For some of you, the question “What is a quiet time” seems very elementary.
And yet, as I’ve asked my readers what they struggle most with in their quiet time, I repeatedly hear back that many are not sure if they truly understand what a quiet time is.
Some have a regular quiet time, but they are not sure they are doing it correctly, if they have the right tools, while others are simply not satisfied with the quality of their quiet time.
I understand these frustrations, because I’ve experienced all of them.
Over the next few months we will be looking at the topic of quiet times, how to have an effective quiet time, and tools you can use to take your quiet time to the next level.
To start with, we need to define what a quiet time is.
A quiet time is essentially a block of time that we set aside to quiet our hearts and minds so that we can concentrate on God’s Word and prayer.
We see that Jesus had such times, as all throughout the gospels we read that He would pull away from the crowds to a secluded place to pray and commune with God.
We live in a society that is filled with a lot of noise.
Some of it is audible noise, some of it is visual noise, but that noise or stimulation is almost everywhere we look. It is so hard to turn it off and allow silence to settle around us.
And yet, unless we allow silence in our lives, we can’t hear the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to us.
I have literally countless emails from readers everyday who confess that their #1 hindrance to an effective quiet time is distraction. And I understand that because there are so many things around us to distract us.
Not the least of which are our cell phones that ping notifications every few minutes.
But an effective quiet time must first start with quiet….silence.
Both silence of the devices and technology around us…and silence of our hearts.
I like to keep a notebook or a post-it note and pen next to me, because inevitably as I begin to read and pray, things I’ve forgotten about come to mind. This way, I can jot them down and keep my mind from buzzing with a list of things to do.
And as the silence settles around us, we take out God’s Word, find a passage to read (not a random verse here and there, but a passage or a book) and digest it slowly so that the words have an opportunity to speak to our hearts.
Once you’ve read the Bible and three things have stood out to you, take time to pray over them. But as you pray, remember not to just pray a to-do list to God.
Seek His face.
And most of all, don’t forget to wait and listen for His voice, because He wants to speak to you through prayer as much as through His Word.
So, what is a quiet time?
It is a time when we turn off all of the distractions around us, and in our own heads and hearts, so we can hear the voice of God speak to us through His Word and prayer.
Next time we will look at the tools you need for an effective quiet time.