Spiritual Growth

How to Be Closer to God When You Don’t Know Where to Start

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We’ve all been there at one time or another. We wonder how to be closer to God, but how? Where do we start? What can we do? Of course, we can begin by praying and reading His Word. We can even attend a retreat (my life was changed when I attended Quest by Fellowship of the Sword), but sometimes we need more. We want more. Growing closer to God is our goal and heartfelt desire.

Perhaps you want to learn how to be closer to God because you feel spiritually stuck. Or, maybe, you feel distant to Him. Maybe you’ve strayed a bit from your walk with Him. No matter the reason, you can make the heartfelt choice and take the spiritual steps to draw yourself cloer to Him.

God wants a relationship with us and promises to reward those who seek to draw closer to Him.


And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. –

Hebrews 11:6

Getting closer to God is not difficult and doesn’t include a long list of things to do. While I’ll be giving you several suggestions, you do not have to do all of them in your quest to draw closer to God.

How to Be Closer to God

Pray

This should always be your starting point.

Prayer is arguably the most difficult Christian discipline to master. Anyone who’s ever struggled with distractions and a wandering mind while trying to pray knows this is true. But it’s also one of the most powerful, important, and joy-filled ways to connect with God.

Share your desire to grow closer to the Father by telling Him. Ask Him to open your heart and draw you closer to Him. Ask Him to renew you and shape you into the woman He created you to be – then commit to following hard after Him, no matter what.

If you want to grow closer to God, being intentional in prayer is absolutely critical. For years, I’ve had a daily prayer time. Next to reading the Bible, that daily time with God has been the most influential decision I’ve made in my walk with Him. Of course, there have been days I’ve missed and sometimes I don’t “feel” like it, if I’m being truthful, but I’ve always been intentional to get up the next day, come back and not give up.

But, like all relationships, it’s not hard to get lazy. As you seek to grow closer to God, make intentional prayer time a daily habit and you just might get excited about it and begin to crave your quiet time with the Lord.

Here are some tips for prayer as you seek to grow closer to God:

Keep a Prayer Journal. Write out your prayers in a dedicated notebook to help your mind stay focused on what you’re praying for. These can be prayers for others or yourself.

Give God the best part of your day. If you are a morning person, have this time in the morning. If you are a night person, do it at night.

Schedule Your Time with God. This is my non-negotiable time that I actually write in my planner. While I’m having my coffee and before I start my workday.

Eliminate distractions. Turn off your phone. Silence notifications. Share with your family about your prayer time so they won’t interrupt you.

Be Still


“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!” –

Psalm 46:10

The instruction to be still in Hebrew means to let go, stop striving, slacken and let drop. 

Find a quiet place, perhaps your favorite chair, your deck or a walk in the woods, but declare a place for you to be still in His presence. Let go of all distractions, to-do lists and worries. When we surrender to the truth that God is in complete control of this world and everything and everyone in it, we can find peace and let go of our fears, worries and distractions.

female hands with pen writing on notebook on grass outside; getting closer to God

Read His Word

One of the best ways for growing closer to God is by reading the Bible. God speaks to us through His Word.

Underline, highlight, or write out passages, verses, phrases or words that speak to you. These are the gifts that keep on giving when you need encouragement down the road.

Meditate on Scripture. Choose a verse or short passage, read it several times, and invite the Holy Spirit to speak to you about what you have learned in the context of what’s happening in your life right now.

Memorize Scripture


Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. –

Colossians 3:16


Another great way during your quest for how to be closer to God is to memorize Scripture. It is a wonderful way to grow closer to God and allowing scripture to become a part of you. While Bible study helps us know God and his ways, memorizing Scripture keeps His word in our heart. Jesus knew Scripture by heart and quoted it often. Each time Satan tempted Jesus in the desert, Jesus responded with Scripture. And when the Sadducees tried to trap Jesus with words, he used Scripture to point out their error and answer their question.

Listen to Worship Music

One way to grow closer to God is to immerse yourself in the melody and lyrics. Sing along, dance…or just listen. Let the Holy Spirit minister to you. Music is a powerful form of worship. And, singing praise is actually something that the Lord has commanded up to do. You can even listen to praise and worship music with Bible verses to wash over your soul.

Get Out in God’s Creation


“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of all mankind. –

Job 12:7-10

One step on your quest for how to be closer to God is to simply go for a walk and talk with God. Share your heart: what is troubling you, what you are thankful for, and your hopes and dreams. He listens.

