With busy lives and little time for retreat or relaxation, it can be easy to neglect our spiritual growth. This week and last week, I’m sharing some practical ideas for observing spiritual disciplines even while you’re driving down the road in the car. Join in, and let’s see what God can do!
The disciplines of activity are about things we do or things we grab hold of, compared to last week’s list of things we avoid.
Spiritual Disciplines of Activity for the Car
Study – Listen to a recording of the Bible, but don’t let it just drone on and on. Listen to a big chunk such as a chapter or full narrative story (all of Joseph, for example), then stop the recording and reflect on what you’ve heard. At other times, try very small bits of Scripture. If traffic permits, listen to one verse or paragraph at a time, stopping the recording frequently in order to meditate on what you’ve heard. No matter how much you heard, when you reach your destination, take a minute before you open the door to record any insights or fresh understanding.
Alternatively, practice a single verse or passage until you have it memorized. Pull it up on your phone or write it on a card. Look at it when you’re stopped (such as at a traffic light), then recite it while you drive. Check yourself the next time you stop.
You might also listen to podcasts of sermons or audio books on Christian topics.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. -Psalm 119:11
Worship – Sing along with praise music. Recite psalms. Voice prayers of adoration and thanksgiving. The point is that you enjoy Who God is and relish His Presence with you.
We praise you, God, we praise you, for your Name is near; people tell of your wonderful deeds. -Psalm 75:1
Leave space for God to
respond in your prayers.
Prayer – Pray out loud. These days, you don’t have to be self-conscious. People in surrounding cars will just think you’re talking on the phone. As you pray, don’t take up all the time with your own words. Leave space for God to respond. You’ll be surprised at how He plants ideas and/or verses in your head when you pray like this!
I pray to you, Lord, in the time of your favor; in your great love, O God, answer me with your sure salvation. -Psalm 69:13
Fellowship – The easiest way to do this is simply to carpool with other believers. Alternatively, invite someone to accompany you even though they don’t need to go where you’re going. Either way, use your travel time to talk about real things. If nothing else, share your stories of coming to know Christ. If you can’t be in the same vehicle, call the person. Put your phone on speaker and have an in-depth spiritual conversation as you travel. Sometimes this is easier than sitting down face-to-face with nothing for your hands to do and nowhere safe for your eyes to rest.
We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. -1 John 1:3
Confession – In a spirit of prayer, allow the Holy Spirit free reign in your heart to convict you of any unconfessed sin. If you have a hard time getting started, listen to and meditate on Psalm 51. When you arrive at your destination, phone anyone from whom you need to ask forgiveness. Do it immediately or you won’t follow through (at least, I wouldn’t)!
Confession is agreeing
with God about Who He
is and who I am.
Confession isn’t only about exposing sins. Remember Romans 10:9 (not in NIV but in other translations such as ESV)? It says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” There’s an idea of acknowledgement (the AMP demonstrates this) or agreeing with God about Who He is and who I am. I’ve read about and tried a sort of breathing confession that goes like this: As you breathe out, agree with God that you are sinful and in need of His guidance, shelter, presence, etc. As you breathe in, ask for a greater filling of the Holy Spirit to accomplish His glory in the moment. This type of moment-by-moment confession can help you focus on God’s presence and action in your life.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin. -Psalm 32:5
Submission – Follow the speed limit for the entirety of a long drive. After all, the Scriptures say, “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority” (1 Peter 2:13). Just plan ahead on this one because it will take you longer than usual to reach your destination!
Ask someone to hold you accountable for practicing some portion (or all!) of these spiritual disciplines for the car over a specified amount of time. Report your activity regularly.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. -Ephesians 5:21
It doesn’t take much to make the spiritual disciplines a part of our everyday lives—just a little intentionality. Try one of these suggestions this week and see how God blesses your effort.
I pray these ideas have sparked something in your mind. What from this list do you want to try? What other suggestions do you have? Let’s start a conversation of encouragement in the comments below!