Closing the gap: distance in relationship with God

In the past couple months I have noticed that a gap or rather there has been a distance created between me and my time spent in the present of God (quiet time).

I wake up every day recognising this distance but I come back home at night thinking to myself “oh i did it again”.
Like Paul said, “the things I don’t want to do I find myself doing them and the things I want to do I find myself not doing these things”.

In the past two days I have tried to put myself together and get things back on track.

I need words of wisdom and prayers to put me back.

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@Mein Thank you for sharing :slight_smile: May the Lord Jesus grant you wisdom and discipline as you seek to spend time in His presence! I think if we look at Daniel’s life we see a great example of how to be consistent with our spiritual life.

  • Daniel established a habit of daily prayer. Just like we don’t forget to brush our teeth or go to work, if prayer is woven into our daily routine, it is much easier not to forget.
  • Daniel determined in his heart beforehand to do what he knew was right. If we get up each morning and we set our mind on prayer, then we will pray, even if fore unforeseen reasons we miss our normally scheduled time of prayer.
  • you might find something like the ‘Daily Prayer’ app useful - it has morning, midday, evening, and late night prayers along with Scriptures to listen to - even if you can’t listen to every one of those every day, it could be a reminder and give you opportunity a few times daily to turn your heart to God.

Daniel 1:8 - Daniel determined that he would not defile himself with the king’s food or with the wine he drank. So he asked permission from the chief official not to defile himself.

Daniel 6:10 - Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.

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Hey @Mein! The situation you’ve described is probably a familiar one for most Christians at some point in their lives. I recognise that ‘oh I’ve done it again’ feeling :slightly_smiling_face:. I guess when one falls out of a habit of intentionally spending time with God, it’s easy for the well meaning part of us to think that setting aside an hour or half an hour a day will remedy that situation. The trouble is, when we fail to achieve it, we can feel the failure is great. What I often find is that if I reduce that time to start with and say to myself, I’ll start with ten minutes here and there, then as I grow in both the habit and my closeness with God, a natural hunger for more of His presence also grows and I’ll find myself spending a lot more time with God without striving to achieve it.

Turning your thoughts to God in the ordinary and mundane parts of life also seems to increase the sense of his presence. For example, I was walking in some woods earlier and suddenly it occurred to me that God created them, that his hand designed the miniature ecosystems surrounding me, and that as I walked through it, I was also part of that incredible design and creation. The thought process was brief, but in that moment, I experienced the presence of God. You could use times of household chores and routines to meditate on a Bible verse. Incorporating time with God into an existing habit is a useful way to ensure you spend time with him.

I’d also like to recommend an app - it is also one that you can set an alarm on your phone for 1 minute , ten minutes etc to stop everything and focus back on God. It’s called One Minute Pause.

I hope that helps :grinning:

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Thanks a lot. Really appreciate this encouragement

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:pray:t5: . Thank you for the words of wisdom

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Hi again @Mein, it occurred to me this morning that you might enjoy watching the Prayer Course online by Pete Grieg who leads the 24/7 prayer movement. Episode 6 is especially relevant to your question and might give you some ideas and encouragement in approaching your times with God. The whole course is excellent if you have time. Each episode is only about 20 minutes long.

Episode 6:
https://youtu.be/9ckvmhz_6FQ

The whole course:
https://prayercourse.org/sessions/

Blessings.

