Are you satisfied with your quiet time?
Do you look forward to meeting with Jesus each morning, or do you walk away feeling like something was missing?
Many people I talk to feel like their quiet time is bland and boring. They don’t feel like it is exciting and effective for their Christian walk. In fact, many Christians I speak with feel like they are not growing at all. They may have gotten saved years ago, but they have failed to mature.
When a baby fails to thrive, it can be life-threatening; and the same is true for our spiritual life!
In our Christian walk there is no such thing as standing still. You either progress or regress, but if you fail to mature you will eventually die spiritually.
And one of the most essential elements to Christian maturity is spiritual discipline, and one of the most elementary spiritual disciplines is establishing an effective quiet time.
A quiet time is something that needs to happen on a daily basis, because just as healthy food is essential for our physical growth so is a quiet time essential for our spiritual growth. Without an effective quiet time we will quite literally fail to thrive as believers!
Here are the 10 steps to an essential quiet time
1. Just do it. Making the decision can be half the battle. Don’t wait until you “have time”, because you’ll never have time. You need to make time, whether that means getting up earlier or going to bed later, turning off the T.V. or adjusting your schedule in some other way. You need to make the decision that a quiet time is going to be an important part of your schedule…but not just an important part of your schedule, but the most important thing you do each day. Weekends included!
2. Don’t get caught up in too many details. So many times we get caught up in all of the logistics of a thing that we never actually take the first step to doing it. When I sent out my survey earlier this year, I discovered that many women felt bogged down by all of the things they could have to make their quiet time better. There are a million reading plans and printables out there, and while many of the things we can buy and download can supplement out quiet time or recharge one that has grown too routine, we can also allow all of the possibilities to overwhelm us. In my post 5 Things You Need for a Quiet Time I give you the 5 basic things you need to get started. They are simple and easy to collect in just 5 minutes!
3. Pick a spot. I have found that it helps tremendously to have a set spot for my quiet time. I have a spot for my morning cup of tea, my bible, my journal and all of the essentials I need for my daily quiet time.
4. Pick a time. Going back to point number one, part of making your quiet time a priority in your life is adjusting your schedule to include it as a part of your daily life. Make a date with God, set a time each day that is dedicated to your quiet time and then don’t stand God up.
5. Make a plan. If you’re like me, you like to go into a project with a clear plan of action. Take a sheet of paper and write down: where you’ll meet, when you’ll meet, what your prayer time will include, and where you plan to read each day. Having this plan will help you stay on target!
6. Turn off the noise. There is one thing I don’t do in the mornings until my quiet time is over. I don’t turn on my computer or tablet and I don’t look at my cell phone. I just don’t. I know that if I do this I will get sucked in, and I will be distracted during my quiet time with all of the notifications and emails. Turn off all technology around you: TV, radio, computers, tables and phones and embrace the solitude of a quiet time in the presence of the King of kings!
7. Pray. Start your quiet time with prayer. If you feel like you don’t know how to pray, I have put together a 7-day series on prayer called 7 Days to A Better Prayer Life that each day explains each element of prayer, using the Lord’s Prayer as a guide. Prayer helps us to focus our thoughts on Christ and prepare our hearts to receive His Word.
8. Read until 3 things stand out. There are reading plans that take you through the Bible in a year or the New Testament in a month. While these are not bad things (in fact, I’d argue that for a mature Christian they can be very good), reading the Bible is not a race to the finish line. Read until 3 things stand out to you and then stop. Even if you’ve only read 3 verses. In my post How to Read Your Bible and Get the Most Out of It, I explain why this is important.
9. Write those three things down. Take a slip of paper and write down the three things that stood out to you while you were reading the Bible and put them in your pocket. The combination of reading the Word and writing down key verses helps to make those things stick in your heart and mind.
10. Review them throughout the day. This is a part of biblical meditation. In my post How Eastern Meditation Differs From Biblical Meditation, I share about why biblical meditation is important to our daily Christian lives. Throughout the day take out that slip of paper and review the verses that stood out to you that day and ask yourself how you can apply them to your daily life.
If you do these ten things, I guarantee you that you will have an effective quiet time and that you’ll grow and mature as you should as a Christian and child of God!