For the sake of this essay, Quiet Time will be the time we set aside each day for inspirational reading, meditating on the Word of God, prayer and thanksgiving, and listening to the subtle spiritual impressions from the Holy Spirit. We mostly do not approach Quiet Time in the same way; there are a myriad of routines and times of day to make this a meaningful experience. Also, the amount of time a person dedicates to daily Quiet Time varies for different reasons. The mechanics and the logistics of Quiet Time is uniquely personal.
Most people struggle with the discipline to make time for Quiet Time. We should know that we’re a member of a not so exclusive club; most of us are in it. This struggle is not unusual. If we are a new Christian or a seasoned believer and want to start or improve upon a daily devotion it will likely be an intermittent experience at first; days or even weeks can lapse between our scheduled or not so scheduled times of reading, prayer, and listening. If we stick with it however and not be too discouraged during the lapses, we will eventually become much more consistent. It seems to me that the most meaningful advice that could be given is simply – don’t give up! When we fall down get up and try again and again. The truth of the matter is, Quiet Time is a lifetime pursuit.
We were created to spend private time with God. Adam and Eve were placed in a garden in the presence of their Heavenly Father. They lived in God’s presence and communed with Him on a daily basis. When Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden they were not in a lost condition. They still had faith and prayer and continued to live in the presence of God. Their life was much harsher but they did not lose their relationship with God. Private time or Quiet Time was not foreign to them in the garden and even after they left the Garden of Eden. They frequently experienced the presence of God throughout their whole lives.
We were created to spend time with God. It’s really that simple. There is a deep craving in our hearts for this kind of relationship with our Heavenly Father. This yearning will never be satisfied until we start working at having a consistent and meaningful Quite Time each day. There is nothing on earth so blessed as Quiet Time! We find comfort, confidence, and guidance, when we are alone with God. These moments with God will also give us an inkling of what heaven will be for us; a foretaste of what it will be like when we are always living in the presence of God.
The feeling that we are too busy is a big obstacle. We have so much to do that we are afraid to take time out of our day for Quiet Time with God. When we carve out time for God He gives it back to us somehow. I was a young working college student. I had my Quiet Time on my lunch hour. I found a private space in a little unoccupied room on the factory shop floor. I would go there to pray, read, and think, while eating my lunch. It wasn’t long until the department manager gave me a new job helping an engineer design a new clamping system. As a result I got an extra half-hour for lunch. That was a good lesson for me. When we put God first he makes it up to us.
Martin Luther once said, “I have so much to do that I must pray three hours every morning.” Luther was not trying to guilt us into praying three hours a day. For most of us that is logistically impossible nor would we have the fortitude. The guidance is, we are not too busy to spend a little time with God every day. Time with God will enhance everything we do. As people of faith it is the best way to supersize our productivity! It’s a little mysterious but try it, it really works.
Often when we get closer to God by spending more time with Him in Quiet Time we might not like what He shows us about ourselves. This can be a deterrent for us to keep it up. We feel that daily Quiet Time will make us feel guilty or ashamed about something in our past or something we are doing now. There is some good news about this. Although, we will likely experience some guilt, regret, and shame, these feelings will drive us to meaningful change and a better life.
We cannot be afraid of the secret work of the Holy Spirit during Quiet time. These moments with God will help make us what God wants us to be and what we have always wanted to be. As much as Quiet time is a breeding ground of introspection and re-evaluation it is also a divine hatchery of comfort, confidence, and guidance. We are born anew through forgiveness, faith, hope and love. There is no consolation and better guidance on earth than Quiet Time with God; In times when times are good and also in those disappointing and confusing times in life.
There is so much to say about Quiet Time. Maybe the best way to end this essay is to list ten suggestions to think about as we approach our private time with God.
Ten Suggestions for Quiet Time
Quiet Time in the morning is a way to get ahead and to feel in control of our day.
Quite Time in the evening is a way to relax and evaluate our day.
Quiet Time should be informal; simple thanks and petitions – conversational is the best.
Use a notebook to write down some thoughts we want to remember and review.
Listen as much or more than we speak; listen to the secret impressions of the Holy Spirit.
Read a few verses in the Bible. Start with Genesis, Mathew, and the Epistles.
Pray a Psalm and/or the Lords Prayer for ourselves and our family.
Read a serious devotional type book. Shelve motivational or prosperity type reading.
The purpose for Quiet Time is mostly for comfort, guidance, forgiveness, and discipleship.
Start Quiet Time with a meditational pause: wait for a sense of the presence of God.
Thank you for reading this essay. This subject means a great deal to me.
Joseph C. Hutchison