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Mein, my brother thank you for posting and sharing your thoughts and feelings. Many of us have been in the same spot you are experiencing right now. It’s always good to do a self-evaluation from time to time. Having a regular routine or habit of prayer and getting into the word like Sean mentioned is a start. Mark 1:35 comes to mind Jesus woke up early and spent time in fellowship with his father. Mein, using 1 John 1:9 is a must for every believer. We need to be cleansed daily it’s so important. We all fail from time to time. Any hidden thing in our hearts, unconfessed sins will cause us to stumble. I like to use by way of example, the hand illustration because it can help us get back on track if we are not enjoying the Lord as we should or maybe we are struggling with something or whatever. If by chance you are tired of the same routine, pick up an instrument if you play one and sing to the Lord. Walk with him to a park, forest, river or waterfalls or lake. Take a break from the routine if that may be the problem. Also, have people pray for you all the time. Get in touch with a few people who will commit to praying for you, it does wonders. Billy Graham was powerful because people were praying for him, just like people are committed to praying for Ravi and his ministry. May the Lord give you wisdom, restore you in a special way and give you peace.

The Hand Illustration

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@Mein I appreciate your honest post. I went through the same things for decades. Here is what I learned:

  • The more I try to start the habit on my own, the more I fail, and the more I frustrate myself. I learned that if I keep asking God for help, even crying out to him in frustration, and then try again and again, God will slowly change me so that I become more and more dedicated to him.
  • Guilt is a poor motivator. Satan loves that! God loves us more than we know. God meets us where we are. He uses all sorts of rascals and rapscallions for his purposes. What better than to be a rascal who does not want to be a rascal but rather wants to love God with all his or her heart, soul, mind, and strength? If you want to do better, than that is all the seed that God needs to grow you into the person that he wants you to be. Just let him water and grow you!
  • Do not compare yourself to others. Daniel was Daniel because he had many years of practice and failure. So was Paul. And how about Chief Big Mouth Peter? Who other than Jesus was perfect? Give Jesus the other half of your yoke! His yoke is easy, and his burden is light.

As I mentioned above, I spent many decades going through what you are going through. I am 51 years old as of this post. Been there, done that. Three years ago I would not have thought that I would arise at 05:00–sometimes 04:30–on a regular basis and feed on the Word and love it! Let the Good Shepherd guide you. He will oh so gently apply his rod and staff for your direction. He will not so gently apply the same rod and staff to every enemy who threatens. Satan and his minions, Guilt and Shame, stand no chance against your defender!

God bless you and multiply your faith!

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@a1781 I love that hand illustration.

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:pray:t5: thanks

Amen! Thank you and God bless

I recall the hand illustration. We use it in the Navigators are a way to study. Thank you for the reminder.:pray:t5:

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Amen. Thank you for the words of encouragement.
And may God also bless you and increase you.

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@Mein, it has been a couple of days since you asked for wisdom and prayers to help you. Have you felt any improvement with your time with God yet? I like the example of Daniel praying three times a day. Those prayers must have been essential to keep his mind on God in the place where he lived. We are the same way in that often our environments are very distracting and it can be easy to realize we haven’t even thought of our Lord all day! Prayer, singing, thinking on scripture, are things we can always take with us wherever we are. I pray that you are able feel the Lord’s presence throughout your day and find time to just be with Him. :blush:

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Hello @Mein,
Thanks for sharing what you are going through in your relationship with Jesus…like many have said, I too have been in that position (more than once).
The tips given before are great ones. I would just add something. For me, I know that when this situation occurs, there is a reason…maybe I have given the place of God in my life to other things, maybe I feel too far or guilty and am too ashamed or something to come to God.
Each and everytime , He comes and take me back…so my piece of advise would be to sit down and ask yourself and God why this distance. What is it that keeps you away ? Ask him to show you what is going on…He will do…
And, I once heard that it is a good idea to set some sort of “dates” with the Lord, as in that evening, I am spending it only with the Lord (not seeing friends, working, studying…nothing) and after trying it, I recommend it.

God bless you all !

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I think letting out my frustration helped me to get things back in perspective.
Now I wake up and remind myself to pray. Starting reading my Bible again but my phone had some issues so couldn’t finish up the plan I started so might just study a book of the Bible before I get the phone issues fixed.

Thank you for checking in and the advice. God bless and replenish you.

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I am glad! It helps me sometimes to just open up about something. Have a great day! :smile:

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