Now that we have discussed the Benefits, requirements and structure of quiet time, let’s look at some of the ways we can fill that structure.
Obviously, Scriptures play a big part in our quiet time, but as you start this discipline, the focus should probably be more on reading than on study. Bible study is an important discipline, but it’s easy for study to lead you away from your ultimate focus—your relationship with Jesus.
Take advantage of this time to make your way through your daily readings. Just remember that you don’t want to race through the passages you need to read. The objective is to use this time to connect with Jesus, so read thoughtfully and prayerfully. As you’re reading, think along these lines;
1. For what can I offer praise or thanksgiving in today’s reading?
2. Is there an example in this text that I should follow or a command I should obey?
3. Is this text convicting me of sins or errors that I need to repent from and seek God’s forgiveness?
4. Are there promises in this reading that I need to claim?
Have a journal handy: a wide margin Bible or a notebook can be a profitable way to write down important thoughts you have during your Bible reading.
If you’re still hesitant about what and how to pray, consider the ACTS method. It’s easy to remember and sets you up for a potent prayer time. ACTS is an acronym for:
Adoration: time to praise God for who he is and what he’s doing in your life. It’s also a great time to worship him for the praiseworthy things you identified during your Bible reading.
Confessions: In John’s first epistle, we’re reminded that “if we confess our sins, he (God) is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” 1John 1:9. This is where you want to ask for forgiveness for actions, behaviors, or attitudes that you regret and like to see changed with God’s help.
Thanksgiving: A spirit of gratitude is essential for Christian maturity. It helps us recognize the benefits and blessings in our life and stops us from constantly demanding more. Knowing that you’re going to spend some time thanking God for his blessings during your quiet times makes you more mindful of them throughout your day.
Supplication: Supplication simply means “making a request.” This is the time you want to talk to God about all those things you worry about and loved ones that have requested your help in prayers. It’s where you make your appeals to God for his intervention in your life and in the lives of your loved ones. The ACTS model helps us to first appreciate God. This helps us to reprioritize the things we request.
Along with your Bible reading, you might want to find some other devotional reading. While devotional reading can be done with any Christian book, you may want to look for something that will address your heart, your age, your circumstances. You can also get yourself a hard copy or find one or several in any of the soft copies you have downloaded.