10 Practical Tips for How to Get Closer to God

Like any relationship, there isn’t an easy way to build a relationship with God. It takes conscious effort and investment on a daily basis. Yet, it also brings amazing blessings into our lives: God’s love, mercy, compassion, grace, forgiveness, kindness, generosity, and much more.

The following tips on how to get closer to God give you 10 practical ways to invite God into your life and cultivate a deeper relationship with Him. Cultivating a relationship with God is not a checklist. You may start with one item or do everything at once. 

Yet, the following list, when done together, will bring strength and peace to your own life and your relationship with God. Sometimes you’ll be stronger in certain spiritual disciplines compared to others. Take heart–God is ready to help you along the way.

a young woman praying over her Bible about how to get closer to God

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How to Get Closer to God

Usually, we have a desire to know how to get closer to God when 1) we’re a new believer and 2) we’ve hit a spiritual plateau. A spiritual plateau is when you feel stuck in your personal relationship with Christ and you’re not experiencing any spiritual growth.

However, there may be many other reasons why we want to get closer to God. Perhaps we have questions about God and want to know more of his character. Or, we may be going through difficult times and need him as a comfort, guide, and confidant. 

Whatever the reason that brings you to a desire to get closer to God, know that God wants to be known by you. He wants a closer relationship with you, too.  

Earlier in John 1, John writes about how Jesus became human and dwelled among us as man. Jesus had to humble himself to come to earth as a man. But as John 1:18 says, Jesus did that and came to us so that we could know God the Father. 

“No one has ever seen God. But the unique One [Jesus], who is himself God is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.” John 1:18 (NLT). God wants to reveal himself to us!

Here are 10 ways to get closer to God:

  1. Bible Reading
  2. Intentional Prayer Times
  3. Participate in a Weekly Worship Service / Church Services
  4. Serve at your Local Church
  5. Memorize Bible Verses
  6. Join a Small Group Bible Study
  7. Obey and Do God’s Will
  8. Read Christian Non-Fiction Books
  9. Spend time with Christian Friends
  10. Ask for God’s Help

1. Bible Reading

The Bible is God’s word and a gift from God. Across 66 books and 2 testaments, the Word of God speaks to the truth of who God is and his plan to save us from sin through Jesus Christ.

However, there are some big obstacles that keep us from spending time in God’s word. First of all, finding time in our busy schedules to read the Bible. Second, fear of misunderstanding a passage or not knowing how to read the Bible. Third, analysis paralysis when it comes to selecting a bible study method.

While there are many other things that keep us from reading the Bible, here are some simple things to combat the list we have so far.

  • Start Small — going from not reading the Bible at all to carving out an hour for Bible study is possible, but probably unrealistic. I suggest starting small. Begin by reading 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the evening. 

After a few weeks, you’ll find that your appetite for God’s word grows and you’ll know how to best arrange your schedule to prioritize time in God’s word. Then, increase it to 10 minutes in the morning and 10 in the evening. Continue doing this until you build a simple habit of reading God’s word daily.

There is no set daily time of Bible reading that makes you a “good” or “bad” Christian. See how God leads you. You’ll be surprised by how the more you read God’s word makes you want to read it more and more.

  • Spiritual Mentorship, a Bible Study, devotional or Bible app, or Bible reading plan can take the fear off of choosing what to read in the Bible and ensuring you understand the passage. Study Bibles and commentaries online can help with understanding difficult passages.

But–be careful when using online resources to make sure you are getting a trusted, biblical source. Consider working with a spiritual mentor or asking your pastor for direction when it comes to spiritual resources.

  • There is No Bible Study Method needed to get started with reading the Bible. If you love having printouts and discussion questions, using color-coded highlighters and filling out a bullet journal, then by all means, do all of those things. But not having a bible study method is an excuse for not reading the Bible. 

Push that excuse aside and start reading. Ask yourself after you read: what does this passage tell me about God?

All you need to get started reading the Bible is a thirst for God’s word. So you can begin reading the Bible today!

2. Intentional Prayer Times

Prayer is a gift from God that allows us to commune with Him and invite Him into our present moments. The power of prayer comes not from what we say or how long we pray, but from the fact that we’re praying to the Almighty God at the Universe, a God who is in control of all things. 

During his ministry on earth, Jesus, who as we learned from John 1:18 is “near to the Father’s heart”, still set aside time to pray to God. He retreated to a quiet place to pray.

In the same way, we are to follow Jesus’ example and be intentional about prayer. One of my favorite Christian podcasts, John Mark Comer Teachings, has an entire series on prayer.

Comer encourages his listeners to decide on daily prayer time and start with praying Scripture or written prayers, if you’re unsure what to say. He suggested starting with a couple of minutes to prayer and then working your way up to more frequent prayer time and longer prayers.

Here, we have 11 written prayers for young people and Biblical stories about the power of prayer. You can also check out characteristics of a prayer warrior to find more about what it means to make prayer one of your daily habits.

Having a prayer journal can also give you a helpful structure for your prayers (here’s my favorite prayer journal).

3. Participate in a Weekly Worship Service 

One way to get closer to God is to be where God’s people are, and God’s people are his church. You may have heard the saying that “Church is not a building. It’s God’s people.” And that is true. His global church is made of the body of believers.

