Experiencing God Resources

Books, Studies, and Apps

The books and studies can be found at these links, but feel free to purchase from another vendor/site if you'd like: 


Practicing the Presence of God: Practicing the presence of God involves looking for God in every detail of life. To do this you may want to think of God as ever-present in every situation, and remember you are never alone. Look at everything you do not as something you do by yourself, but something you do together with God. Spend time speaking with Jesus as if he were right there with you. Take some time to think about him every hour of the day.

The Daily Examen: The spiritual practice of the daily examen has 16th century origins yet offers a framework for prayer that continues to resonate even more 500 years later. The focus of the daily examen is on finding God’s presence in your life so that you can be grateful and so that you can listen for His guidance.

There is no designated way to go through the prayer or even length of time needed to complete it; in fact, just 10 minutes should be enough time. In the approach outlined below, the daily examen is practiced at the end of the day:

Prepare your heart and mind. Center yourself by lighting a candle or taking a few deep breaths. Allow yourself to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Review the day with gratitude. Think back through the events of your day, noting the joys and delights. Think about the people you interacted with and what you shared with each other. Don’t forget the little pleasures! Then, thank God for these experiences.

Pay attention to your emotions. Notice the points in your day where you felt strongly. What is God telling you through your feelings? Feelings of frustration may indicate that you need to change course on a certain project.  Feelings of worry about a friend’s situation might later prompt you to send a comforting note.

Select a part of your day to pray over. What one part of your day stands out most to you? It can be positive or negative. Lift up a prayer of gratitude, intercession, repentance, whatever the case may be.

Pray for tomorrow. Ask God to guide you through tomorrow’s challenges. Turn your anxieties over to God and pray for hope.

Fasting: The purpose of a traditional fast is to abstain from food in order to focus clearly on your relationship with God. You can also fast from television, entertainment, reading, social media or anything that distracts you from God. Those who are diabetic, pregnant, or who suffer from severe physical disorders when fasting from food should fast from other things that are not physically damaging. Remember, the goal is to develop a focus on God. In order to fast you may want to consider the following:

  • What is the purpose of this fast?
  • Begin with something small like one meal or one time slot.
  • During the fast, commit the time you would have spent eating or some other activity to prayer, Bible study, worship, etc. Use it as a time to focus on God.

The ACTS Model of Prayer: The ACTS model of prayer involves breaking our prayers up into different phases or foci. This model helps us stay balanced in our prayers and attuned to the will of God.

  • “A” stands for adoration. The first portion of our prayers should focus on adoring God for who he is and giving him honor and glory.
  • “C” stands for confession. A very basic part of prayer is self-examination and coming clean before God about our sin, confessing it, and then turning from it.
  • “T” stands for thanksgiving. Thanksgiving involves thanking God for who he is and what he has done.
  • “S” stands for supplication, which involves bringing our requests before God.

Journaling: Sometimes it is helpful to write down your experiences and thoughts in order to see God’s work in our lives. You may want to start a journal that allows you to record some of the victories and struggles you are having. Record your thoughts and feelings as you go through a process of self-examination. Make it a point to review your journal annually to see how God has worked in your life over the past year.

Personal Retreat: A personal retreat is time set aside from all the activities, responsibilities, and distractions of life to focus on being with and hearing from God. Schedule a half-day (a whole day is better) once a month or at some other regular interval to spend some one-on-one time with God. Leave behind or turn off your cell phone. Don’t look at your planner or calendar.

A suggested schedule is:

  • 8:45 – arrive at the location and familiarize yourself with the area.
  • 9:00 – listen to or sing your favorite worship music that helps you feel God’s presence.
  • 9:20 – begin with a prayer, surrendering all your worry and thoughts and asking God to allow you to feel his presence in this time you have set aside. Next, read a preselected part of scripture. Take your time, don’t rush. What strikes you about the passage? What comes to mind that you want to explore more deeply? Write down your thoughts in your journal. Write out prayers for people or situations as they come to mind. End this time by meditating on any thoughts that God brings to mind.
  • 11:00 – take a walk or hike. Maybe a swim or canoe around the lake. End with a prayer of thanksgiving for God’s beautiful creation.
  • 12:00 – lunch.
  • 12:30 – relax or take a nap in the sun.
  • 1:00 – repeat the schedule from the morning.
  • 4:00 – Offer God a prayer of adoration and thanksgiving for this time together. Return home.

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