Blog, Spiritual disciplines

What’s a Quiet Time?

You may have heard the term “quiet time” before, but what does it mean? Put simply, a quiet time is spending time alone with God through prayer and Bible intake. It can include other things, but these are the basic elements. Even though I may do Bible studies with others, this time is just between God and I.

The goal for frequency for me is daily. Every day I want to spend time alone with God. It’s just like my relationship with my husband. I want to talk and listen every day. Our relationship suffers and feels disjointed if I don’t.

What should I do in a quiet time? There are at least two key elements I do every day in my time, Bible intake and prayer. I say Bible intake because there are several ways I do that. I read, study and memorize the Bible in my quiet time. The Bible is the Lord’s Word to me. It’s the main way He communicates so it’s important I’m reading it. The second key component of my quiet time is prayer. That’s the way I communicate with God, so it’s important too. Often I like to pray through a Psalm or list.

So about the place. It doesn’t really matter. I try to pick a quiet place. For me it’s at the dining room table. I keep all the things I’ll need there so I can just sit down and start. It does help me to have a consistent place- then I don’t have to decide where I’m going to have my daily time. It makes it easier.

Does it matter when? Most people try to do their quiet time when they first wake up. There is some precedent of this with Jesus. In Mark 1:35 the Bible says, “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” But I don’t think that was the only time Jesus prayed. I think He was constantly in prayer.

For me, I do try to do my quiet time in the morning as soon as I can. It helps me have a right mindset for the day. But sometimes, honestly, my “as soon as I can” is later in the day. Because I have kids and stuff happens. If this happens to you, even if you’re laying your head on the pillow at night, it’s still worth it to spend time with God. Take at least a few moments to pray and read a verse or chapter.

What if I don’t feel like reading my Bible and praying? I think you should do it anyway. I do want the joy and desire of wanting to do my quiet time, but it’s just not reality that every day will be like that. I pray that I would feel that way, but it doesn’t always happen. So I just do it anyway. It’s a disciplined act on those days, but the Lord is still using His Word to shape my heart and life. I don’t stop spending time with my family just because I don’t feel like it, so I’ll do the same with the Lord. And as someone told me in college, the times I feel furthest away and don’t want to do my quiet time are the times I need it most. It’s the way God draws me back to Him. Isn’t the best way to feel closer to God by spending time with Him?

So I would encourage you today to start spending daily time reading the Bible and praying. Make it a priority and watch yourself become closer to God and more like Jesus. If you never have before or have just gotten out of the habit, why not even stop right now to do it. You won’t regret it. It’s time well invested.

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