When you ask most Christians what they struggle with the most, majority would say it is having those ‘sacred quiet times’ with God. We all know that it is perhaps the most important part of our day, but unfortunately, it seems to be one of the areas that doesn’t get the necessary attention needed.
I have had my fair share of struggles too but I want to share with you some simple steps that you can put in place to have regular meaningful quiet times with God. In one of my previous posts- ‘My Morning Routine’, I mentioned the importance of going to bed on time in order to wake up early enough to spend time with God. I have noticed that many of us unfortunately don’t see quiet time with God as an important appointment but tend to take it for granted. If so, this needs to be addressed. Once you are up and awake you can follow the following 4 simple steps:
The very words of Jesus say that “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ A regular intake of scripture is healthy for the heart, mind and soul. Many try to read too much or too little. If you schedule to read 3 chapters of the bible a day and you start on 1st Jan, you will finish the entire bible by the end of October. This could be a good strategy to cover the entire word of God which gives you a broader perspective of God’s word and can allow the Holy Spirit to bring to the forefront of your mind scriptures that He might want to bring to your attention.
With reflection comes insight! There are different ways you might want to do this- either you select a portion of the chapter you read and reflect on that or you ask yourself what is really going on in your life right now and what does God’s word say about this.
This is more bible study and meditation. You will not get much out of reading the bible until you begin to ask yourself questions based on the passage you are reading. Our goal for reading the bible should be so that we can respond in one way or another e.g. thanksgiving, confession, intercession, application. For instance, if you are worried about something you might want to first ask yourself why you are worried and remind yourself what God’s word says about that.
Reading Matthew Chapter 6 and asking yourself questions based on the passage e.g. How does Jesus want me to behave in all situations? Why does he say this? What does he want me to focus on? And then applying it to yourself by asking “Why am I worried?” “What is the root cause of my worry?” What might come out of this could be that you are afraid that God will not come through in your current situation. I strongly suggest that you get a journal to write down your questions and answers.
The third step is to now realign your thinking to God’s will and his way. From the example above, God wants us to “seek first his kingdom… and all other things will be added as well”. This obviously is a new way of thinking and therefore, it might be a good thing to have the passage Mt 6:33 written down somewhere accessible so you can meditate on it throughout the day. This way, your quiet time is addressing a real time issue. God wants us to look into his word and allow it to impact us (James 1:22-25).
The fourth stage is to take your situation and request to God in prayer. This way of approaching your quiet time enables you to be real with God and encourages you to use God’s Word in prayer. Many puritans in the past understood the power of meditation and prayer, unfortunately today we tell ourselves we don’t have enough time but miss out on receiving from God in this way.
How much time you spend on these four areas is totally up to you, however, we must always remember that just as the scripture says, we reap what we sow. Sowing sparingly will only get you little results so we can’t be asking ourselves ‘why am I not growing in my relationship with God when we are not investing the quality time.
I hope the above helps you to put God first in your day and life.
I would like to know of other ways of approaching your quiet time so please feel free to share!