How to spend time with The Lord without feeling guilty

As a Christian, my struggles are not external, they are all internal. The Devil uses guilt to keep us stuck, to make us feel like bad Christians and that guilt stands in our way to having a thriving relationship with The Lord. Continue to read as I share how to spend time with The Lord without feeling guilty.

It’s so important to combat guilt- to know how to shift our thoughts when we feel guilty and not let it derail our relationship with The Lord.  

5 things Christians feel guilty about in their walk with God: 

  • Not reading their Bible as much as they should
  • Missing a day (or more of Bible study)
  • Getting distracted when you pray or read
  • Now knowing more about The Bible 
  • Not knowing more to start 

Those were just a few things I’ve felt guilty about in my walk with God. Have you felt any of these? 

This is a short list, and I’m sure there are more! 

I share this because I want you to know that The Devil loves to make us feel guilty. That you are not the only one who has these thoughts and feelings and there are things we can do to throw that guilt away. 

How to spend time with The Lord without feeling guilty

1. Understand God wants to spend time with us. 

He loves us so much He died for us so that we could spend eternity with Him, but that’s not it. God wants to spend time with us NOW!  

  • Matthew 11:28-29 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

The Lord calls all of us to come to Him. Not just to come to Him, but to bring Him our burdens. He wants to take our burdens from us, not give us more to carry. 

These verses remind me of when Jesus tells his disciples to let the children come to Him 

  •  Luke 18:16 (NKJV) But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.”

In a physical sense, we’re not children, but we are ALL God’s children and He wants each one of us to come to Him.

  • Revelation 3:20 (ESV) Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

The Lord wants to spend time with us, are we going to let Him in? 

The first thing we need to do is to understand that God wants to spend time with us. The second is to know that God meets us where we are. 

2. God meets us where we are

There is this idea that before we meet God, we need to “get better” or change. That’s not the truth. God meets us where we are, and then brings us along to change us to be more like Him. 

The perfect example of this is the story of The prodigal son. I know most of you already know it, but it’s worth it to read it again. 

11 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. 13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. 14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. 15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ’

20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

Luke 15:11-24

This is the story of 2 sons- meaning this is talking about Christians. The Bible tells us that when we are saved we become sons of God. Since we are women, we can claim that as daughters of God. 

So there are 2 sons: One of them walks away and lives a life away from God. They party it up, they spend time with fake friends.

Who knows what this son did, but none of it was good. It led him to a pretty desperate life- eating food out of the pig pen. 

When we live in the world, we consume what it has to offer- fame, fortune, work, ect. And it leaves us hungry and empty because it’s empty. 

The son who’s living in the world comes to his senses. He knows that a life with his father is way better than what He has now. So he goes back. 

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God sees us

Then the scripture tells us that: when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 

God sees us where we are and is waiting for us to come back to Him. 

Jesus has already paid the price for your sin, and there is no sin too great to separate you from God. 

God is waiting for you, all you need to do is turn to Him. 

The Devil loves to tell us that God won’t forgive certain sins. That we knew better so God won’t take us back. 

But that’s not true! There is nothing you can do that God can’t forgive.

The older son was living a hard life. When he got to his father, he was probably wearing dirty, smelly clothes, who knows when it was he bathed last. Yet none of that mattered to the father.

The Lord loves us in our sin, takes us in our imperfections, and forgives all of it. Then, he helps us change to be more like Him. 

When it comes to reading our bibles and praying, there is this fear that maybe God doesn’t love me anymore. It’s been months since I prayed. Months since I read my Bible. 

This gap grows our fears and makes us think it’s too late, it’s been too long. But none of that was true. 

The Lord loves us regardless of how often we spend time with Him

My parents live across the country and I call them about once a week. But if I miss calling them for a couple of weeks, they aren’t mad at me. They still love me, they still love hearing from me. They don’t reject me because I missed a call. 

This would never happen in our earthly relationships unless that relationship was unhealthy. 

