Years ago, when faith became really important to me, I was totally freaked out by two things:
What is a quiet time?
Why should I have one?
Okay, okay...question 2 was really: Awww, do I have to? Having a quiet time sounded like another boring rule I'd just break and feel guilty about later, another reason I wasn't a good enough Christian.
But I was wrong.
A "quiet time" is simply time spent quietly with God. Psalm 46:10 tells us to "Be still, and know that I am God!" The reason to have a quiet time is to connect on a deeper level with God, or grow spiritually, to help accomplish your God-given purpose while on earth.
We don't have to rely on our own strength to grow spiritually. For example: a grape growing on a vine doesn't have to pressure itself to get bigger, it just gets bigger when it clings to the life-giving vine:
Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
We rely on God, the vine, to grow spiritual fruit:
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22-23
Love, joy, peace, patience, etc. are side effects of clinging to the vine. There's no pressure or reason to scream at yourself "HAVE MORE PATIENCE! LOVE MORE PEOPLE!" No, just connect to the vine, and the fruit will come. Having a quiet time is one way to do that.
This is what a typical quiet time looks like for me:
Wake up at 6 in the morning (only because I'm a morning person)
Make a homemade coconut latte
Complete my weekly lesson from Bible Study Fellowship (an international Bible Study I've been involved for years. Check it out, you're invited too!)
Write what I feel like God is telling me through the Bible verses I read through my lesson
Pray...moments later my kids wake up and the chaos of the day begins.
Sometimes my coffee runs out and I drink tea. Sometimes I can't find a pen and I use a crayon. Sometimes I can't find my journal and I write on an old receipt. Sometimes I can't find my BSF lesson and I look up some random verses on my Bible app. Sometimes I miss a few days altogether.
There is no perfect quiet time. But the following tips--while not 100% necessary--help me focus and connect deeper with God:
3 Quiet Time Ingredients
Place. Finding a place you can think allows for your time with God to go deeper. For example, if I really want to spend time with my friend, Amy, I meet somewhere like a coffee shop or my house so I can really listen. I can spend time with her at a concert, but I might not be able to listen as well.
Time. Trying to have a quiet time at the same time is helpful, but don't beat yourself up if you get off rhythm (like I do sometimes!). And don't sweat it if you're not a morning person. It doesn't matter the exact time, but spending time with God daily helps keep your relationship strong. The more time I spend connected to the vine, the more fruit naturally grows from my relationship with God.
Materials. God speaks to us through prayer, reading the Bible, and other believers. It helps to have resources to teach us more about how this flow of communication works and jumpstart our conversation with God. Grab a journal, a pen, and check out the following resources:
Bible App: Bible Gateway is our favorite. Try reading the "NLT" translation of the Bible and choose from many devotions & reading plans.
Bookstore: Most of the devotions, etc in our bookstore are free. Written by Katie, our Director, & the Lane of Roses Ambassadors.
Devotional App: Proverbs 31 has a great one...and it's free! You can connect with thousands of other women online and through the app as well.
Bible Studies with Other Women: BSF is the one I've been involved with for years, check it out & join a local chapter or see some of the other places to connect!
Spending time with God through the Bible and praying is transformational, but only if you are willing to do it. So don't sweat it! Be present, be still, and don't worry if you don't have the perfect place, time, or materials.
The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. Read the rest of Matthew 6...
A relationship with God is personal. Yours will look a little different than mine. But for your relationship with God to grow, you must get to know Him better.
Check out our Faith page to find more How To's