For the sake of this essay, Quite Time will be considered the time each day set aside for inspirational reading, the Word of God, prayer and listening to spiritual impressions in our hearts. It’s understood that no two people 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 a 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 that’s consistent and meaningful. 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, and not be too discouraged during the lapses, we will eventually become much more consistent – and Quiet Time will be much more fulfilling. So it seems that the most meaningful advice that could be given is – don’t give up! When we fall down get up and try again and again. Consistent and meaningful Quiet Time is pursued through devotional cultivation and passion over time – hopefully over our lifetime.
We were created to spend private time with God. Adam and Eve are the example. They were placed in a garden in the presence of their Heavenly Father. They lived in God’s presence and communed with Him and heard his voice. When Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden they were not in a lost condition. They still had prayer, their faith, 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, “Quiet Time” was not foreign to them after they left the Garden of Eden. They frequently experienced the sweetness of the presence of God.
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 like Quiet Time, the heart’s magical assurance and the downpayment of what Heaven is; a tangible taste of an intangible place to come that we will call home some day.
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 an 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. 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 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. It is the best way to supersize our productivity!
We know if we get closer to God by spending more quality time with him daily we might not like what He shows us about ourselves. This is a is a very real deterrent for us. We feel that daily Quiet Time will make us feel guilty or ashamed of something in our past or something we are doing now. There is some good and bad news about this eventuality. Changing and making changes is something that will happen if we spend more time with God on a daily basis. We will experience some guilt, regret and shame. But the good news is that all of this drives us to meaningful change and as time moves on, a much, much better life.
We cannot not be afraid of the secret and very real work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts during Quiet time. In the end it will make us what God has always wanted us to be, and what we have wanted to be in life as well. One thing we should remember, as much as Quiet time is a breeding ground of introspection and re-evaluation it is also a divine hatchery of comfort and confidence. We are born anew through forgiveness, faith, hope and love. And there is no consolation and no better guidance on earth than Quiet Time with God; especially when times get tough, those unexpected, unpredictable and confusing times in life.
There is so much to say about Quiet Time. Maybe the best way to end the 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: A good start – 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, Rochester Hills, Michigan 2020
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