Guidance Tool Kit: Draw Closer to God with Christian Books, Daily Bible Verses, Prayer, Meditation and Contemplative Writing
Meditation, prayer, reading inspirational books, scripture and contemplative writing are powerful tools to help you find guidance and draw closer to God. The tools on this page will help you to incorporate these practices into a busy lifestyle. The reason for the word practice is because these spiritual practices take practice! It may not be easy in the beginning, but once you apply one of these practices, they will become a habit.
Just like exercise can become boring and ineffective if we always do the same thing, our spiritual life can become boring and ineffective if we get stuck in a rut of duty instead of devotion.
Let the Spirit move you as you choose a tool to experience God’s presence and love.
I love the powerful little book of James and two verses in particular: James 4:8
Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.
But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers.
Building Our Relationship with God
Tapping into being still and deepening your relationship with God requires time and action. Since we are so time poor these days, it’s hard to carve out time. But to live a life filled with joy and purpose and to be the whole person God intended us to be, time and energy need to be invested.
Every good relationship takes attention given to it. The primary relationship that we need to focus on is our relationship with God. When we do that, all of our relationships will fall into place. Our life will fall into place. We find the guidance that we seek. We live life being fully present and not reacting to what comes our way. We can co-create our life with God.
The Guidance Tool of Meditation
I began seeking a deeper relationship with God by turning to meditation. As a result, my whole life transformed. Meditation allowed me to quiet my mind and to clear the clutter of everyone’s voices and demands that I heard other than my own voice and God’s voice. If you are having trouble being still and find that your mind is constantly racing, I’ve created an easy to use meditation CD to guide you. I started with a meditation CD and have moved on to prayer, reading and writing as my meditation.
The Guidance Tool of Contemplative Writing or Journaling
In the beginning, when I was learning to be still, I started my day journaling and writing at least three pages in the mornings. This only takes about 15 minutes. I encourage you to purchase a beautifully bound journal that you can write in. You can read more about the benefits of contemplative writing. For me, this writing served as prayer and meditation because I was expressing my thoughts and feelings to God.
The Guidance Tool of Reading Inspirational Material and Scripture
If you are just starting out in spending some quality time with God, here are two simple devotional books to help you. Just read a chapter a day and meditate, or think on it throughout your day. Simply click on the picture to be taken to Amazon.com to read more or to purchase:
|This is Sarah Young’s daily devotional guide, Jesus Calling. A friend from church gave this to me. I read a chapter each day of Jesus Calling after I had done my writing. On some days it was amazing the synchronicity between what I wrote and what the message was for the day. These readings are very short, only about a paragraph or two.
|The author of Jesus Calling, Sarah Young, was inspired by another book that I also read entitled God Calling. In fact, for three consecutive years I read God Calling until my friend gave me Jesus Calling. Both of these books offer very short devotions. The messages are very powerful and encouraging.
In both of these books I felt like God was speaking directly to “me”.
I realize that this website focuses on a Christian perspective, but there are some wonderful sayings in the Buddist tradition. One is, “When the pupil is ready, the teacher appears.” This has certainly been true in my life. The authors of these books have been wonderful teachers. By reading the works over and over again, I gain new insights that I was not able to receive before.
I read at least two books per week, so reading has become a huge meditation practice for me now that I have learned to be still and quiet my mind. These inspirational books feed my mind and my spirit. In Philippians 4:8, the Apostle Paul says:
Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
The Guided Life Ezine
When people sign up for my ezine, The Guided Life, I’m now including a free eboook called Three Keys to Living Your Life with Peace, Power and Purpose. I offer encouragement and share my own spiritual journey through my ezines. I started writing the ezines every week, but now I am publishing them every two weeks. I know that our email boxes can be filled up very quickly and my goal is to offer value and encouragement. You can sign up for The Guided Life here or below.
Final Words from the Apostle Paul and James
By using one or several of these tools each day, you will draw closer to God and God will draw closer to you. Personally, I am convinced with the Apostle Paul that God is always with us. We are the ones that break that connection.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
If you spend 15-20 minutes each morning using one or more of these tools, it will set the tone for the day. You will build up your spiritual muscle and crowd out anxiety and fear, replacing it with love, courage and peace.You will no longer react to life but respond to life as you feel God walking beside you.
So, don’t just read or hear my words. Join me and James and do.
Peace and Blessings,