How to Avoid Being Distracted from Spending Time with God

Want to know how to avoid being distracted during your time with God? Find 7 proven ways at MM so you can be encouraged in your life and marriage! #marriage #Bible #Study #Scripture #growth #SpiritualGrowth #BibleStudy #priorities #distractions #tips #encouragement #support

I recently conducted a survey evaluating people’s “Time with God” that revealed three main ways we get distracted in this all-important pursuit. 

Want to know how to avoid being distracted during your time with God? Find 7 proven ways at MM so you can be encouraged in your life and marriage! #marriage #Bible #Study #Scripture #growth #SpiritualGrowth #BibleStudy #priorities #distractions #tips #encouragement #support

For today’s post, I’ll be focusing primarily on the top way we’re distracted since it’s probably the most obvious offender. I bet you could even guess what it is since you likely struggle with it yourself. 

The results reveal that 45% of you are distracted by “the TV or phone,” with the options of “kids need my help” and “work schedule” tying for second at 27.5% each. No big surprise there either!

I believe that the distraction of TV and phones might be worse than normal due to the quarantines that have kept us safely distancing ourselves from others. What better way to stay entertained and connected virtually than by our TV’s and/or phones, right? 😉

My husband and I have certainly given our streaming services a workout over the past almost 12 months!

I’d much rather go on a double date with some of our “couple” friends. But until it gets a lot warmer, vaccines become more plentiful, and cases go downward, we will spend many of our free evenings enjoying a favorite TV program together. 

Often it’s not the TV that distracts us as much as our phones when we sit down to spend time with God. It’s so very tempting to look and respond when we hear our phones pinging, telling us that someone wants to say something to us. 

Instead, we must remember that God wants to say something to us!

And He’s the most important person in our lives, deserving of our full, undivided attention each day. 

The reason I want to talk about how to avoid being distracted from our time with God is because we need time with Him for encouragement and guidance in marriage. This is especially true when we’re struggling in our marriages. 

Anytime we face turbulent waters, we need to find lots of healthy supports to bear the weight. And God and His word are the greatest source of load-bearing support in our lives (Ps. 119:50; Is. 41:10; Mt. 4:1-4; James 1:5; II Tim. 3:16-17)!

[bctt tweet=”Anytime we face turbulent waters in life or marriage, we need to find lots of healthy supports to bear the weight. Find ways to add the most important type of support at MM! #burden #encouragement” username=”BethSteffaniak”]

So, how can you avoid being distracted by your phone/TV, kids, and/or the demands of your job during your time with God?

7 Ways to Avoid Being Distracted from Your Time with God

1. Make a verbal commitment to God of your desire to meet with Him daily.

You might want to pray this every day before you start to form this habit. However, praying this each day will also kickstart your effort to make it a daily habit. He loves to hear that you want to meet with Him. It’s endearing to Him and He always answers a prayer like this! 

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.      —1 Jn. 5:14-15

Besides, it’s helpful for you to verbalize this commitment (Ps. 56:12). We tend to try harder to keep any promises we verbalize, especially when we say them to the Lord. 

2. Choose an optimum and consistent time, setting it on your calendar.

Benjamin Franklin once wisely said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” 

Putting this commitment on your calendar helps to integrate it into your schedule, not to mention reminding you of it each day.

If you have a crazy schedule that doesn’t allow for consistency, be like Jesus and get up a bit earlier each day so that you create this essential consistency.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.  —Mark 1:35

3. Pick a place that’s private and free of distractions.

I used to meet with God in our loft near a big, bright window. Though this was a relatively quiet and distraction-free spot, my boys and husband often walked by or interrupted me.

So, at some point, I moved to my bedroom and closed the door during my time with God. Eventually, I was able to turn an empty bedroom into my office and retreat. #trueemptynester

If you have children who are constantly around, you’ll need to find a time before they get up, are napping, or otherwise consumed with an activity of their own.

