What kind of spiritual routine should a Christian have?
Routines have many emotional, physical and spiritual benefits in our lives, but it’s not always easy to work out what a routine should look like as a Christian. It can definitely be helpful to have some guidance in this area, so what kind of spiritual routine should a Christian have?
Before we get too much into this article, let’s take some time to define what a routine is. The Oxford dictionary defines routine as “a sequence of actions regularly followed” and other common definitions include a standard or regular way of doing something, or a usual series of things that you do at a particular time. We all have multiple routines in our day, even if we’re unaware of it. This could be anything from brushing our teeth in the morning, getting ready for bed at a certain time, waking up to exercise, getting a coffee before work, even eating that popcorn or chocolate while you watch your favourite movie. Not every routine that we have is good, but regardless, they are all routines by virtue of the fact that they are done regularly.
Are routines beneficial for us?
Routines have personally been incredibly beneficial for me throughout the different stages of my life, but let’s have a look at what the research says. The first point is that routines increase predictability. It is very well known that humans are creates of habit, and we all like predictability in our lives because it makes us feel safe and secure. When we live in a state of chaos and unpredictability, we become more stress and crave routine. The second point is that routines conserve energy. We spend the majority of our time during the day making decisions and this can be exhausting. When we have a routine, we can take away many of the small decisions in life like what we eat, when we shower, when to get out of bed, when to go to the gym, and more. The third point is that routines promote consistency and discipline. Our feelings always go up and down throughout the day and we don’t always feel like doing something (think of exercise or eating healthy) but having a routine helps us be consistent and discipled in these areas of life. If we can establish and be consistent in an exercise routine, on the days where we don’t feel like doing it, we’ll have a much better chance of getting through.
Whether it’s a daily routine or a weekly routine, research shows that our stress level will fall, we’ll sleep better, and we’ll be happier. So the research shows that routines are pretty beneficial based on what we’ve read above, right? Well yes, but there were also some downsides of routines. One of the biggest downsides was that when we are so deep in our daily routines, we don’t leave space for spontaneity. We can also get stuck in a rigid way of doing things and it causes stress when anything disturbs it. Being too stuck in a routine can cause us to become rigid and stale, and we lose the love for life in the unpredictable fun things that pop up. Routines are great, but be careful not to get stuck in a rut.
So, what’s the answer? How do we navigate the positives and negatives of a routine? Find the balance. Depending on your personality this may look different for everyone, some of us need more of it and some of us less, but I believe that finding a healthy balance of routine and spontaneity will keep us relaxed, enjoying life, growing and accounting for the changes in each season of life that come up, without having to lose our lolly each time.
What about spiritual routines?
Knowing that routines are beneficial in the day to day, what about routine in our spiritual life? I think sometimes we can get a little scared of having a routine with God in case it seems boring, or lacking Spirit. However, I can personally attest to the fact that creating a routine has given me the most spiritual growth I’ve ever had in my life. Being able to bring that structure in has given me the headspace to be able to dive so much into relationship with God, whereas before that I was running around like a headless chook and be guided by my feelings of when, or if, I wanted to do something.
Well, very similar to what we discussed above, having a spiritual routine allows you to get disciplined in your walk with God. Without a routine, it can be incredibly difficult to get into a good habit of getting into the word, praying and praising God. We know that all of these areas are so important for our walk, so I truly believe that getting in a routine helps us to be proactive in making this a reality.
What could a spiritual routine look like?
dOne of the most important parts about getting a spiritual routine is finding what works for you. It’s your relationship with God so don’t try to replicate what someone else is doing in hopes that it’ll work for you. But, don’t be afraid to take inspiration from what other people do. Some ideas from my spiritual routine include:
- Spending the first portion of my day with God – dedicating at least 30 minutes, if not an hour, to reading the word and spending time God first thing in the morning always sets my day up for success. For me, this often looked like finding a passage of scripture and reading that myself before looking up commentaries for additional insight into the passage.
- Making a coffee! This is one of my favourite parts of my routine and I look forward to it every morning. I love to make and sip on my coffee while I get into the word – it’s perfect for cold mornings and when I have my coffee, it gets my brain in the zone for reading the Bible.
- Another key part of my routine is journaling. I love to write down my thoughts, prayers, feelings and talk to God. Having all of this written down in a book also means that I can come back over the years and see what God has put on my heart at that point in time.
- Worship music in all of my free time is another big part of my routine. Buying a portable bluetooth speaker has helped immensly with this, as it allows me to listen to worship music in the shower, while I am cleaning my room, getting ready for work or at any other point in the day.
- Getting creative while getting into the word – my Bible has blank lines down the side that I can write on and I’ve got 7 different colours of pens that cover everything from salvation and trust, to the character of God, to marriage/relationships, general commentary, praise and more. Being able to incorporate colour and writing really helped to engage and excite me. I love making notes on my bible and writing and unpacking thoughts and it helps me to take it in much more than just reading and leaving it at that.
- Another area of routine is my life is starting and ending the day in prayer. Some days it’s a long prayer and others days not, but being able to talk to God first thing in the morning and last thing at night always grounds me. The bible tells us to pray without ceasing, and when I can say a quick prayer first thing when I wake up and before I go to help, it just constantly reminds me of the incredible God that we serve.
No matter what you do or what your routine looks like, focus on Jesus and the rest will fall into place. Working out what a spiritual routine looks like for you is very exciting and it will transform your walk with God. I can’t wait to hear all the stories from you!
Looking for more?
If you want to learn more about having a spiritual routine as a Christian, head over to Spotify using the link below to listen to the full podcast episode. If you haven’t already, make sure you listen to the first half of this series too!
Written by gracebuckman
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