But our brain doesn’t connect that it’s the same with our relationship with God. He wants to hear from us all the time but doesn’t suddenly hate us if we don’t pray one day, or we miss our Bible reading time. 

Are those things good, yes, but they should not be what keeps us from turning to God? 

So, instead of focusing on the days you missed or worrying that God will reject you, focus on the truth. God is waiting for you, and will receive you- regardless of how “dirty you are”.

We have talked about how God wants to spend time with us and He meets us where we are. The third thing we can do is one simple mind shift. 

3. One simple mind shift 

Being a Christian is not a religion, it’s a relationship. 

I’m sure you have heard this said before, you might even say it yourself. But, even though you know this, you don’t practice it. 

Give me a minute to explain what I mean. 

I have had many relationships in my life, and each has taught me something about what a relationship with The Lord can look like. 

For example, My husband and I just celebrated our 15-year anniversary. 

I love my husband very much but I don’t spend all day every day talking to Him. Neither of us would get anything done. 

We talk every day, but most days those conversations are about coordinating schedules/activities and sharing highlights and low points in our day. 

I spend time with my husband every day, but I don’t consider this type of interaction as quality time. But, once a week, we have a date night and that is when we spend more time together and talk about more important things. 

If that is how I relate to my husband, why can’t the same be true with my relationship with God? 

There seems to be this expectation that Christians have to spend a huge chunk of time studying their bible every day to have a good relationship with God. 

This expectation is ridiculous, as most of us can’t do that every day. 

Don’t get me wrong, spending quality time with The Lord on a daily basis is good, but we need to stop measuring our spirituality with how often we pray or read The Bible.

The number of times we pray or read The Bible doesn’t measure a person’s relationship with God. 

So, instead of letting these unrealistic expectations make us feel guilty, I challenge you to think about it like any other relationship. 

I have a quick question for you and I’d love to see your answer in the comments below. How often do you text your best friend each day? 

For me, depending on the Friend, it can be anywhere from 1 to 10 times a day. These are small touch points we have with our friends and we can do the same with God. I call these everyday prayers. 

Everyday prayers

We can add prayer to any activity and touch base with God throughout our day. These prayers don’t have to be long or follow a pattern- just a check-in. 

For example:  Give me patience- I probably pray this at least 5 times a day. More when the kids were home all day. 

Sometimes it’s not even words, I’m taking a deep breath in and out and I’m doing so in the presence of God. I know He knows what I need at that moment and that breath represents me asking Him for help. 

I’ll give you another example of a simple prayer from this past weekend. My husband and I were supposed to drop our kids off at a friend’s place for the day to have a whole day as a date day. But, our oldest daughter wanted to attend a wedding, and the friends who were looking after the kids had other plans so we were not sure how it all would work out. This wedding was really important for my daughter and she wanted to go so I quickly just prayed: help us figure this out. 

And He did- and it all worked out. 

So, you can spend many moments in prayer in your day but it doesn’t have to be this liturgy. You can also have simple verses in your home or routine that you read throughout your day that you meditate on. 

Quality Prayer Time

But then, plan to spend quality time with The Lord at least once a week. So for me, I learn best and grow when I’m in a small group setting reading and talking about God’s word. So, I deliberately schedule being in a small group once a week or once every other week. Those are the times that help me work things out in my brain and understand scripture a bit more. I love it. 

So for me, I was already spending time with God regularly and growing in my faith, but I still felt guilty because it didn’t fit this box I was told was “the right way to do things”. 

All it took was this simple mind shift- seeing that I am spending quality time with God on a regular basis. 

So I didn’t even need to change anything. All I had to do was to understand that my relationship with God may look different than yours- and that it’s ok. 

Don’t get me wrong, there is always room for growth and increasing the number of times I depend on God- but I encourage you to look at what you’re already doing and not at what you’re not. 

The Devil’s lies

Now, maybe some of you may be thinking- I’m not doing any of those things, I’m the worst Christian out there. 

