As Christians we should desire that heart to heart, alone time with our creator, which is available to all those who seek it (Jeremiah 29:13).
The Christian walk is tough, and life tougher, in order for us to have the wisdom, strength and grace to run the race before us with vigor and diligence, we need to lean on God. Hence, it is imperative for us as Christians to seek his face.
This is easier said than done, with the daily challenges that face us, most of us end up coasting through life, surviving only on the Sunday word, not tapping into the potential treasures, words of wisdom and divine instruction that God makes available to us, through our quiet time.
Luckily, i’m here to give you the 411, on the what’s, when’s and how’s to maintaining a regular personal time with him. Wherever you are right now in your faith (beginner, backslidden or seasoned) I believe these tips will prove very useful.
Figure out a time that’s best for you and stick to it.
I cannot emphasize this enough, truth is, there will never be an ideal moment. I prefer early mornings (Psalm 5:3), but some of us are just not morning people, or we are moms trying to get the kids ready for school, employees rushing off to work, or there will always be a million and one other excuses why we can’t do mornings or find time to do it all during the day .
Quiet time is something we have to prioritize like we do our workouts or studying, so I would suggest, picking a time of the day that is best for you, that you can stick with. God is omnipresent, so just because you can’t make your standard 10.00 pm meet up, doesn’t mean you can’t shift it to 1.30pm during your lunch break. Likewise, I wouldn’t worry so much about actual time spent, if you’ve only got 20 minutes, make the best of it.
Set the Atmosphere
Before I study the word and pray, I listen to some Nathaniel Bassey to set the mood, you can consider it akin to setting your playlist before you get on the elliptical.
It’s always a good idea to start first with worshiping God, as it takes the focus off yourself and your worries and helps usher in God’s presence, music has a way of taking you to a happy place (1 Chron 16:9).
You can again take a few minutes to listen to your favorite sermon, I enjoy making some coffee or green tea, having snacks or even breakfast, anything that aids me relax, and puts me in space where my attention is on God.
Turn Off Phone Notifications
This is a must, before, during and a few minutes at the end of your daily devotion. Mobile phones pose a huge concentration risk, I literally have to put my phone in another room every time.
I can’t tell you how many times gossip, Instagram posts or even messages from family members have distracted me while playing music, reading or even researching bible texts, spare yourself the distraction and switch off your notifications, those notices are not going anywhere, but our time with God is precious, we must also approach it with some level of reverence, if we can resist the urge to check our phones incessantly during lectures then we can do the same during our quiet time.
Use A Bible You Enjoy Reading
Even if it’s a very rudimentary children’s bible (I’m being dead serious). I use the Life Application Study Bible (New Living Translation); it is very expository, although; it’s in the King’s James version, it breaks down everything text by text and gives a detailed analysis for life application; I find it difficult to use anything else because this version truly woks for me.
If you are someone who likes pictures, background stories etc, look for something that offers those features. Experiment, reading the bible during your quiet time should be fun and insightful, you can even draw on internet interpretations of a text and other scholarly work (if you are a nerd like me). Remember your bible is a tool you need for instruction, to understand his ways, so it must be in a form easy for you to assimilate (Timothy 3:16-17).
You are at liberty to employ various Christian tools and resources during your quiet time. There is an abundance of information available out there these days, and in so many digestible formats to suit everyone’s needs.
You can use an audio bible if you don’t enjoy reading, there are so many daily devotionals to choose from, there are Pinterest boards that have daily, weekly and monthly prayer guides, there are a lot of Christian influencers on social media who share wonderful content on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, supplement whatever you have read or done in our own personal quiet time with word-based content from the internet.
What you do in your quiet time is entirely up to you, I use my mine predominantly for devotion and bible study, with a brief prayer to commit my day to the lord.
Some days I just listen to music and worship God, on others I listen to sermons, some I spend it working on my next blog post (particularly if I learn something I feel I want to share), there are really no hard and fast rules.
Think of it as time spent with a friend or loved one, don’t feel pressure to cram in prayer, bible study and worship and do it hurriedly if 30 minutes is all you have. Think of your quiet moment as the opportunity to build a personal relationship with God, the most important thing you need to do is to be consistent and intentional.
Communicate with Prayer
Now the true essence of maintaining a quiet time is building a personal relationship with God, a friendship if you will, no friendship can exist without honest, unfiltered and regular communication, and therefore prayer is important. If you don’t have time to do anything else or don’t know where to start, start with prayer.
Prayer is like the fuel that fans the flames of our faith, without it we are powerless, so daily prayer is essential. Prayer is also the channel through which the power of God works in our lives, when we pray we lay all our vulnerabilities bare before God and we cause him to intervene on our behalf. Daily consistent prayer also helps build up our faith and strengthens us to face the challenges of the day and relives us from the stress we have faced in the day( Phillipians 4:6).