15 Ways to Connect with God Besides Traditional Prayer
- Aaron D'Anthony Brown Contributing Author
- 2022 4 Apr
Much like the emoji, when we hear the word prayer a certain image comes to mind. Prayer hands. Kneeling. At the foot of the bed. Talking with God. Words spoken out loud or just in thoughts. Of course, prayer is just one way to connect with God and there are various ways to pray.
The deeper we take our relationship with God, the more we discover other ways to connect with Him and the ways which make us feel most connected.
If you’re searching for new ways to enrich your spiritual life here are 15 ways to connect with God besides traditional prayer.
1. Journal your prayers.
Our prayers can be spoken or thought, but have you ever considered writing them? Some believers keep what they call a prayer journal. Inside, they give thanks, ask for blessings, write down fears, and communicate the same ideas we would through traditional prayer.
One positive difference, however, is that a prayer journal helps you recall past blessings, and reminds you of future goals and wants. The journal is tangible and as such, keeps a written record of God working in your life.
As flawed and sinful humans, sometimes we forget the good works God has done on our behalf. If poor memory was an excuse before, having a journal acts as a remedy. With just a few flips, you can reread notes and encourage yourself in so many ways.
2. Read Scripture.
Prayer is just one way of getting to know God. Reading His Word is another.
What makes Scripture so vital to the Christian walk is the insight it gives into history and the inner workings of God’s behavior. Not enough to know Him completely, as His ways will always be above ours (Isaiah 55:8). Still, reading Scripture teaches us what behaviors please God and which do not. We learn how much He values virtues like love, faith, hope, and what He considers sin.
The more we know God, the more we can deepen the relationship.
3. Research Bible topics outside of Scripture.
Is there any historical evidence for Scripture? The answer is yes, but you can verify that for yourself. There are numerous websites documenting accounts of the disciples, King David, and King Solomon with some historical context we don’t receive in the Bible.
4. Find community with believers.
There’s power in community with other people, power in the physical sense, emotional, and spiritual. According to Scripture, three people standing together are not easily defeated (Ecclesiastes 4:12). And when like-minded people come together there is an ability to make one another better (Proverbs 27:17). That’s what spouses do for each other, and that’s what a friend does for another friend.
When we consider having a relationship with God, a community of believers has the power to strengthen one another’s faith, assuage doubts, and calm fears. People can remind you to trust in seasons of suffering and to give thanks when all seems well.
Whenever we find such good company, feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit is anything but abnormal.
5. Sing as a form of worship.
Believers make gospel and contemporary Christian music, and we often enjoy listening. Listening to their music is one way to connect, but so is singing along. Whether or not we have a good voice, the act of singing for the Lord Himself is a very honorable activity. Often we tell each other during seasons of gift-giving that it’s the thought that counts. Wouldn’t that same mindset be applicable here?
Surely God is not upset because we tried to sign for Him while sounding like a warped fan.
We don’t have to be opera singers to sing to the Lord. If we’re listening to music, all we have to do is sing along with our hearts focused on Him.
6. Dance as a form of worship.
In addition to singing, dancing can also be used as a form of worship and connecting with the Lord. Just like not everyone sings, not everyone dances. Still, we have the option of supplementing our singing with words as we give praise. Or we could simply dance while music plays in the background as we dedicate our time to God.
7. Write down reasons for gratitude.
There are so many reasons to be grateful to God for His blessings, more than we realize. More than we will ever realize. As a reminder, we can write these reasons down in a journal, or we can put them elsewhere. Some people post notes to their bathroom mirror, others find a board to illustrate their gratitude.
The more we commit to memory why we’re grateful, the less we will forget.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Lilly Roadstones
8. Pray while walking.
Praying while on our knees is definitely the traditional way believers learn to pray, especially when they’re children. However, prayer does not have to be stationary. Some people pray while walking, biking, or jogging. Others like driving and talking to God. What works best depends on the individual, but the rewards are all the same - connection.
9. Create art as a form of worship.
Art, an imitation of life, is another way to connect with God. We know that God is the reason we each have gifts (1 Peter 4:10). If God gave the gift, what better way to honor Him than by using what He blessed us with. We marvel at those who painted chapel ceilings or produced beautiful works of stain-colored glass. We too can create our own works of art. These works can be outwardly religious, interpretations of Jesus, other Bible figures, or we can simply produce art that honors God through the message. Either way, we would be using art as worship.
10. Write Scripture on notes.
After we read Scripture, we could easily forget what we learned. Thus, just as we studied in school after taking notes, we should treat Scripture in a similar fashion. We better recall information when we rehearse over and over again. Having Scripture on the bathroom mirror, on the back of a door, or on a board is a nice way to remind yourself of God’s Word whenever you want to recall and in times when you don’t.
Sometimes temptation creeps up, but a well-placed note can change the day.
11. Listen to a sermon.
Church every Sunday morning is a nice and expected way to connect with God. If we want to break up the routine though, we could listen to a sermon online from a church halfway across the world or a local one we’ve considered attending. Pastors across the globe have different styles, and some prioritize various messages over others. Some pastors are topical, others chronological. If there’s a certain topic on your mind, an area where you’ve been seeking God’s guidance, a sermon could potentially deliver some insight.
Fasting from food or a certain activity you’re accustomed to is a sure way to remind yourself of God’s presence. Some people fast at specific times of the year. Others fast whenever they feel led by the Spirit. Whatever the case, fasting encompasses a period of time where you give up something you want to remind yourself of what you need.
13. Seek solitude in a place other than your bedroom.
Praying at home in the comfort of a bedroom is nice, but if you’re looking to go to new places in your relationship with God, a new location may be advantageous. Try praying to God in the bathroom, in the garage, or at a local park. Solitude is how we connect with God one-on-one, but solitude doesn’t have to automatically mean your bedroom.
14. Watch a film about faith.
Christian movies aren’t exactly known for their gripping characters or narratives. They’re known for the message. If a godly message is what you need to hear in a particular season, or just for the experience, try watching a Christian movie. You may learn something about faith you didn’t know before, have your thoughts challenged, or simply be reaffirmed.
Life takes on a different appearance when we’re focused inwardly on ourselves as opposed to focusing outwardly on others. Personal difficulties shrink in size, and things feel much more manageable. Additionally, when we take on the mindset of a servant, we grow closer to God. He’s called us to love other people. Volunteering is a sure way to accomplish this!
Jesus spoke about prayer saying, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:6). There’s something empowering about finding God in solitude, away from other people, away from distractions. In solitude, we are able to put our whole focus on God and our relationship with Him.
Just as we take time to hang out one-on-one with lovers or friends, our relationship with God requires the same treatment and more. With a focus on Him, we can be open to receiving His word, and not just His written word, but whatever He is communicating through the Holy Spirit.
God is willing to connect, the question is, are we? If so, let’s find time in our schedules to meet Him today, tomorrow, and every day afterward.
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Joao Silas
Aaron D'Anthony Brown is a freelance writer, hip-hop dance teacher, and visual artist, living in Virginia. He currently contributes work to iBelieve, Crosswalk, and supports various clients through the platform Upwork. He's an outside-the-box thinker with a penchant for challenging the status quo. Check out his short story “Serenity.”
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
Stock Footage & Music Courtesy of Soundstripe.com Thumbnail by Getty Images
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