Those thoughts are lies from the devil trying to discourage you. Go back to step 1- Know that God wants to spend time with you

So to get started- pick one thing you are already doing and add prayer to it. 

For example, I stopped listening to music when I’m in the car alone. I now take those errands as prayer time. It’s amazing the number of things I can pray through in those short car rides. 

Then once you’ve added The Lord in a couple of areas in your life, you add more. It doesn’t need to be all or nothing. 

I know there can me mixed feelings when it comes to reading the Bible. I also know that you may want to learn more and get some amazing Bible teaching.

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How to pray regularly without repeating yourself

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As a Christian, I have a desire to grow in my faith and in spiritual disciplines. One area The Lord has helped me with is praying more throughout my day. But I know many people struggle with prayer, so continue reading to learn how to pray regularly without repeating yourself.

A picture of a woman laying on her stomach on a picnic blanket. She has her eyes closed and her hands together. She looks like she is praying. Next to the picture is a blue background with white letters that say spiritual growth, how to pray without repeating yourself.

As a Christian, I’m sure you have heard that the best way to grow in faith is to pray and read The Bible. 

So, since you love The Lord and want to grow, you go about reading The Bible and praying. 

But a few years down the road, your prayers are all starting to sound the same, and you may even feel like you’re just going through the motions. 

Has this happened to you? It has for me. 

There are many times at the dinner table that I’m just spouting off a quick prayer, not even focusing on what I’m saying, just getting the blessing done and over with. 

When our prayers get repetitive, what’s the first thing you do? 

For me, I learn more about prayer and how to pray more or be more meaningful. I start implementing a few things I’ve learned and feel excited about bringing my prayer life back to life. 

But then, it all starts feeling like a chore to do, and a bit overwhelming.

4 simple steps to a thriving relationship with The Lord

Turning prayer into a chore

For example: When my oldest daughter started going to school, I googled prayers for going back to school. I found a great post that had a list of verses and even a calendar with specific prayers to pray on specific days. 

I have nothing against these blog posts because I also write them. 

But I looked at the calendar and felt overwhelmed. I tried keeping up the routine but could not do it. 

So, maybe you are like me. You want to pray regularly, but you don’t want the prayers to be repetitive, but you also don’t want to “learn new prayers”, or add more things to your list of things to remember or do. 

So how do we find this balance? 

Before I continue, I want to be 100% honest with you and tell you I’m still trying to figure this out. I’m still learning how to do what I’m suggesting. But, there are a few things that I do to help me in this process.

How to pray regularly without repeating yourself

1. Remember who we are talking to 

When I first started dating my husband, we would go to museums and read all the plaques. Then we would pass a display that was closed to the public, and I always wanted to go over the rope or open the door. This petrified my husband, and he thought I was crazy to want access to these areas. 

I hate feeling like I can’t go somewhere. 

So, for me, anytime I’m feeling down about my prayer life, I remember that I have.

  • Hebrews 4:16, NIV Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

As Christians, we have access to God’s presence. 

This is the same God as we read about in Jeremiah 10:12-13

“But God made the earth by his power, and he preserves it by his wisdom. With his own understanding, he stretched out the heavens. When he speaks in the thunder, the heavens roar with rain. He causes the clouds to rise over the earth. He sends the lightning with the rain and releases the wind from his storehouses.

Jeremiah 10:12-13 

When I remember whose presence I have access to, it humbles me and encourages me to continue being in His presence and take advantage of the access I have. 

Last year, we got a family pass to the science museum, and you better believe we go as often as we can to get every penny’s worth out of our season pass. 

This is the same attitude I want to have about having access to God’s presence. 

2. The Lord hears our prayers

1 John 5:14-15: This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.

The God we serve is alive and hears our prayers. One perfect example of this is when Elijah had a “competition” with the prophets of Baal to see which god was better. 

I’m not going to read the full story because it’s long, but you can find the story in 1 Kings 18: 20-39

I will give you a quick recap of the story. The prophets of Baal went first and they built an altar and called upon Baal to consume their offering. 

