How can you create an environment that builds your relationship with Jesus every day?
God is always with us, but we have to be aware and nourish ourselves with his presence throughout the day. Without being conscious it easy to get lost in the day and not touch base with Jesus. This is a failure and should not be repeated every day.
But amongst the swirls of distraction and the pace of our lives how can we ensure that we spend time in prayer and meditation?
Here are some techniques that have worked for me:
- Cardinals— For some reason when I see a cardinal I always think of Jesus. Something about them, their beauty, their gracefulness, their curiosity, and intelligence immediately prompts me to think of Jesus and to say a prayer. Every time I do this the habit builds stronger and it has become second nature. Find your cardinal. And thank God.
- Prayer nook— I have a location in my house loaded with Christian books, Bibles, and Scriptures that are on my mind or that I’m memorizing.
- Scripture on sticky notes— On the fridge, in my office, on the bathroom mirror, in the car, in my prayer nook. I write down Scripture that stands out to me during my daily Bible reading and put them everywhere.
- Meal time— Remembering to pray before every meal is an easy habit. Before dinner each night my wife and I say one thing we are grateful for from the day and say a prayer thanking God. I read in Authentic Norwegian Cooking: Traditional Scandinavian Cooking Made Easy, by Astrid Karlsen Scott about a prayer that is quite common in Norway. And discovered a delicious mustard sauce for salmon.
Before the meal:
We go to the table in Jesus’ name
To eat and drink by Your word
To God the honor, ours the gain
We receive our food in Jesus’ name.
After the meal:
We sat at the table in Jesus’ name
And received food from His hand
To nourish our body and our soul
God let it bless our lives we pray.
- Before leaving for work— Before my wife and I part ways for the day we say a prayer for the day, each others safety and for us to be a blessing on others around us during the day.
- Waking up— It’s easy to build a habit of praying when you wake up in the morning… Thanking God for a great night’s rest and for Him to be with you on the day ahead.
- Before falling asleep— Same thing… Before falling asleep say a prayer thanking God for the day and for everyone in your life.
- Christian books, magazines, and Bibles spread around the house— Makes it very easy to pick up something inspiring and nourishing.
Without making a conscious effort to build our relationship with friends and family we will fail. And it is the same with Jesus. We must work to create an environment and habits for us to continually grow as Christians.
Say this prayer… “Dear God please help me to feel Your presence throughout this day. Help me to remember You are always with me and to rely on You. Help me to create an environment that encourages me to think of You. And please God help me to prioritize our friendship above everything else. In your holy name I pray. Amen