Yet, some people use this as an excuse not to go to church, saying “I don’t need to go to a building to be with God’s people.”

While that last statement is true, we don’t just go to church to be with God’s people. And listening to Christian music in the car is very different from worshipping God as part of a larger congregation. 

At church, we worship God by our tithes and offering, worship music, praying together, reciting scripture, serving one another, and receiving instruction and encouragement from God’s word. How can you do all of those things without attending church services?

I can’t tell you how many times I have been more connected to God and God’s presence by participating in a local church service. For God has called us to be a part of the church and build up his church. 

“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT)

4. Serve at a Local Church

While you’re attending church services, consider roll up your sleeves and help the local church body through serving. God commands us to love and serve one another.

“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

Through serving at a local church, you are participating in the mission of Jesus Christ. You are part of the making of disciples and showing love to your brothers and sisters in Christ, too. 

“Jesus came and told his disciples, “’ have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'”

Doing God’s work brings us closer to God as we support his church. In serving, you may have the chance to share the good news with others and be encouraged by what he’s doing in the lives of others.

5. Memorize Bible Verses

Another tip for how to get closer to God is to memorize Bible verses. Psalm 19:7-11 says:

“The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul.

The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart.

The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living.

Reverence for the Lord is pure, lasting forever.

The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair.

They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold.

They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb.

They are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them.”

The psalmists constantly refer to the importance of hiding God’s word in your heart. When you’re stressed, overwhelmed, or feeling far from God, having Bible verses memorized can remind you of truth. The truth of who God is, his character, and his love for you.

Memorized scripture can give you words to pray thanks and worship God, too.

Here are some themed Bible verses to start memorizing:

6. Join a Small Group Bible Study

Joining a small group Bible study is a great way to get closer to God, too. At small groups, people usually have a discussion over a short passage from the Bible, ask and answer questions about the text, and then pray and encourage each other.

Some churches will call small groups “family groups” or “community groups” or “Bible study.” No matter the name, you want to get plugged into a place where people are:

  • studying God’s word
  • praying for each other
  • holding each other accountable for spiritual growth
  • loving and serving one another
Small groups are important because they offer a small-group setting where you can share prayer requests, receive encouragement, and ask questions. You can learn from each other and find people who will challenge you to have a deeper relationship with God.

7. Obey and Do God’s Will 

I’ve wondered about how to get closer to God especially when I’m seeking his direction. Usually, I’m at a crossroad and wondering what God wants me to do next. 

It’s frustrating to be at a crossroads and not hear anything from God, even after continual prayer and quiet time in his word.

In these instances, my dad has often reminded me to consider if there is anything in my life God has asked me to do that I haven’t yet. In other words, have I been obedient to God in the other areas of my life where I’m not necessarily seeking direction?

Building a close relationship with God requires obedience. 

“And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

Additionally, God has given us many indication in his word as to how we can accomplish his will. One example is from James:

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” 

So if you’re feeling far or disconnected to God, ask yourself if you are obeying God’s commands. Have you done the things he’s already commanded you? Are you actively doing the will of God? 

Sometimes, when we hold an area of our life away from God, it creates tension in our relationship with Him. The way to solve that is to surrender our own will and plans to God and obey.

8. Read Christian Non-Fiction Books

This way for how to get closer to God is only to supplement your personal Bible reading. God’s word comes first. And there are other non-fiction Christian books and resources (such as Christian podcasts) that can be extremely helpful to cultivating a deeper connection with God.

Usually topical in nature, Christian non-fiction offers new insights into the Biblical truths we know, shares personal stories of God’s work in someone’s life, and helps us apply what we know about God and the Bible to our daily lives. 

Here’s a list of 40 Christian books for young women I recommend. 

Be careful to assess any Christian non-fiction you pick up. Christian non-fiction books should not contradict God’s word. If it does, then it is likely to lead you astray rather than lead you closer to God. Reading the book with a trusted Christian friend or spiritual mentor can aid you in selecting the best books.

9. Spend Time with Christian Friends

How to get closer to God? By spending time with people who also love God and desire a deeper relationship with Him. 

There’s a quote that says you are the product of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Whether that’s quantitatively true is debatable, but it is true that you become more like the people you spend the most time with.

“Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for ‘bad company corrupts good character.'”

So in order to grow closer to God, you want to be encouraged and challenged by those around you to live a life of faith. It may be a best friend, a family member, or a spiritual member. Someone needs to be speaking into your life often about God’s word and the gospel of Christ Jesus. 

10. Ask for God’s Help

The last tip for how to get closer to God may be last, but it’s certainly not the least among them. When preaching on prayer, Jesus says:

“’Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.'”

When you hit a spiritual plateau or feel far from God, I encourage you to reach out directly to your Heavenly Father and ask him for help. Pray for God to draw you closer to him and create a deeper connection with Him.

Even if you don’t know what to say, be encouraged that God has given us the Holy Spirit to work in us and through us. 

“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.”

There is so much in the spiritual realm that we don’t see or understand. But God does, and the Holy Spirit is there to strengthen our personal relationship with God. All we need to do is ask.

I hope these 10 tips for how to get closer to God inspire you to keep investing in your spiritual growth. Every journey begins with a first step, and everyone’s faith journey will look different. So pick one way to grow closer to God today, and let’s get started.

How do you get closer to God?

Leave me a comment below!

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