What is quiet time? Quiet time is that personal time we set aside each day to be alone with God. It is an intimate time where you talk to God one on one. You commune with God as a friend to a friend. Confiding in him, telling him about your troubles and challenges. It is also a time to give Thanks for benefits received and, most importantly, a time to hear God speak to you. Our relationship with God is often likened to that of a husband and wife. Communication is the best means through which a healthy marital relationship thrives. The quiet time affords us a good time to know God more intimately by talking to him through prayers and him speaking to us through his word.
Some believers find it hard to start and maintain a regular quiet time because we fail to give quiet time the prior place it deserves. “Time is always not enough” and we never find that “convenient” time. Quiet time must be regular for it to be effective. When we say yes to God by forming a relationship with his son JESUS, we have taken a life changing decision. Our preferences must change. There must be a hunger for God’s presence and his word. This need for a constant communion with God is met and nurtured at the place of prayer and bible study.
What are the steps to maintaining a regular quiet time?
Choose a convenient place devoid of distractions. Jesus is our example, he always withdrew to a lonely places to pray. Read Luke 5:16, 6:12 and Mathew 14:23″ These verses show us the need of privacy and withdrawal from the crowd in order to be alone with God. Your personal quiet time is different from the family devotion. You must find a room or any other part of your apartment where you can be alone. I have found my kitchen to be the best place for me to have my alone time with God.
Select a convenient time of the day. Mornings are usually preferred by most people. This is good because it helps you start off the day with God. If you cannot meet up with morning time, then you must find that time of day which works best for you. It must be a time when you’re are not in a rush. Especially for young mothers. It could be after you have taken the children to school or concluded your house chores, but you must make effort to stick to that time. An hour before my family wakes up is the best time I have found. It helps me get started before the family devotion.
Ensure to keep to the time. This is the main reason for this article. Keeping to the time matters a lot. Keeping this time depends on the priority you place on God as your lord and saviour. Jesus would do nothing unless he consulted with his father. Before he selected his apostles, he spent the whole night praying in Luke 6;12. What do you do when you have an appointment you must not miss? You go to bed early and set your alarm? Whatever steps you take to ensure you do not miss a very important appointment is applicable here.
Develop a pattern of worship. When you have no definite pattern to follow, you may end up wasting you time. “I will enter his gates with Thanksgiving and his courts with praise (Psalms 100:4). There is no better place to start than singing praises and giving thanks. Here again you may just go ahead and pour out your heart to God depending on how burdened you are. We cannot pretend before God. I usually start with praises, worship, Thanksgiving, confession, then bible study and general intercession. Except on those days when I can’t just hold back my emotions.
Humans easily get accustomed to habits. Call it a duty and make every effort to establish your place, time and pattern of quiet time. The moment you’re able to do this consistently for about 21 days, you have formed a habit. Habits when formed are usually pretty difficult to unlearn. 1 Peter 2;2-3, 2Timothy2:15, 3:16-17, Joshua 1:8 are all indicative of the need to keep the word of God in our hearts always. We can only achieve this by regularly feeding on this word.
Have a good bible study guide. There are so many to select from. I use hard copies of Our Daily Bread and Daily Guide devotionals. There is always a portion of the Bible to read, a short explanation on the passage and a short prayer at the end. Most of them also have a year bible reading guide which helps you to cover the whole bible within a year. Your word is a lamp into my feet and a lamp into my path (Psalms 119:105)
Have a note book handy. I call my notebooks my prayer journals. Each page is dated and headed with the topic of the Bible study for the day. Any bible verse that jumps out at me is noted down with any impressions made on my spirit. It contains my prayers which I call letters to God (especially on thorny issues) and testimonies of God’s deliverance and answers to prayers. These journals help you keep a track of your time with God. It gives you a glimpse of the growth and development you have gained in your walk with God. It also keeps you in check on the days you might loose faith in the face of adversity.