One of the things I struggled most with as a young mother was finding time for a quiet time.
When my twins were born I would sometimes read while I nursed one or the other- that was a juggling act and didn’t last long. Then I was so exhausted all the time, it felt like I would never catch up on sleep.
It seemed like they had toddler radar for knowing when I woke up in the morning. If you have ever struggled to find time for a quiet time you might be wondering why it is necessary and how to get down to the nitty gritty and incorporate it into your life.
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Why should you have a quiet time?
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 is all the reason you need! The love of God, and knowing his commands should be the most important, talked about part of our lives!
God wants to be the love of our lives. He wants to be a part of every detail, from the minute we rise in the morning, to our last thought at night.
When I think of quiet time in scripture, I think of Jesus’ quiet times. Again and again in the midst of his ministry, Jesus withdrew to a quiet place to spend time with the Father.
Many times he withdraws from a crowd. Sometimes he rises very early to pray, sometimes he prays late into the night. But it is clear; Jesus feels he MUST have this time alone with the Father. It refreshes him, it keeps him going.
How to have a quiet time:
Do it your way.
One thing I LOVE about having a quiet time is that there is basically no instruction in the bible about how to have one. Which means…. I can do what works the best for me! Have a quiet time in the way that you are best able to know him more deeply and seek for him to change your life. Want to incorporate praise and worship music into your time? Go for it. Want to have it early in the morning on your back porch? Awesome.
Give the first fruits.
It’s pretty evident in the Bible that God loves to receive our first fruits, and I definitely feel that applies to our time as well. This is good news for non-morning people, (I didn’t use to be one). Sometimes we have the guilty feeling that if we aren’t dragging ourselves out of bed at four in the morning and reaching for our Bible that we are somehow failing.
I need half a cup of coffee in me before I can process the world. I try to get up when Ken is getting ready for work and get myself awake for a few minutes before I open my Bible. That doesn’t work for everyone, maybe you eat lunch alone at work, maybe you put the kids to bed at night and read. I have one friend who puts worship music in her headphones on her lunch break so she can read.
Do what you need to get the word in your life. Normally though, what works best for me is to get up earlier than my kids and spend time in the word. The Bible needs to be a part of your quiet time. It is God’s masterful love letter describing his infinite glory. Read more about the Bible I use, and how I study it here.
I like to start with prayer. We come to God because we need to know him more and because we are in desperate need of having our hearts changed and we can’t do it ourselves. Pray that God would use your time spent with him to open your eyes to the reality of who he is. Ask to see clearly how he reveals himself through scripture. Pray that he would change you in ways you didn’t think possible.
One helpful thing for me when I sit down with the Word is to ask myself the 5W’s and H. Who is speaking? Who are they speaking to?
What is happening? What does this tell me about God? When in the overall timeline of the bible did this take place? When in the timeline of the person in the story did this take place?
Where is the setting? Why is this included in the bible? How does this apply to my life?
These are important things to consider in order to understand what you are reading. It’s not always possible to answer every question that pops into your head as you are reading though, and when I feel confused by a passage I slow down.
Yes, slow down! Don’t just skip over it and hope for the best. God’s word holds up and when you don’t get it right away, see it as a chance to learn about him in a new way.
It is tempting to keep going, but take a minute and read it again, think about how it lines up with what you know of scripture. Maybe there is something in the passage that you haven’t considered before. Email your pastor or Sunday school teacher to ask if you can’t figure it out.
I can tell you that for a pastor it’s really encouraging to know that someone in your congregation is spending time in the word and wants to know more!
I also have a list of people and things to pray for. Sometimes I go through it meticulously and sometimes I just go with what is on my heart.
At this point I usually get interrupted by a kid, but sometimes I can take extra time to do some scripture journaling, or listen to some praise music.
So that’s it really- what do you do for your quiet time? Do you have any tips to share?