Have you ever gotten through a week of family vacation only to realize you completely forgot to pray? And I mean like, 100 percent, totally, completely slipped your mind forgot? I have. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in all the hustle and bustle of family, great food, beach-going, hiking, and board games that we leave no time for the most important members of our family—God our Father and Christ our Brother. With vacation season in full swing I thought now would be a great time to brush up on a few simple, easy and practical tools to be sure we don’t leave our prayer and Bible study time at home while we are on vacation.
1. Remember the relationship
First of all, if I can go a week without talking to God there is a deeper problem than simply forgetting to get it in. We all need to be building a relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ. Relationships take time and energy. But you know what? The relationships that matter most to us can take all the time and energy we have but we still make it work. We prioritize. So the real question is: For the rest of the year, while I’m not on vacation, am I prioritizing my relationship with God?
The book of Acts instructs us on how to build a relationship with God: “They should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27). Do I look forward to talking with God when I get up in the morning? Do I continue to seek him as the questions and problems of the day arise? Or do I simply check it off my list?
That passage also points out that God isn’t far away from us when we do seek! He is right there, eagerly waiting for us to pursue Him. If we focus on building a relationship with God and Jesus Christ every day, we won’t be able to forget them no matter where we find ourselves throughout the year!
2. Begin the day with a bit of quiet
Even with a great relationship as a foundation, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of, well, everything else when we are out of our routine. My suggestion is to begin your conversation with God in your own room before joining friends and family downstairs. Christ showed us this example of talking with God early in the day in a private place: “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed” (Mark 1:35).
If you’re married, do it together. Read a few verses out loud and then say a prayer to begin and bless the day. I’m sure you’ll feel refreshed and ready to start the day. If we literally put God first, we won’t find mid-way through the week that we’ve placed Him last.
3. Gather the family
Are you fortunate enough to be part of a family that all share Christian values? Have you ever tried a family prayer and short Bible reading around the breakfast table? Everyone is typically already gathered around and it’s a nice, casual way to get everyone (even the kids) involved. Remember, you don’t have to agree on everything, just on the fact that prayer and Scripture are a great start to every day. Keep this promise from Christ in mind as well: “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). Isn’t that what we all want? I can’t think of a better way to begin each vacation day than being together, praying and reading God’s Word knowing Christ is there with us. And hey, maybe this is something you’d enjoy so much you would take it home and make it part of your own family’s daily practice!
The real goal we share is to use every day as an opportunity to get to know and love God even more. Sometimes it’s easy to edge out our time with God but one thing is true: a day begun and spent with God is a day well spent. Hopefully we can use these tips to enrich our time away from home so we come back truly refreshed and rejuvenated!