From my family to yours – “HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Now that we have embarked on a brand-New Year, how do you plan on drawing closer to God? It may be time for a “refocus” and it all starts with spending time with God in “PRAYER” and His word.  Jesus gave us the greatest examples in the gospels where He stepped away from the limelight, retreating to a quiet place to commune with His Father. These personal times spent with God have some very important elements in common.
Jesus understood the importance of truly knowing the Father. The elements of how to spend personal time with God are threefold: First, we must use God’s Word, then find a place that is free of distractions and finally, intercession and thanksgiving should be priority as we let our requests be made known to God. 
God’s Word – Just as our bodies need food to keep it going, we need to spend quality time with God to feed our souls. Jesus often quoted from God’s Word in His prayer times. It is so important to have personal prayer time with God as well as, time to read God’s Word. And during this time, we should always seek God, through the Holy Spirit, to help us understand and apply His Word to our life; this is how we grow in our walk with Him.
An Area Free of Distraction – Each time Jesus wanted to spend time with His Father, He always retreated to a secluded area free from distractions so that He could talk with His Father. The same is true of us. Our personal times with God should be in a place where we are alone with no distractions — only God and you.
Prayer and Thanksgiving – Jesus’ prayers were not always for Himself, but for others. In our personal time spent with God, we use Jesus’ example by offering prayers for others and thanksgiving to God for what He has done for us. These prayers should also include a time of reflection on how God guided us through the good and bad times.
These are elements of spending personal time alone with God. The importance is setting time aside each day to allow God to speak to us through His Word and we then can talk with God though prayer.  Make these elements of drawing closer to God your priority in 2023. 
Spending Time With God,
Pastor James















Published: April 1, 2015