When my boys were tots, making time with God during their naptimes worked very well for me most days. I even found time for a quick 20-minute nap most days after spending time with God at the start. 😉

4. Silence or don’t bring your phone to your private spot. 

You can also go into your phone’s settings and choose “Do Not Disturb” to keep people from bugging you during your time. 

The hardcore option is to leave your phone in another room for 15, 30, or 60 minutes (or more, if you like) while you meet with God. This will certainly keep you focused as you sit at Jesus’ feet.

He will be honored by your devotion and won’t let it be taken from you (Lk. 10:41-42). 

5. Ask God to guard your time and keep your attention.

Don’t try to do these important tips in your own strength! You need God’s help and power to do them successfully.

On the occasions when your phone, kids, or job interrupt, asking for God’s help ahead of time will help you to recover more quickly as well. 

For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.  —Phil. 2:13

6. Play soft music in the background. 

This is obviously an option, but I’ve found it to be really helpful for creating a worshipful, pleasant, and less distracting atmosphere. You might also want to use earbuds or sound-canceling headphones to really shut out the world for a brief time! 

I love playing instrumental music since songs with words tend to distract me. If you have an Amazon Prime account and use the app, click on the link to find my Study Music playlist to use during your own quiet time. 

7. Write out your notes. 

You can do this either in a notebook or on your computer. But if you use your computer, be sure to close any Facebook or other social media tabs that might distract you.

Writing out your notes keeps you more engaged with Scripture. It helps to improve concentration, blocks distractions, not to mention reminding you of where you left off if you do get distracted.

I will delight in your decrees and not forget your word. —Psalm 119:16 (NLT)

[bctt tweet=”Arm yourself with God’s word in the battles of life and marriage! Head to MM to find key ways to nip in the bud what distracts you from making time with God! #BibleStudy #Bible #marriage” username=”BethSteffaniak”]

Next time, I’ll be continuing to unpack the results of my “Time with God” survey. (Sorry, the survey has reached its limit for participants.) In this upcoming post, I’ll be talking about what you said were practices that improve your desire and stick-to-itiveness in pursuing time with God.

Plus, I’ll be sharing more about my Bible study plan—WORTHY—providing you with a template for writing out your notes, if interested. This plan is great if you’re looking for a way to experience the joy of discovery, while also learning how to live out your faith!


 

Which of the 7 ways to avoid distractions do you find most helpful in your personal time with God?

 

Which of these do you need and/or want to put into practice? 

 


Here are some lovely linkups I join – Remember Me Monday, Legacy Linkup, Inspire Me MondayPurposeful Faith, Tell His StoryInstaEncouragements LinkupRecharge Wednesday, Let’s Have Coffee, Tune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementGrace and Truth, and Faith on Fire Friday.

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15 responses to “How to Avoid Being Distracted from Spending Time with God”

  1. Beth,
    For me, setting the alarm and getting up early was the only way to insure some truly “quiet” time when I had kids at home. It became such a positive habit that I continue that practice. I’ve learned that I have to put my phone on silent and leave it in another room – no temptation to scroll. When you talked about our phones pinging when people want our attention – maybe we need a God app in which HE pings us when He wants to speak with us. Don’t get me started on the hazards of these technological “advances.” With grown kids, I really don’t have as many distractions, but life can still be life, not matter the season we are in. Great post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    1. Yes, Bev. Sometimes the habits we began because of our kids continue to establish and maintain us in our habits today. And good for you on keeping your phone in another room. That shows your great dedication to your time with God. We sure shouldn’t keep our phones near us, eyeing them, when we want to have a deep conversation with our spouses. The same goes and more so for our time with God! And I agree! My distractions have lessened now, living as an empty-nester. But I feel for all the young moms out there who want this time and yet don’t know how to achieve it with little ones underfoot. Yes, life can still be life and “loves a vacuum.” The empty parts easily get filled up if we don’t guard them vigilantly! Thanks for stopping by to encourage me, Bev! Hugs

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  2. This is a post I think we all need to read. It is so easy to be distracted these days. The phone and TV are huge distractions. The time I can count on few distractions is right before bed. It’s my “scheduled” time with God. I love the idea of writing out notes beforehand. I am going to try that. I often think I will remember things I want to say. Then, of course, I forget. In that case, I hope God knows my heart.