Verse 26 says: and (they) called on the name of Baal from morning even till noon, saying, “O Baal, hear us!” But there was no voice; no one answered. 

Then it was Elijah’s turn. He built the altar and then drenched the altar and trench with water until the trench was full and everything was soaked with water. 

Once everything was ready, Elijah cried out to God. 

Verse 37 says: Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are the Lord God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.” 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench.

These events teach us that God not only hears us, but He responds. That point brings me to my last point. 

3. The Lord answers our prayers 

The Bible is full of verses that assure us that God answers our prayers. 

Today, I just want to share 2. One from the OT, and one from the NT. 

  • Psalm 34:4 NIV I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

This verse is part of a Psalm that David wrote. Here, he gives us a first-hand account of praying to The Lord and The Lord answering his prayers. The Lord delivered him from his fears. 

If God answers David’s prayers, then it’s logical that God would also answer ours. 

To cement that belief, we move to The New Testament.

  “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Matthew 7:7-8

These words were spoken by Jesus Himself during the sermon on The mount. He is teaching his disciples the meaning of things and encouraging them to know it in their minds, but also in the way they live. 

These verses assure us that if we ask, it will be forgiven

This doesn’t mean that we can ask for a large house and get it the next day. It’s an encouragement to ask The Lord for everything. 

Not only do we have evidence of answered prayer from The Bible, but we have people on earth today that follow The Lord, ask Him something in prayer, and their prayers are answered. 

This “cause and effect” is one way I knew 100% Jesus is real. He hears us and responds. We serve a LIVING God. 

4 simple steps to a thriving relationship with The Lord

4. You can pray about anything, at any time 

Growing up in the church, I got the perception that there were “better times” in the day to pray, and that prayers had to have a certain format. 

So, I got stuck thinking that prayer looked and sounded a certain way. 

It took me way too long to figure out I could pray anywhere I wanted to about anything I wanted to, in whatever way I could. 

Ephesians 6:18 Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

This verse tells us we can pray at all times with any type of prayer. 

It wasn’t until I started going to other denominations and speaking to other Christians that I realized how many ways there were to express our worship and pray to Him. 

2 years ago, I met someone who receives images when she prays for people. When she gets that image, she will pray it over someone. I had never experienced that type of prayer before, and it was beautiful.  

Too often we get caught up in what to pray for or how to pray. But The Lord just wants you to come to Him. 

One thing that really helped me understand this was watching my son communicate with people. 

The Lord understands our prayers

At 3 years old, my son was diagnosed with a severe speech delay. He didn’t have many words and most people could NOT understand what he was saying. 

But for me, I understood him the most out of my three kids. I don’t know if it was because I was a seasoned mother and learned to anticipate his needs, or that he was very good at using sounds and gestures to communicate his needs. 

Any time my son tried to communicate with me, I was happy to hear the grunts and the sounds he could make. I understood Him, and it didn’t matter that he had a speech delay or communicated in a different way than my other kids. 

It’s the same with The Lord. He already understands what we say because He is our Father. But, He is also happy for us to speak to Him in whatever way we can. There isn’t a certain level we need to reach to talk to Him. 

We can just come and communicate with Him how and when we can, and He loves it. 

Conclusion

I’ve just shared with you a few things I do, but I want to sum it all up into 1 action step. 

Remember, I am talking about how to pray regularly without repeating yourself, even if you don’t know where to start. 

1 action step: Remember that God is always with you, and you can talk to Him throughout your day about anything that is going on. 

You don’t need to wait for a certain time or pray a certain prayer. 

Just start bringing God all the things. When you do that, your prayers are honest. They build relationships, and you may repeat a thing or 2, but it’s not empty. 

Do you have a personal and thriving relationship with The Lord? 

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In this webinar I’ll tell you:

✅ The exact steps I took to change my relationship with God

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4 simple steps to a thriving relationship with The Lord
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