One of the most valuable and important things which God says to us is, “Behold, I make all things new.” This is very important; a relationship with God through Jesus the Christ does not transport us back to Eden before the Fall but takes us forward into a realm where we allow God’s Spirit to make us new.
The mechanics of this, almost always, require a certain amount of explanation.
First, God does not endow each of us with Grace for always all at once. This is what daily prayers are about: each person asks for their daily, sometimes even hourly, portion of whatever Graces they need to
1)Get safely through the day and
2)have something extra on which to grow. Each person may need to ask God for, say, new eyes each morning through which to see this new day, to give one example of day-by-day renewal. Or others may need to ask for a renewal of discernment so as to be able to see what they need to do themselves and what to leave in God’s hands.
Second, this process can become tedious–but one needs to remember: the only way out is through. This process, tedious though it can be, is absolutely necessary to be made new. Flyovers or end runs don’t work here. Here it helps to remember the many uses of prayer: whatever a person needs from God, prayer will often bring that matter front and center. A fringe benefit of prayer usually is greater knowledge and understanding of the occupiers of heart and mind. A course of action on those occupiers, though, usually needs to be a subject of direct prayer. But contact with God needs to be on at least a semi-regular basis for growth to occur.
Third, growth is often painful. Really great, isn’t it? The process leading to growth is often tedious, and the growth itself can hurt! But then again, what’s the alternative? For good or ill, it is the truth that the only end to growth is death. That’s why our minds, hearts and above all our souls need to learn to grow. That’s also why exercise is important to keep all our parts from atrophying. Really. No one knows to what extent one’s ‘mind’ and one’s ‘heart’ survives the body’s death, or whether or not the soul takes those parts with it. But the human soul is immortal and it needs to be ready to continue to grow after parting from the flesh. Everything inside each human being needs to die so that it can be raised to new life.
Each person has to determine what they find most helpful in nurturing their own soul. For some, it may be the Lord’s Prayer or another short prayer. For another, it may be daily readings either guided by a lectionary or by the Spirit’s promptings. It may be a short meditation. And, likewise, it’s up to each person to find the best place for such exercises. It should be mentioned, though, being part of collective worship can turbo-charge one’s individual devotions. But if coming to regular services is problematical, God understands. He always does. He has already met each human where s/he is right here, right now. As the Way, the Truth and the Life He is both guide to and fuel for the heavenward road.