Do you ever feel bored as you sit down to spend time with God? It’s an awkward question to answer, since we know saying yes implies an issue with our attitudes and views on what it means to spend time with our Creator and Savior.
We know what a privilege it is in America that we can open our Bibles and speak with God without the fear of arrest or physical persecution. Yet, for some reason, we can stare at the pages, read the words and feel bored with our circumstances. Scripture doesn’t come to life as it once did. Prayer feels like a laundry list. Or maybe you don’t feel bored, but you feel stuck in routine.
How do we break the cycle of boredom and routine as we spend time with God?
Pray before starting
It sounds simple, but starting your time with God in prayer helps focus your heart and still your mind. When we pull away from our day and sit down with the Bible, it’s difficult to push everything aside. Our brains might jump from one item to the next on our mental to-do list, or our attitude could remained fixed on whatever sin we’re clinging to from earlier.
Feeling bored or stuck in routine has more to do with our desires than we realize. We desire excitement and revelation each time we turn to God. There’s an expectation of learning something or putting another piece in the puzzle of God’s purpose and plan for us.
When we begin this time in prayer, our desires will start to match the desires of the Holy Spirit. Feeling bored won’t cross our minds if we’ve made a point to allow God to direct our thoughts.
Read more than scripture
It sounds a little sacrilegious, doesn’t it? This is not to say we should put aside scripture for other things. The word of God is living and active, and it should remain our main source of Godly wisdom. But if you find yourself only reading scripture day after day, and you can’t seem to break away from boredom, try adding a commentary or a Bible study to your time with Him.
Adding in the wisdom of others to go along with our reading of scripture enables us to see what God has revealed to others. It helps us think deeper than we might have on our own. It provides variety to our time, and it also clears up any confusion we might have about specific topics or passages.
Learning from others doesn’t just need to happen during Bible study or church. While we certainly need to test and approve what others say to be truth, reading the wisdom of others during our time with God will strengthen us and grow our knowledge and understanding of scripture. And if we break up our routine and read something different for a week or two, we will begin to realize we aren’t bored anymore.
Remember you’re spending time with God
When was the last time you physically got down on your knees to pray? What about the last time you simply sat quietly in God’s presence?
Our time with God does not have to look the same every day. Again, scripture should be a part of each day in some way, but that doesn’t mean God commands us to sit down, read His word for at least 30 minutes, and then pray to end our time. When we do this, we end up checking it off our list of things to do that day.
Somehow, we have turned time with God into a routine that, if we do anything different than read the Bible and pray, we feel a little bit like we’ve cheated the system. God doesn’t care about that routine. He cares about spending time with us. If that looks like reading a few verses and then dwelling on them quietly for 10 minutes, that’s OK. If that looks like turning on music and singing to Him before settling down to read, that’s OK too.
We need to get back to the place of remembering we’re spending time with God, who loves us perfectly and desires our hearts. If we focus our attitudes on that truth, our time with Him will be a reflection of our love for Him. It won’t be just another part of our boring routine.
Bored, comfortable or growing?
Take a moment to think about how you spend your time with God. Do you need to change up your routine a little? Maybe you aren’t bored, but you’re comfortable. You have your routine, and it’s easy and what you know. Do you think it’s time to stretch out of that comfort zone and find out different ways to spend time with God? You might find you’re able to worship God in a more intimate way if you break out of that routine for awhile.
If you see the growth in your daily time with God, you’re in a wonderful spot. We all go through dry spells and periods of boredom. Those times are never an excuse to stop or take a break from God, but they might mean you need to mix it up a little. When you do find yourself in seasons of growth, don’t take them for granted.
And we should never take for granted the simple, wonderful truth that the God of the universe desires us to spend time with Him.
Let’s Talk About It: How can you encourage others going through periods of boredom?