A 12-Step Guide to Winning at Quiet Time
Written by Kytia Lamour | November 18, 2015
Come near to God and He will come near to you. (James 4:8)
What does quiet time look like? It’s different for every person, but in general it’s a time in your day that you commit to spending with God. This can include prayer, worship, reading, praising, journaling or all of the above. The main point is to make a habit of keeping Jesus at the forefront of your mind, ensuring that you are living according to the Holy Spirit’s will.
“I need to check my email.”
“I should probably eat something first.”
“Did I forget to lock my car?!”
It can be hard to stop your mind from racing long enough to have a quiet session with the Lord. All of the things you forgot to do, and all of the things you want to do, will quickly flood your thoughts and make it hard for you to devote a few minutes each day to prayer, reflection and reading your Bible.
Like any relationship you have, if you were to go days, weeks or months without talking to that person, I’m sure they would miss you and even start to question your love for them. It’s the same with God. How can you show Him how important He is to you if you never show up?
There is no quiet-time plan that works for everyone across the board, but hopefully this guide will help you to create one that’s perfect for you.
- Start now. The hardest part is deciding when to begin. Don’t put off another day what you can do today.
- Find a devotional. Some people find that using a daily devotional helps them to stay on track because “Where do I begin?” is a common thought if you’re new to this. There are apps, websites, newsletters and books you can use.
- Have the right tools. A Bible, your daily devotional, a playlist for worship songs, a journal and a pen are a few tools that can come in handy.
- Consistency builds habits. Pick a time that works for you every day. This can be as soon as you wake up, on your lunch break or during your daily commute, to name a few.
- Free yourself from distractions. Trying to have quiet time at your local coffee shop can work for some people who can tune out the world. If this is hard for you, make sure you are in a place where you are unplugged from any attention grabbers. Turn off your phone, close your laptop and step away from anything that you’re not using as a tool in your quiet time.
- Find a place. Some of my best quiet times have been in the car on the way to work. As long as you are free from distractions, any place will do.
- Set the mood. You can play worship music or have your space in complete silence as you wait to hear from the Lord. Low lighting may also help.
- Come up with a program. Quiet time can become a mini church service where you’re the only attendee. You can start by thanking Him, lead into a song, talk about a scripture that stands out to you, ask for His help in one or more areas of your life, pray for other people and close in praising Him for all He’s done.
- Set realistic goals. Your friend might set aside 30 minutes a day every day at 6 a.m. to play her guitar, sing worship music, get into the Bible, highlight a verse she wants to memorize that day and conclude with a 10-minute prayer. I’m willing to bet it’s taken her a while to get to that point. If all you can commit to is five minutes right now as you make quiet time a new habit, it doesn’t make you any less righteous.
- Commit to getting the most out of quiet time. There are many great things that come out of quiet time. Some of them include becoming more disciplined, discerning God’s voice better, gaining better focus, memorizing Bible verses, seeing how the Lord is answering prayers and directing your life, and learning how to face trials as you lay your burdens down.
- Be open to conviction. We should constantly be growing in Christ. This could be a time God will use to speak to you about changing or letting go of some things.
- Make a record of what He has done. This is a great time to jot down thoughts or Bible verses that stood out to you, and even start a list of prayers and check them off once they are answered so that you can see God’s hand in your life.
I will think about all you have done; I will reflect upon your deeds! (Psalm 77:12)
Ladies, we’d love to hear from you. How are you winning at quiet time?