Perhaps quiet time spent with the Lord is the single-most important thing a Christ follower can do daily. There are many elements of the Christian faith that merit importance, but consider the vast results of daily prioritized, uninterrupted time with the Creator of the universe, the Author and Perfecter of faith, the King of kings and Lord of lords. The amount of life change that can occur is immeasurable; yet, we struggle to even open God’s Word and allow the opportunity for Him to breathe life into these dry bones (Ezekiel 37:5).
Scripture is the handbook of life and death and all that is between. It is “inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
As believers, I think we understand that reading Scripture and praying are important, but we struggle to develop consistency. Establishing a consistent quiet time with God requires transformed thinking. Below are five ideas that truly transformed my personal thinking and set me on a journey of developing a consistent quiet time that is intimate and life changing.
First, consider whether Bible study and quiet time are one and the same for you or two different things. For me, they are two different aspects of drawing closer to God. My quiet time is concise, focused time in prayer and Scripture reading. No outside sources are needed beyond the Holy Spirit. It is an open opportunity for God to speak truth directly. When I think of Bible study, I think of additional resources—dictionaries, commentaries, concordances, etc. Both quiet time and Bible study are of excessive value to one’s faith journey and both should be practiced regularly, but finding a distinction has led to consistency in my daily quiet time.
The second thing to consider in regards to daily Scripture reading and prayer is the length of time spent. Quiet time doesn’t have to be long, but it should be focused. Face the facts. It’s much easier to prioritize ten to fifteen minutes in a day than it is to set aside thirty minutes to an hour. Evaluate your schedule, and determine how to incorporate fifteen minutes of uninterrupted time with the Lord. Set boundaries and identify them with those that can help protect that time or could potentially jeopardize the time.
In addition to considering the length of time spent in quiet time, we must also give priority to the time of day. The best way to stay consistent in spending time with God is to do it at the same time each day. For me, having my quiet time as a morning celebration kicks off a day of applying God’s truth. Spending time in prayer helps prepare the heart to hear a word from the Lord. Reading God’s Word convicts, challenges, and encourages in ways that help us look more like Christ. I prefer to start the day with quiet time, so that I have approximately fifteen or more hours to actively live out the word of God.
The fourth thing to consider is the idea of opportunity versus obligation. Quiet time is not an obligation; it is not something we do simply because it is the right thing to do. It IS the right thing to do, but it is so much more than obligation. It truly is an opportunity to commune with God. Dwell on this truth: the Creator of the universe longs to communicate with you.
Fifth, we must comprehend the important truth that God is personal. He longs to hear from you. He longs to speak directly to your heart in an intimate way, every single day. Grasping this concept is absolutely the key to developing consistent quiet time. Spend time in God’s Word and watch Him encourage you in a time of deep sorrow. Be enveloped in perfect peace when life is crumbling around you. Experience complete joy when circumstances tell you joy is not possible. Find hope when you cannot see the next step. Draw near to the Lord when life is going swimmingly well. Lean in and experience the refining of your faith through the power of the Word of God. Live abundantly in Christ, firm in your identity, unwavering in your beliefs, valued, equipped, and energized to glorify God, daily.
Personal quiet time has been the anchor for my soul in recent years, and if opportunity presented itself, I would sit, with coffee in hand, and tell you story after story of how God has carried me, met me, refined me, challenged me, and equipped me to live a life for His glory. God’s Word is beautiful and precious. The depth of His love for us is unfathomable, but perhaps if we establish consistent quiet time we catch a glimpse of it all.