3 Ways to Maintain Time with God on Vacation

When traveling for business or pleasure, your normal routine may be disrupted, and it can be easy to neglect to spend time with God. Here, I share my three tips to keep up Bible study and prayer on vacation.

prayer on vacation

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It used to be that anytime I went on vacation, I would completely ‘forget’ to spend time with God. I let the different location, altered routine, and excitement of travel totally overtake any desire I might’ve otherwise had to seek God through Bible study and prayer. I even admit, I might’ve felt like a deserved a ‘break’ from those spiritual disciplines. I’m on vacation! Why should I have to pray?

And yet, we know that God is with us wherever we go (Joshua 1:9), that we are to pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and that we need to remain connected to Jesus (John 15:1-8). I really do think it’s a cultural/worldly notion that I’ve fallen into before, that there’s no need to keep up daily time with God on vacation.

Have you too fallen into that lie, that time away from home should also be an escape from Bible study and/or prayer?

Or maybe you just get so distracted by the ‘shiny’ things you see and do while traveling, deviate from your normal routine, and forget to spend time with God each day?

Yep…been there, done that. But a few years ago, I decided to start being more intentional about taking time for prayer while on vacation.

And my most recent trip (to the beautiful Pacific Northwest—Washington and Oregon) was no exception.

3 Ways to Prioritize Bible Study and Prayer on Vacation

While seeing the sights in this beautiful part of the U.S., I kept up a daily time of Bible study and prayer. But also, I noticed the many other ways to encounter God along the journey away from home. If you’re wanting to stay connected to God the next time you’re traveling, these three ideas can help you to prioritize Bible study and prayer on vacation.

1) Keep your regular daily appointment with God.

I’ve written before about what a game-changer it has been for me, to have a dedicated time with God every morning. And while that looks a bit different when I’m away from home (like reading a devotional on my Bible app, rather than from a physical Bible), I’ve learned to keep it up just as I would at home.

The key, is to adjust however necessary, to accommodate the different routines of being away from home. Maybe for you, that could mean doing your vacation prayer time in the evening rather than the morning. Or, doing a five-minute devotional rather than a longer Bible reading session.

if you’re sharing a hotel or home rental with family or friends, you may also need to get creative to carve out that quiet time. Take your morning cup of joe and your Bible app to the pool, out on the balcony, or anywhere else you can go to have a few minutes to yourself. Or, take a walk in the evening and listen to an audio Bible while you stroll. You could also involve your whole family in a devotional reading after breakfast.

2) Pray about the people and situations you encounter on your travels.

It’s great to be on vacation, far removed from the concerns of normal life. But, I noticed that for me, that meant that I wasn’t apt to pray for the people or situations I normally would. I left my prayer journal back home, so I didn’t have that to remind me what or who to pray for.

That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, though! The unique thing about prayer during travel, is that I found many opportunities to pray for the situations and people I encountered.

So, while you’re on the road, pray for the Uber driver who drove you to your hotel, or your fellow cruise ship passenger you met who has had a difficult year, or pray about the cultural, environmental, or political issues of the local area. (I prayed, and continue to pray for the people in the Pacific Northwest, with all the wildfires and terrible drought they are experiencing).

3) Look for God in the things you see and do.

Sometimes, it seems easy to forget that God is with us wherever we go, that there are always opportunities to worship Him, and plenty of spur-of-the-moment prayers for the journey. It’s good to keep our eyes open to what we might see and experience!

Multnomah Falls

Upon visiting Multnomah Falls in Oregon, at first I was just captivated by the beauty of the waterfall as a whole. But then, I took a moment to stare at it. I really noticed the details of how the water flows over the cliff, cascading down over the rocks, and into the creek below. And that reminded me of Jesus speaking with the Samaritan woman in John 4:1-42, and His description of the “living water” He provides (which quenches our spiritual thirst).

Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
John 4:13-14 (NLT)

I think that’s the best note to end on, when it comes to keeping up with Bible study and prayer on vacation. We mustn’t forget how much we need Jesus and His living water! We need that nourishment, guidance, love, and mercy, whether we’re at home or on the other side of the world.

Are you struggling to find the motivation to pray in the first place? Or maybe you’re not sure what (or how) to pray? Check out these 7 ways to improve your prayer life.

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