It's ironic. I used to call the time I set aside for God my "quiet time." However, those times, filled with words—the words I read, studied, wrote, or whispered toward the ceiling, wondering if God even heard—felt anything but quiet. They felt more like "doing" times—as in completing tasks on a list. And, truth be told, sometimes they also felt like "doing time," as in punishment or an obligation.
I knew Jesus offers us "life to the full" (John 10:10), but I wondered if that was possible. I tried to study my Bible, but I'd forget the words I read as soon as I closed the book. Or I'd think, I've read this all before. It seemed stale. But just when exhaustion and guilt made me ready to give up, God brought some people and books into my life that showed me ways to put the quiet back into my quiet times, old ways to revitalize my relationship with him that were new to me.
Maybe you too are looking for that full life Jesus promises instead of a life stuffed with too much responsibility and pressure. If Jesus is the one who promises that kind of life, it makes sense the way we access it is by spending time with him. But if you're thinking, I already do that, but it's beginning to feel a bit dry, a bit routine, don't worry. There's hope.
Here are three practices I've found to help me connect with God more deeply. I've been using them for more than a decade now. They're simply ways to spend time with Jesus so you can let him give you that abundant, full life.1