1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
It's a message that repeats itself throughout Scripture. We're supposed to pray constantly, to join and fellowship with God throughout our day. And yet the hustle and bustle of our lives seems to make this difficult. And anyone who thinks life gets less so after retirement likely hasn't spent any time in the vibrant assisted living communities under the Bethesda Senior Living Communities umbrella.
Our communities offer plenty of activities and engagement opportunities for seniors, and residents are often busy with their own lives. They have friends, lead or participate in activities within the assisted living community, volunteer in their towns, work on new hobbies and even manage the occasional small part-time business.
With so much going on, it can be easy for seniors of faith to feel like they're missing out on connecting with God throughout their day. Most of our communities offer worship and devotional opportunities on-site, but here are a few other tips for connecting with God as you live your best life in one of our assisted living communities.
Fasting doesn't have to involve a total lack of food. For many seniors, that's simply not an appropriate health choice, and you should discuss your diet needs with a health care provider before you move forward with fasting.
The goal of any type of spiritual fasting is to come closer to God by making a sacrifice that reminds you to turn to him. One popular type of Biblical fasting is the Daniel Fast, which restricts what you can eat rather than when or how much you can eat or drink. Seniors can also engage in modified versions of this fast by giving up foods they love but don't need to be healthy.
You can also fast from things that aren't food, including television and screen time, gossiping or engaging in negative self thought. Whatever you fast from, remember why you are doing it. Each time you think about or crave what you've given up, turn to God in prayer, devotion or thanksgiving. You'll likely find yourself connecting with God multiple times throughout the day.
The Bible tells us to hide Scripture in our heart so that we have it when we need to wield it. Seniors of faith may have memorized many verses throughout their lives, but most people haven't memorized the entire Bible.
Pick a verse to memorize today or this week. Copy it onto a small piece of paper you can carry with you throughout the day. Take it out throughout the day to read and memorize it, and consider how you see this verse playing out within your daily life. This can be a great way to connect with God's Word in new ways.
It's easy to turn your thoughts into prayers directed toward God. Here are just a few examples.
Worry about an upcoming doctor's visit can be turned into a prayer asking God for comfort and peace as well as a prayer that simply communicates your anxiety to him. Yes, he already knows. But he still likes to hear it from you.
Excitement about an upcoming visit with family or friends can be turned into a prayer of thanksgiving for these people and a prayer that they experience safe travels.
Bitterness or jealously toward someone else can be turned into a prayer of confession as well as one that asks God to help you be content in your own circumstances and happy for the other person.
Ultimately, any thought you have can be given to God. Whether you're a senior with years of prayer under your belt or someone new to the faith, turning to God first with your thoughts is one of the best ways to get closer to him.