest and connection it once had.
There's also this incredible responsibility. We're not just reading the Bible for ourselves anymore. We're reading to study for our sermons or so we have an answer ready whenever someone needs a word from the Lord. Our prayer time isn't just about our relationship with God anymore. It's about filling up to pour back out.
So what do we do as pastors to have fulfilling quiet time with God, without it becoming another task on our to-do list?
Here are some tips that have worked for me:
1. Change locations. If you find yourself in a rut, try switching locations for your quiet time with God. Go outside instead of staying in your favorite chair. Go for a walk or to a new coffee shop. Sometimes switching locations is just what you need to put you in a new frame of mind to spend some good, quality time with God.
2. Read a book to quiet your mind. When I'm about to jump into a time of reading the Bible or praying, the biggest thing that trips me up is my lack of focus. Even first thing in the morning, my mind starts to wake up and think about all the things I need to do that day. Sometimes we need a segue into a quiet time, something to calm our minds and move our thoughts into a quieter place. I find that reading a book is helpful.
Something that's either peaceful or positive or about God or worship usually helps me get on track. Then, when I move into studying my Bible or prayer, my mind has been coaxed into a quieter place and is ready to focus.
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