Conversatio Divina

Part 6 of 12

Nine Steps for Spending More Time with the Trinity each Day

The Martin Institute

In his many teachings on spending a day with Jesus, Dallas often made suggestions for how to best practice what he preached. Listed below is a compilation of those suggestions for arranging our lives in such a way as to spend more time with the Trinity.

Step 1: Remember

The biblical day, God’s day, begins at sundown—the early evening. Put down a period for the end of each day and restfully receive the new one. Enter into the new day in rest as an act of faith.

Step 2: Resolve conflicts (Forgiveness)

Make a habit of resolving any household or other interpersonal conflicts as appropriate and as best you can. While reconciliation requires the participation of the other person, forgiveness does not. Treat any unforgiveness as you would a burning coal. Let it go as quickly as you can and ask the Trinity to provide any healing ointment that is needed.

Step 3: Retire

Retire for the night as an over all attitude of faith in God versus faith in yourself. The same thing applies to putting more margins in your days and Sabbath keeping. Sleep, margin making, and Sabbath keeping are all acts of faith.

Step 4: Resolution to Meet God in the Morning

As you are going to sleep, commit to meet with God first thing when you awake and rehearse in your mind how you will do this. Perhaps you will resolve to breathe the Jesus Prayer as you are falling asleep and if you wake up in the middle of the night. Perhaps you will resolve to pray the 23rd Psalm and Lord’s Prayer before you put your feet on the floor in the morning.

Step 5: Reverence and Awe

Begin the day with seclusion for morning devotions. Your reverence may involve praying on your knees, breathing a passage of Scripture, Scripture reading, etc. Confess that you cannot handle the day on your own. Tell God you belong to the Trinity and that you want “Them” with you through the day and exuberantly say (shouting is better) at least one thing for which you are deeply grateful.

Step 6: Release of Rush and Hurry

Make a game of slowing down. Walk with your hands behind your back; Be grateful for red lights as a chance for more conversation with God; Get in long lines at the grocery and pray a prayer of blessing for everyone you see. According to Dallas, “Haste will defeat you in your spiritual life and you must come to terms with it. Anytime you are in haste you are more or less out of control and you are out of control because you have over extended yourself.”

Step 7: Remember the Hours and God Through the Day

Make a habit of keeping the hours. That is, pause every three hours to pray the Jesus Prayer and to remind yourself of your goal—to spend this day with the Trinity. “In between the hours, ask God’s blessing on each new thing you do, and ask God to be with you in each new activity.”

Step 8: Relay Gratitude to God and Others

“Begin to will the peace and love of God to others. People need to experience the benediction of God’s presence in you, in them. You have the power to speak the presence of God into other people if you are living in that presence yourself.”

Step 9: Recollect and Repeat

At the end of the day take 15 minutes to review the day. In some traditions this is called doing a Daily Examen. Classic steps for this type of review include: 1) Remind yourself of being in God’s presence and give thanks for God’s great love for you; 2) Pray for the grace to understand how God acted in your life today; 3) Review your day and recall the primary moments and feelings associated with those moments; 4) Reflect on what you did, said, or thought in those moments. Did it feel like you were moving closer to or further away from God? 5) Think of tomorrow and how you might collaborate even more effectively with God. Then you may want to breathe the Lord’s prayer.

Then, return to step one as your next day with Jesus is about to begin.

Download a pdf of these nine steps.

01.  Making Space for God Meditation

“Father, we remember now that we are right here with you and that you are in our midst and that you love us and that you long for us to be healed and whole and that we do not do any of this on our own and that this universe is a perfectly safe place for us to be and that you are closer than the air we breathe. And so we ask that you would be at work now and help us and give us energy and openness and strength, and we pray this together in Jesus’ name.”


– Dallas Willard, Living in Christ’s Presence


Part 12 of 12


The Martin Institute