Spending time with God is THE most important thing you can do. But it’s often the first thing that we discard when we get busy. Or sometimes we don’t ever start because we don’t know how to have a quiet time, or we might not even know what that phrase means. So that’s what I’m going to talk about today…
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How to Have a Quiet Time With God
There is no one way to do it but today I’ll share some ideas to get you started. It’s important to create a habit and be intentional.
It’s important for us to fellowship with other Christians but it’s even more important to have a personal relationship with God. And like any other relationship, if you want it to be strong, you need to spend time together. A quiet time is a way to do that.
All Scriptures are from the New American Standard Bible 1995 unless otherwise noted.
What Is a Quiet Time?
I still prefer to call my daily devotional time a quiet time. Because those two simple words describe best what I need to do: be quiet and spend time with God.
It includes Bible reading, prayer, meditation, memorizing Scripture verses, worship, and maybe journaling or music. But the two things it must have are Scripture reading and prayer.
I also don’t believe that your Bible study preparation for a class is part of a quiet time. This time isn’t about studying for someone else, it’s about spending time at the feet of Christ.
A Christian quiet time is not the same as the practice of meditation in Eastern religions. They often recommend “emptying the mind”. Christian meditation includes focusing our minds on the Truth, as Paul says in Philippians 4:8:
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
Why Should I Have a Quiet Time?
It’s good for your soul.
Jesus Himself gave us an example of this in Matthew 26:36, Mark 1:35, and Luke 5:16:
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” Matthew 26:36
In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. Mark 1:35
But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. Luke 5:16
Other biblical examples include Daniel (Daniel 6:10) and King David.
… he [Daniel] continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously. Daniel 6:10b
John 15 describes our relationship with Jesus as a branch of a vine. The branch must ABIDE in the vine to grow. We MUST spend TIME with Jesus to grow.
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:5
The Benefits of a Quiet Time
A quiet time:
- focuses our mind on God and what Jesus Christ has done for us
- gets our minds off ourselves
- builds gratitude
- helps anxiety, worry, anger, and other
- builds self-discipline — Titus 1:8; 1 Timothy 4:8
- learn about God
- become more like Him
- grow in holiness
- mature in your understanding of God’s Word
What You Need for a Good Quiet Time
Prepare for this. Put it on your schedule.
You don’t really need much. Your Bible for sure. A pen or pencil and a notebook would be helpful.
- Bible — Translation of your choice. NASB, ESV, and CSB are my favorites.
- Notebook, pad, or just paper
- Pen or pencil — I just discovered Mr. Pen No-Bleed pens… love ’em!
Other optional things:
- basket to keep your things together (Also good if you need to move your location.)
- colored pencils or markers
- No-bleed Highlighters
- various phone apps for Bible memory, reading plans, or prayer lists
- worship music — I don’t play music myself, I find it distracting. But it really helps some people.
- simple headphones — if your music would disturb other family members
What’s the right time of day?
When should I have my quiet time?
Whatever time you choose, treat it like an appointment. Don’t plan anything else for that time. Block it off on your calendar or set a reminder on your phone if you have to.
Personally, I like mornings before anyone else wakes up. Once I get going in my day it’s hard for me to slow down and get rid of distractions.
What’s the best location?
Where should I have my quiet time?
You can have a quiet time anywhere but since the purpose is for you to have time alone with God it should be as secluded as you can be. It’s often not possible for a young mom to be completely alone. But remember that there will be stages in your life and stages in what your quiet time looks like.
If there are other people living in your home, let them know what you’re doing and ask them to help you to find a quiet place.
I try to have my time alone with God in the same place every day. It’s at my desk where my Bible, prayer journal notebook, and pens are. I’ve also had ladies tell me that they have a “quiet time basket” that includes their Bible, notebook, colored pens & pencils that they can move from place to place in their home. They often sit on their patio in the morning with a cup of coffee and their Bible.
I also had one of my friends tell me that they drove to work early so that they could sit in their car for 30 minutes before work to read and pray.
How Long Should My Daily Quiet Time Be?
Many of the “great” Christians in the past spent hours early every morning in quiet time with God. But busy moms will be lucky to get 5 minutes alone. The Navigators say, “You can begin developing this spiritual discipline in as little as seven minutes a day.” The important thing is that you get into the habit of a daily time with God.
The length of your quiet time will change depending on your stage of life.
My recommendation would be to aim for 30-60 minutes. But work your way up to that if you don’t do anything at all now.
What kind of structure should it have?
What should I do during my quiet time?
I almost hate to share what my quiet time looks like. I don’t want anyone to think that they have to do exactly what I do. But I also know that it can be a great encouragement to someone else. I would have loved to have an older woman share the details of her daily quiet time with me when I was a new Christian!
I have heard of so many different quiet time routines. The important this is that you do it!
Here are some components:
I start with prayer, using the ACTS prayer model. ACTS is an acronym for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. I explain that more HERE (link coming soon).
During my Adoration prayer time, I use my Attributes of God Scripture list to focus on one aspect of God every day. I’ll read the verses, meditate for a moment on them, and pray, acknowledging God’s attributes and praising Him for being.
I think Confession and Thanksgiving are self-explanatory: confess your sin and give thanks to God.
I had such a long list of needs on my Supplication list that I split them up by day.
Again, I’ll share more about prayer in a future article. Let me know your questions and I’ll try to address them all.
After praying, I’ll review some of my memory verses on my Bible Memory app. It’s important to hide God’s word in your heart!
Then I’ll read a Scripture, outline or write my thoughts about it, and meditate on it. I always have some sort of plan, I don’t (usually) just open the Bible and start reading. I’ll share some of those plans with you in another article. Leave a comment and remind me if you’re interested!
This can be as simple as reading a Psalm or Proverb a day, reading through a book of the Bible, or following a reading plan. If you read through a book, I would recommend John or one of the epistles in the New Testament.
Devotional books can be a good addition but don’t let them replace the Word of God.
I pray that you will make this a part of your daily routine.
Devotional Reading & Other Resources
- The Navigators tell you how to get started with only 7 minutes a day: https://www.navigators.org/resource/daily-quiet-time/
- I like how Cru puts the Bible reading right in the middle of ACT: https://www.cru.org/us/en/train-and-grow/spiritual-growth/devotionals/how-to-have-a-quiet-time.html
- My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
- Spiritual Disciplines of a Christian, Donald Whitney
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like these:
- Teens, Quiet Times, & How to Change Affections (aimed at teens, but I enjoyed this one!)
- A Call for Early Morning Devotions
- How to Invest in Your Quiet Time
- 52 Bible Verses for Women to Memorize This Year
- Bible Journaling Supplies I Use to Study Scripture Creatively
Thanks for reading all the way to the end! Please leave a comment and let me know if you have questions or suggestions for future posts!