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    1. Yeah, that’s a time when quietness can be found–IF we don’t have the TV on, Laurie! That’s when the TV over the phone is my biggest distraction. So, morning is the best time for me. I hope you do try writing out notes. It truly makes the writers like us engage more and feel more productive too! Thanks for stopping by and encouraging me, my friend!

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  3. I used to write out my Bible study notes by hand. I still have my thick notebooks that I do refer back to, but I haven’t been writing them out the past year. Hopefully it’s a habit I can resume again at some point. Thanks for these great reminders to keep our time with God a priority!

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    1. I hope you do go back to it, Lisa. Like I said to Laurie above, those of us who are writers really can be encouraged by this one simple habit. I write out my prayers too and was just looking back on them today to see some important insights that impact me now. God is always so good to teach us step-by-step and day-by-day. Hugs to you!

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  4. “Have Your people see my people
    and we will set a time to meet,
    at the church, beneath the steeple…”
    And God replied, “Oh, ain’t that sweet,
    you’ll take time from your busy days
    to hang a bit with Me alone,
    to offer Me your thanks and praise,
    then RING! will go your telephone,
    and you’ll ask that I please wait
    so that you might take that call;
    fancy saying to the Great
    I Am, and to the Lord Of All
    that your Walmart order’s done,
    and you really have to run.”
    then RING! will go your telephone,
    and you’ll ask that I please wait
    so that you might take that call;
    fancy saying to the Great
    I Am, and to the Lord Of All
    that your Walmart order’s done,
    and you really have to run.”

    Like

    1. Oh, darn…I copied the sonnet over to an editor so I could catch any errors, then screwed up pasting it back. I’m sorry. It should look like this:

      “Have Your people see my people
      and we will set a time to meet,
      at the church, beneath the steeple…”
      And God replied, “Oh, ain’t that sweet,
      you’ll take time from your busy days
      to hang a bit with Me alone,
      to offer Me your thanks and praise,
      then RING! will go your telephone,
      and you’ll ask that I please wait
      so that you might take that call;
      fancy saying to the Great
      I Am, and to the Lord Of All
      that your Walmart order’s done,
      and you really have to run.”

      Like

      1. These sonnets are pretty impressive. I like this one a lot.

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  5. Retreating to a place that is quiet and hopefully distraction free helps me relax and breathe and spend time with God. And telling hubby I am busy and spending time with God when he tracks me down and needs something. Because with hubby working at home, he is now the one who is distracting me the most. Not the Kiddos.

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  6. It’s #4 for me 🙂 I get myself comfortable in a spot far from my phone, which is on silent, so I can’t reach it. If it is near me, I will reach for it. So good to be reminded to give God my full attention so I hear all He has to say. If we want His wisdom and guidance, we need to be focused and intentional.

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  7. I love the encouragement to ask God for help. He is so good and loving. Yet, I often forget He WANTS to help me, to help us. He loves when we ask Him for help. I’m learning to ask more instead of trying (and failing) to do it all on my own.

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  8. I have learned to keep paper handy during my quietntime. Any random thought that flits in to distract gets written down to deal with later

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  9. This is a great reminder that we have to be intentional about the things that are most important to us, Beth. I do my daily Bible reading and prayer first thing in the morning, at the computer in our basement family. Any other time and/or place and I just can’t focus!

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  10. I’m finding praying through writing very powerful. I want to team it up with 2&3 to establish a habit. Having recent prayers at hand means the dialogue can develop and build in each prayer. I am learning to be more honest and critical than I am in verbal prayer. And seeing a page full of such sturm und drang I am learning to pray more thanksgiving and adoration too.

    Like

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