Yesterday I talked about a morning quiet time. Though some people have their Quiet Time at another time of the day, I think morning is a great time to get your day started with God (Make Time For God).
Not only Christians, but many people take some time, usually in the morning, to have a quiet time. I have read several books about a subject called “Miracle Morning.” This concept was begun by Hal Elrod an he discovered some morning habits that many successful people have in common. He started doing them and it changed his life. He has marketed his idea into a very profitable enterprise. (You can read my article about it: My Miracle Morning.)
It consists of doing what he calls S.A.V.E.R.S. This is an acronym for Silence, Affirmation, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, Scribe (writing). He encourages prayer and/or meditation as part of his morning ritual. While not necessarily Christian, it shows the value of having a quiet, meditative morning to set your day. But I encourage you to put God in your morning. Have a Quiet Time with God.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN HAVING A QUIET TIME?
I am glad God doesn’t make a list of expectations for our Quiet Time. It may vary from person to person. However, there are some simple principles that would help you have a regular, consistent Quiet Time.
1 – Set aside a particular time to spend alone with God.
It must be predetermined. If you don’t set aside a time you won’t have the time. Jesus predetermined the time. Jesus did so before the day began. It must be planned. How much time will you spend? Notice that Jesus planed to spend a good amount of time. He went “a great while before day.” It needs to be unhurried.
2 – Set aside a particular place to get alone with God.
It needs to be somewhere that you can be quiet and uninterrupted. Notice Jesus went to a “solitary place”. This is important if you are to unclutter your mind so you can meet with God. The psalmist quotes our Heavenly Father when He said “be still, and know that I am God” (Ps 46:10).
3 – Take God’s Word with you to your time alone with God.
God’s Word (the Bible) is the primary tool that God uses to speak to us. Lately I am reading less, not more. It’s not a contest anymore to see how much I can read my Bible. I am reading one or two chapters, finding a verse that hits my heart, and making some observations and personal application. The goal is not the just to read the Bible (though that is important) but to let the Bible read you. Slow down and listen.
4 – Spend time in prayer, talking heart to heart with God.
Pray with purpose and direction. Just having a conversation with God is wonderful. However, it is also valuable to have some structure. Many Christians use acronyms to guide them: For example, A.C.T.S. (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication) or P.R.A.Y. (Praise, Repent, Ask, Yield). I have often simply used the Lord’s Prayer as my guide. Currently, I am using the example of twelve points of prayer from Dick Eastman’s book, The Hour That Changes the World.
Regardless of what method you use to aid in your prayer, make sure there is a time when you sit quietly and listen to the voice of God. We must be still so we can hear his voice. He will comfort you during this time. He will direct you to scripture during this time. He will direct your spirit during this time.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HAVING A DAILY QUIET TIME?
1 – Peace.
Through refocusing your attention on God, rather than your problems, you will discover the promised peace of God. Life has a way of making our problems look bigger and our God look smaller. Your Quiet Time will readjust your perspective. “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
2 – Joy.
Because the source of your strength becomes Christ rather than your circumstances, you will maintain joy in spite of your circumstances. The ministry always has moments that cause pain and hurt. Don’t let the ministry rob you of the joy of the presence of Jesus. “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand [there are] pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11).
3 – Direction.
Spending time with God enables Him to give you direction when you need it. Even if you do not receive specific direction, God will bless the path you take as you acknowledge him in your decision. “In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.” (Prov. 3:5-6). Notice that God does not necessarily direct our steps, but He will direct whatever path we take.
4 – Power/Strength.
The ministry can be exhausting. It is an impossible task in simply our human strength. We need supernatural power and that only comes by waiting on God. “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
5 – Success.
Joshua received a great promise from God that can apply to our ministry. “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Joshua 1:8). Joshua was a great success as a military leader. We can be a great success in our ministry by daily meditating on God’s Word. Success is not building and budgets but hearing “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).
6 – Others will notice the difference in our lives.
Your Quiet Time is the foundation of a good ministry. If it is done right, no one will know the quantity and quality of your time with God. It is easy to cut corners in our Quiet Time. No one will know. But God will know. In regards to our private worship, Jesus promised “”thy Father which teeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:6). People may not know how or why, but they will know we have been with Jesus. “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13)
There are many problems that we face when we try to maintain a Quiet Time. It may be discipline (consistent daily), boredom (dry), concentration, and even discouragement. The main thing to remember is to always pray and ask the Lord to help you. Then commit yourself to just do it. If you miss then do it the next day. Don’t be committed to the schedule but the purpose.
It is said that Andrew Bonar, a great man of prayer, had three rules: (1) Not to speak to any man before speaking to Jesus; (2) Not to do anything with his hands until he had been on his knees; (3) Not to read the papers until he had read his Bible.
A missionary in Africa mentions a phenomenon that occurred as Christianity began to spread among some natives. In the early part of the day, as the men went to work, they would wander through the tall grass and find a quiet place to spend time with God. Soon the worn down grass became a dirt path that marked each one’s journey to have a Quiet Time. Soon, one’s prayer life was made public. If someone began to neglect his or her devotional life, it would soon be noticed by others. Believers would then gently and lovingly remind those in neglect, ‘The grass grows on your path.”
If you are too busy to spend time with God, you are busier than He intended you to be.
You can read a similar article: 7 Minutes with God.