How To Stay Motivated in Spiritual Disciplines
Do you ever find yourself lacking the motivation to read the Bible or pray? There are so many other things competing for our attention: work, TV, social media, chores, and the list goes on and on. As much as we’d like spiritual disciplines to come easy, they take work. Maybe they are called “disciplines” for a reason.
If you find yourself lacking motivation to Here are five ways to stay motivated in your walk with God:
1. Set a goal.
Start with the end in mind. How many times a week do you want to pray? What book of the Bible do you want to read? Here’s an example: “I want to pray everyday on my commute to work.” Make sure not to bite off more than you can chew.
Your goal will only help you stay motivated if you also have a “why?” Why does it matter? Because “it’s the right thing to do” isn’t a good enough reason. Your reason must convince you that your goal is essential. Here is a “why” that goes along with the example: “I believe that praying on the way to work will help me invite Jesus into the rest of my day.”
2. Make a plan.
Chart a course to your goal. What book of the Bible are you reading? When will you read each day? Where will you be? Be as specific as possible.
Many Christians don’t interact with Scripture outside of Sundays because they don’t know where to start. A plan doesn’t have to be a five-page essay. Just take the guesswork out of it. Here’s an example of a plan: “I’m going to listen to a Psalm five days a week when I go for a walk on my lunch break.”
3. Stick to the plan.
It doesn’t take long for resistance to sink in. When you feel like skipping a day, do it anyway. Some days are going to take more willpower than others. If you do miss a day, pick up where you left off tomorrow. Don’t try and make up for the lost time.
Consistency is more important than intensity. It is better to pray for five minutes every day than to pray for half an hour once a week.
4. Tell someone.
Accountability is a powerful motivator. Simply knowing that someone else will ask you if you followed through will help you put in the effort. Athletes who post their workouts to an app like Strava are more likely to stay consistent. Why? They know other people will notice.
We implemented game-changing practice in our small group. When we share prayer requests each week, we also share one action step. Your action step can be anything that Jesus is calling you to. It might be from Sunday’s sermon, your own devotional time, our small group discussion, or somewhere else. The following week, we share new action steps and follow up on the ones from last time. People rarely fail to follow through on their action step two weeks straight.
5. Take the first step.
The hardest part of running is putting on your shoes. Once you lace up, soon you’ll be out the door and on your way. It works the same way in spiritual disciplines.
Start the prayer. Close your email and practice Sabbath rest. Sit down and read Scripture. Even if you don’t have as much time as you’d like, a few verses are better than nothing.
None of these steps are groundbreaking. We stay motivated in spiritual disciplines the same way we stay motivated in exercise, house projects, or anything else.
The goal is to build a habit. Spiritual disciplines provide a framework for spiritual growth. Over time these disciplines will become a regular part of your routine.
What helps you stay motivated in your walk with God? Let me know in the comments below!
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