Going to church, participating in a women’s Bible study, and reading a Christian book are all ways to grow your faith. But, having a meaningful daily quiet time is vital for growth and, even more importantly, deepening our friendship with Jesus. Do you have a close friend or sister or spouse that you talk to every day? Can you imagine not talking to them and not hearing what they have to say to you? Maybe going days or weeks without checking in or just hanging out? Our friends would wonder what was going on with us. Did we fall off the end of the earth?
When we make a new friend or get a new neighbor we want to get to know that person and are willing to put in considerable energy to make that happen. We go out for coffee or lunch and ask lots of questions and we start to develop a trust in the friendship as we share our hearts. I’m very fortunate to have caring, mature friends who listen, share wisdom, and best of all point me to the Lord when that’s what I need.
Why a morning Quiet Time is a good idea
For starters, Jesus thought it was a good idea for himself. He went to God each morning to get his marching orders for the day, to worship his Father, and to connect and keep the relationship fresh and growing. If it’s good enough for Jesus…
Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. Later Simon and the others went out to find him. When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.” But Jesus replied, “We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.” So he traveled throughout the region of Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and casting out demons. Mark 1:35-39 (NLT)
He had things to do and he needed to check in before he did them.
There are mornings I’m tempted to get going on my work before I have my check-in time. I love what I do and getting going early on my list is quite satisfying to me. But, when I spend time asking the Lord what He has to say to me and what He’s got for me to do that day, my time is more productive, more interesting, and fulfilling.
Does it have to be morning? Sometimes schedules and situations make this impossible and for a season you might need to ‘gas up’ at a different time of the day. When it’s possible, however, I highly recommend scheduling your conference call with Jesus right after you get up. Try it for a month or so and see the difference the power of an early quiet time can make.
Start with daily Quiet Time basics
Your time with God is a chance for you to check in daily with Him. Your talking with Him is the praying you do. His talking with you can be through your Bible reading and that still small voice (the Holy Spirit). He can also speak to us through other believers but probably not during our personal devotional time.
The praying part of the time can be with worship music, gratefulness, confessing our sin, and asking for help for ourselves and others. The Bible part can be your ‘read through the Bible plan’, a book of the Bible study, or some other method that has you focused on God’s Word.
Since your Quiet Time is a conversation, those two parts aren’t usually separate for me…meaning I don’t complete one part before starting the other. It kind of goes back and forth. You know, like you’re really talking to someone and then listening to what they have to say. 😊
My planner (the Prayerful Planner) is open and I record thoughts, verses that pop out, and people or prayer topics (that cover multiple people) and then I pray. Sometimes I pray in the Spirit (see I Corinthians 12:7-10 NLT) which is great because I know He (the Holy Spirit) can word things better than me! Plus, that can bring more specifics to me in English and I add those to the Planner. (Shoot me an email if you’re unfamiliar with the gifts of the Spirit and we can chat…they’re available for every believer. Just like salvation, they’re there for the asking.)
Set a creative, flexible Quiet Time routine
Once you begin developing a daily quiet time routine you can add some creativity and flexibility. I”m sure you and your friends aren’t crazy about doing things the exact same way every time you talk or get together. And, how weird would it feel if you had a checklist of topics you were supposed to discuss each time. However…
There are prepared lists for use with those getting started to use as quiet time guides. The Navigators have a short and sweet guide right here). And, there is nothing wrong with them as you get used to your morning meeting. But I think you’ll soon find that they feel restrictive and unnatural after you’ve been going for a while.
If this is a time of communication between two friends getting to know each other more and more each day, following a script would seem awkward. Right? If there are things you don’t want to forget to mention during quiet time, make a list. I like to jot down prayer concerns. That list changes as I’m talking to Jesus because He might change the focus or bring additional things to mind.
Being open to what He has in mind for your time together can change everything. Your quiet time will go from a habit to a life-changing, life-giving conversation.
Suggestions of creative ways to change things up to make your time meaningful, enjoyable, and even fun are:
- Add some worship music to the mix
- Find a comfy chair or special spot like the closet in the movie War Room
- Add a cup of coffee or tea to enjoy
- Do a prayer walk outside
- Reflect on the week’s sermon notes (or a message you’ve listened to online)
- Record your thoughts, requests, and special verses from your Bible reading in a Christian planner (I love the Prayerful Planner)
- Read your from your daily devotions, in your Bible reading plan, or in a Christian book you’re studying and meditate on it.
- Sing and pray out loud
Quiet Time Resources and Materials
People have done a daily quiet time with a Bible, a pencil, and a journal forever! Those items are the bare necessities. In reality, you could have an amazing time with the Lord without any of those (maybe except the Bible!)
I’ve created a list of things you might enjoy including in your quiet time. You have all you need already, I’m sure. These are just a few additional items for you to consider now or later.
Let’s wrap this up
I’m praying for you! Specifically that you’ll begin (or having such meaningful quiet times hearing from the Lord (like really hearing His voice in your heart and knowing it’s Him) that you won’t want to miss out on it.
Let me tell you there will be distractions galore! It seems the more we get to know Jesus, the more that evil one wants to make it stop. Let me tell you though, your faith will grow, and your ability to hear Him will become more clear…you’ll find yourself having little conversations at the strangest times of the day. You’ll start ‘praying without ceasing’.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (New King James Version)
Finding a new purpose in living and joy in the day-to-day was the goal when author Kathy Rowland and her entire family (adult kids and grandkids) moved from the PNW to Texas several years ago. The focus of Quiet Hollow is to encourage ‘next chapter women’ – those who are retired, empty-nesters, or have found themselves without a spouse to jump back into life. And, she shares multiple tips, ideas, and possibilities toward that end. Kathy completed her almost 30 years as an elementary teacher and hopped into over a decade of volunteer work, side hustle-type businesses, and grandchild care before discovering her unique and fulfilling purpose for the next chapter of life. What you read on Quiet Hollow is a large part of that calling. Another part is the happy life she’s leading in Central Texas in the same neighborhood as the 3 big kids and her 5 grandkids. She and her college sweetheart husband made sure to add a pool to their new Texas home, so there are lots of noisy, splashy days in their little oasis of a backyard. Come join her on Quiet Hollow in a conversation about finding and living the life you were created to live in this later stage. The chats will be full of laughter, support, faith, and inspiration to create.