Beautiful footprints in the sand of the sea on a nature background; how to be closer to God

What do you get when you connect nature, and the spirit? The answer is a stronger spiritual life. If you don’t have access to nature, or the inclination to rough it out in the woods, try taking a moment today to appreciate the subtleness of nature along with strength of God’s word, and peace.

So you don’t have time to hike today. That’s fine–take 10 minutes to observe the stillness of the trees, or the lofty movements of the storm clouds. Maybe it’s the soft breeze bending the grass, whatever moment you capture, make it personal.

Start a Journal or Write in Yours

Perhaps you have a war binder or prayer journal. If not, grab any kind of notepad and something to write with. Journal what God has been speaking to you about today. Or what scripture or biblical topics are on your mind. The point is not to create the next great novel, but to speak from your heart about your relationship with Him, and His Word.

Share what God has done For You

Share what God has done in your life with a friend or family member. Witnessing is a powerful tool for our own spiritual growth, and pleases the Lord. Sharing His goodness is not only a great way to witness, and a reminder of all He has done for you, but is a wonderful way to grow closer to God.

Serve Others


“It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Matthew 20:26-28

One of the ways we can grow more like Christ is to look for ways to serve others. We should ask God to help us to see people as he sees them, see their need, and then be willing to stop and serve them.

Jesus gave us a model of servanthood. As we plan on how to grow closer to God, how we follow Christ’s command to serve others will have an impact on our walk with Him. Getting outside of ourselves and practically serving and investing in others will draw us to Christ in a deeper way.

Seek ways to serve, even if you just start with your family. Serve in practical hands-on ways and through prayer, encouragement, or mentorship. Invest in and mentor your siblings, pray for your friends, help out your family, give to your neighbors and community, or become involved in a ministry through your church.

Use the Gifts God Has Given You

If He has called you to create, then create. If He has called you to administer, then administer. If He has called you to shepherd, then shepherd. As you consider how to grow closer to God, consider that He has already given you spiritual gifts to serve Him and using those gifts will help you to grow closer to Him.

Bible on a dinner plate with silverware in lent, biblical fasting, growing closer to God


Do a Fast

She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. –

Luke 2:37b

Fasting brings clarity of mind and combined with any of the above, gives you the potential for a remarkable encounter with God. Fasting enables you to grow closer to God by concentrating more on things of God when we give up wordly pleasures. When we consider how to be closer to God, fasting leads to greater intimacy with the Father and helps us to refocus on Him.

Practice Gratitude

Count your blessings, and thank God for your blessings every day. Gratitude opens our eyes to all that God is doing around us. It helps us cultivate a heart that is satisfied and trusts God rather than complaining about our circumstances and groaning against Him.

Jesus continually gave thanks to God. Before Jesus fed over 5,000 with 2 fish and 5 loaves:

“Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted.” –

John 6:11

Even on the night Jesus was arrested, he still gave God thanks. –

John 11:41

and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.

1 Corinthians 11:24

Join a Bible Study


Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another –

Proverbs 27:17

Join or start a Bible study at church, with friends, neighbors, or co-workers. Knowing how to be closer to God is recognizing that we were created for connection and community. We can grow at a faster rate in community with others because we are able to share our experiences with one another and hold each other accountable.

Bring in the Reinforcements

Fortunately, we live in digital times and have access to many books, courses and other resources to help us when we wonder how to get closer to God. Some of my absolute favorite ways to grow closer to God are a few of the resources from the Learn with Me section of my website including the Bible Studies on Ephesians and Galatians.

What other things have helped you when you’ve struggled with how to get closer to God? I’d love hear. Leave a comment below to share!

Because He Lives,

Sue

Susan is a writer, speaker and the creator of Women of Noble Character ministries. She is passionate about helping Christian women deepen their walk with God through Bible study and creative worship and strengthen their marriages.

She lives in rural North Central Missouri with her handsome and hilarious husband and a myriad of dogs, cats and chickens.

Susan runs on Jesus, coffee and not enough sleep.

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4 Comments

  1. Dear Susan
    I thank God for you. I thank you for creating Women of Noble Character. You have no idea how it has helped me through this pandemic. My Bible Journal is full of your writings. I hope that is ok if I write them down. Thanks for helping me to come closer to God.

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