Let’s Go Up to the Mountain

I’ve worked closely with ministry folks for years. I’ve been surprised by the different approaches to their personal relationship with Jesus. You know, how they spend time with God. One approach that I’ve come to appreciate and love is a full day of focus. Realistically it can’t happen every week, but they realized the importance of making the time to do this focus day.


0626091024I’ve been able to do a few of these focus days over the past few years. When I’ve had a particularly difficult decision to make, I’ve headed for the hills. Bible in hand, I spend hours praying and reading and waiting. Waiting for God to help me with my decision. It’s worked every time.


I’m sure you’re thinking, “I don’t have time to do that!” Nobody does. Unless you make the time.


So maybe it’s not something you can do for a full day, but how about a half day or a few hours? Drop the kids off at school and head out for a few hours. Get up a little earlier and spend a couple of hours in a more intense relationship with God. It’s possible, but it does take some effort on your part.


And then you’re probably wondering what to do for those few extra hours alone with God. Well I have a few suggestions that may just help.


From the book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World[i], Joanna Weaver shares some simple steps on how to have a half day of focus on God. I’d like to share them with you.


1. Find a place free from distractions.


I have the mountains close at hand. There are plenty of places where I can head in just a short period of time to be alone with God. That may not be possible for you. However, I’m sure you have a favorite place to be alone. A park. A beach. A meadow. Your back yard. It can be any place where nothing can disturb you. That’s the important part.


If you do stay home, turn off your phones (land line and cell). Turn off all electronic equipment. The goal here is for there to be no distractions.


2. Take along your Bible, a notebook, a pen or pencil.


I can’t express the importance of this step. In this alone time with God, the Bible is God’s way of speaking to you.


On one of my little excursions with God, I sat at a beautiful overlook to a valley. I looked up the word “mountain” in my Bible’s concordance. It led me to Micah 4. One section of that chapter is titled, “The Lord’s Plan.” That’s when it really hit me that my life is not my own. He has a plan and when I allow Him to work through me, it’s a perfect plan.


3. Stay awake and alert.


It may be difficult, but get a good night’s rest the night before. You’ll want to be fully alert. When our minds and bodies are rested, we know our ability to comprehend is much greater. It’s no different with spending time with God. Our minds will stay focused and we’ll be able to listen for all that God wants to teach us.


4. Try a variety of approaches.


In this special time with God, don’t just do one thing. Read Scripture, pray, walk a bit, be quiet, write in your journal, sing, quote Scripture back to God, etc. There are plenty of prayer options on the internet, so you might want to check into some of those.


Depending on what I’m focusing on, I’ve used different tools for different focus days. Some I’ve focused more on prayer and used a circle of prayer to help with that time. Some times I’ve focused more on what God’s Word has to say to me. That’s the beauty of doing this on a regular basis. You’ll find many ways to focus on God.


5. Pray aloud in a whisper or soft voice.


I find that if I pray silently my mind wanders. Even in my prayer time at home, I’m much more productive if I speak audibly. So I do. It’s no different on these focus days (another reason to be in a place away from others).


I know. People will think you’re odd if you’re talking to yourself, but you’re not really talking to yourself and you really don’t care what others think about you either. Right? So try it. You might be amazed at how much easier prayer time can be.


6. Make a worry list.


Now I’m not a worrier. But I do have concerns. So this is a great time to put them on a list and then figure out later if there is something I can do to make it better. Remember, you’re with God to be focused more on what He wants for your life. If He spurs your memory, be prepared to do something about it.


If you take the time to have a regular focus day, let me know. I’d love to hear your ideas. What works for you? What hasn’t worked in the past?


What I do know is that when I take the time to be alone with God for an extended period of time, He honors that time. I am refreshed. I am revived. I am ready.


“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” (Micah 4:2 – NIV)


Grace and peace be yours in abundance,



[i] Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Joanna Weaver, Waterbrook Press, 2002, page 230

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On Linkedin