“…train yourselves for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”

1 Timothy 4:7-8

“…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”

Philippians 2:12-13

“A rule (rhythm) of life is simply a handbook to make the radical demands of the gospel a practical reality in daily life.”

Benedict of Nursia

“How we spend our days, is of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour and that hour is what we are doing.”

Annie Dillard

A Rhythm of Life (sometimes called a Rule of Life) is not a set of rules that we keep in order to get God’s attention. We already have God’s attention. Rather, it is a framework of intentional practices and personal commitments designed to open space in our lives for God to do the work in us that only He can do: the work of transformation.

Our hearts long for intimacy with God. Developing a Rhythm of Life is a way of ordering our days around that desired intimacy. A Rhythm of Life is an intentional pattern of living that centres our lives on loving God rather than loving the world. Jesus modelled such a rhythm for us and called it “abiding” (John 15).

You already have a rhythm in place, whether you’ve aware of it or not. We are creatures of habit (both good and bad) and when these habits all come together, they form a “rhythm.”

How intentional is your rhythm? Is it dictated by life’s circumstances, or is it guided by the Spirit and honouring to God? Does your rhythm help make space for you to meet with God regularly and respond to His direction? Or does it inhibit you from following God as you would like to?

Rhythm of Life

Before We Get Started

A Rhythm of Life is not a means of control – it is not a tool to gather up the messiness of our lives and, by putting a framework in place, bring order and productivity. We deeply desire this level of control, but these practices are not a means of control, but of letting go. A Rhythm of Life is a framework that helps us keep God at the centre of all we do and grow increasingly more dependent on Him. It reminds us to order our lives around intimacy with God.

Let’s Experiment!

It’s time to explore a unique and regular rhythm of life that will help open you up to the transforming work that God wants to do. Note: Developing a personal Rhythm of Life is not something you want to do with your own best thinking. You want your personal Rhythm to be generated by the Spirit and honouring to God. Take a moment now to ask God for His help in this process.

Step 1:

Reflect on your current rhythm of life. What receives the most attention? What patterns or habits do you already have firmly in place? Do these patterns help or hinder your spiritual growth? Are there habits that you would like to develop? Are there habits you would like to quit? What longings remain steady in you? What limitations exist for you at the moment? (Be sensitive to your season of life)

Step 2:

Begin to draft a unique and regular Rhythm for the season of life you are currently in. Start with a general framework of Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and Yearly. What holy habits do you want to practice daily? What holy habits do you want to practice once a week?

Designing a Personal Rhythm of Life

Are there some holy habits that you feel best fit the rhythm of a monthly practice? A yearly practice? You will want to consider the spiritual practices: Gratitude (Examen), Lectio Divina, Sabbath, Solitude/Silence, Simplicity, Serving/Giving, and Hospitality. Also, consider life-giving practices like exercise, healthy eating, unplugging from technology, fasting, date nights, spiritual friendships, and family vacations. Remember, whatever we do we are to it with all our heart, as if we are doing it for the Lord (Col. 3:23).

Step 3:

Start to fill in the framework. Remember, you are not designing a rhythm “for” life, but a Rhythm of Life. This rhythm isn’t set in stone - you can make adjustments when needed. In fact, you should prayerfully review your rhythm at least once a year. Don’t be overly ambitious. Seek God’s guidance. The goal isn’t to fill your life with more to do; the goal is to find a unique rhythm that regularly makes space in the busyness of life for time with God.

Step 4:

Put it into practice. Spend the next three months participating in this new rhythm. Remember, holy habits take time to develop. Be committed. After three months ask yourself a few questions, such as: Is this new rhythm life-giving? Does this rhythm help me to seek God always? Does this rhythm bring me peace? Does this rhythm help me live at a “God-pace”? Does this rhythm stretch me beyond myself? Does this rhythm remind me that my time is not my own? Does this rhythm honour my limits?

Helpful Tip:

It’s helpful to “hitch” your desired new habits to your existing old habits. For example, if you already make coffee every morning, attach a habit of expressing Gratitude while it brews. If you already drop the kids off at school every morning, park your car somewhere peaceful on the way home and practice Solitude/Silence. If you already read before bed, set aside part of that time for a Lectio reading from the Bible. Etc.

A Sample: Rob’s Rhythm of Life (as I am able)


My morning habits include reading Scripture (whatever reading plan I am on) and praying for others. I often record my thoughts in a journal. Exercise on weekdays (I like to row). Midday prayer. I purposefully stop, be still, then pray (this practice is called Statio). In the evening, I close the day with gratitude (Examen) and Confession.


Sabbath is the cornerstone of my weekly practices. Andrea and I enter into Sabbath on Saturday evening, usually with prayer and a nice meal. Sabbath for us includes a long walk, attending church, and being attentive to God’s presence. Solitude is also a part of my weekly practice. At least once a week, I make space for 1-2 hours alone with God. Fellowship once a week (discipleship group, prayer group).


I attend to spiritual friendship, service, hospitality, and generosity. Some of these are planned (meeting up with friends) and others are Spirit-led (looking for opportunities to serve and give). Prayer: Canvas Church has monthly prayer. Every 3-4 months I plan a longer time of solitude (1/2 day).


I like to get away overnight for a time of solitude each year. This needs to be scheduled or it won’t happen! Annually, I observe Advent (there are loads of options for ordering your life around intimacy with God leading up to Christmas rather than consumerism or other distractions). At times, my rhythm includes other practices that come and go, such as fasting (Lent is a popular season for this spiritual practice).


You may find it easier to display your rhythm in point form or chart form. Use whatever works best for you.

A Sample Template