Quiet? What’s that? The kids are fighting, the TV is blaring, the cell phone is pinging and the washer is running. Down the block a fire truck’s siren is blasting and cars are tearing down the street. And now? The cat is tipping over the dog’s water dish! Sound familiar?...
There is an old saying that goes, “Stay prayed up!” This is one way to keep the devil at bay and to remain closer to God. Who doesn’t want to be closer to God? There are many ways to develop a close relationship with Christ. Over all the praises, songs, prayers, and...
Quiet? What’s that? The kids are fighting, the TV is blaring, the cell phone is pinging and the washer is running. Down the block a fire truck’s siren is blasting and cars are tearing down the street. And now? The cat is tipping over the dog’s water dish!
Sound familiar? Can your relate? Quiet Time 101, really?
Any college student will tell you that a 101 class means it’s the easiest, the beginning and the first class you must take to move deeper into a topic. Some days a quiet time doesn’t seem quite so simple. It may challenge us or inspire us or leave us with questions. However it is necessary to move deeper into our relationship with God.
If you do a search of the words “quiet time” on an electronic Bible, you will come up empty. There are no Cliff notes on the topic. There will be no quizzes and you will not get graded. There isn’t even a syllabus outlining the task. This is the good news and the bad. This is not a class or a normal course of study, it’s a journey. A journey that can only be travelled with God, his son Jesus Christ, and our helper the Holy Spirit.
“I am so busy, my life is chaos, how can I have a quiet time?” is often heard from those who have yet to embark on this journey. Others wonder what they would do during a quiet time. Others find that any soul searching is awkward or even painful. Once it becomes a habit, it will change your life.
As a person who’s energy spikes around 8 or 9 pm, I discovered after the daily tasks were done and the kids where in bed this time was my “sweet spot”. Finding a comfortable chair and setting aside time was perfect for me and Jesus. Often I would settle in with a cup of tea and my Bible for 30-45 minutes of worship. Years later life has changed and so has my quiet time. My Jesus time is spread throughout the day: Bible reading early, prayer in the morning and Bible study at my lunch break. One evening a week includes a Bible discussion and lecture.
Beginning the journey can be unsettling. What does a quiet time look like? Things to consider include Time, Action and Place or TAP.
Find a specific time or times of day and put it on your daily to do list. Plan for what is important and be intentional in accomplishing this high priority task. Like Jesus this may be early in the morning when he was able to be alone. Maybe you too are a night person and the evening works for you. Anytime is good with God. He just wants you and your time.
There is no exact method as each person is drawn closer to God differently.
- Prayer is essential. God wants to hear from you. This could be through journaling, verbal expression or through your thoughts.
- Singing or playing music may prepare your heart or move you to communicate the God.
- Reading and studying the Bible allows you to learn about God, his character, the scripture stories and find words of wisdom. The Bible can be thought of as the owners manual for life. If you are new to the Bible start with reading the New Testament book of John.
- Use a devotional, the Digging Deeper discussion guide, Christian books or a Bible commentary for additional insight and perspective.
- Listen for God to speak. What is it God is doing? What does he want me to know? What does he want me to do?
The place isn’t as important as the focus. It’s essential to find a spot that has minimal distractions, allowing you to openly communicate with God. This may be a coffee shop, or a park bench or room in your home. You may change location each day or change it as time goes on. It doesn’t matter where as much as it matters that you can focus your mind on God.
As you are constantly bombarded with messages throughout the day, remind yourself that it was necessary for Jesus to take time to pray and be with Father. (See Mark 1:35) In your busyness of the day, set aside time and let the words of Bill Hybels book title remind you that you are “Too Busy Not to Pray.”
There is an old saying that goes, “Stay prayed up!” This is one way to keep the devil at bay and to remain closer to God.
Who doesn’t want to be closer to God?
There are many ways to develop a close relationship with Christ. Over all the praises, songs, prayers, and devotions, it is clear that we need to know who Christ is. We need to know the experiences Christ had with the people he met along the way to becoming our one true savior. We need to know his true intentions for us all. We need to know how his will and our ways align in the grand scheme of this great life.
In order to understand our journey and the plans he has for us, we need to know him.
Considering the need every child of God has for a real, honest relationship with him, our first stop in pursuing a relationship with him should be the Bible, or the Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.
Picking up the Bible for leisurely reading may seem like a challenge. Reading the Bible outside of church or Bible study may seem like a chore. But, any relationship worth having is worth working for. Every day God works on us just a little bit more, so carve out some time to work on your end as well.
Psalms 119:133 says that God’s Word gives us guidance. In times of need, and in times of ease, it’s important to seek Christ’s guidance for your life.
Here are some quick tips for getting more Bible time in your life:
- Use a small devotional in the mornings to get your day started
- Commit yourself to 10 minutes of reading on a topic of your choice 4 days a week and highlight the important parts that stand out to you for later reflection.
- Use a handy Bible reading App
- Listen to an audio Bible during your commute
- Search for verses that have a significant meaning to you to begin your reading (i.e. Birthday January 4th= read John 1:4, Philippians 1:4, Ecclesiastes 1:4, etc.)
After you have chosen what works best for you, find a way to tie it into your prayer time or whatever time you have set for your private dates with Jesus. If you chose to have several small ones a day or just one a day, use this time to build on your relationship with Jesus!
You’ll be glad you did.