You know that it would be beneficial to start a routine of creating a daily quiet time with God. Maybe you’ve even begun scheduling some extra time in your day to spend with God. But then you get to that time of day and you feel overwhelmed, intimidated, and you have no idea what you’re supposed to be doing.
A few weeks ago, I shared a post on how to establish a daily quiet time with God, figuring out when and where and what tools you might need. Today, I want to discuss the things you might want to do during your quiet time.
The goal is to make your quiet time an enjoyable part of your day that you look forward to and value. We want to get to a place where we feel like our quiet time is our few minutes in our day that we get to spend with one of our favorite friends. Our quiet time is the place where we will become refreshed, renewed, and encouraged to continue through whatever challenges we face throughout our day.
But if you’re not in a daily habit of making a quiet time with God a priority it can be a little nerve-wracking. Just like meeting someone new for the first time, you might be worried about what you’re going to say or do. What if you don’t get it right? What if it’s boring or you don’t like each other? Won’t it be awkward?
Every time we try something new there are bound to be awkward moments, but this post is designed to help you get started on the right foot with your quiet time with God. Use these guidelines to help you get started. But remember, there are no rules or legalistic expectations about your quiet time. God desires to build a relationship with you. Relationships aren’t built upon should and shouldn’t, can’t or can. Begin with these suggestions and then use your personality and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to make your quiet time work for you and your relationship with God.
Prayer is simply talking with God. If the goal of our quiet time is to build our relationship with God, then prayer must be one of the main activities.
Oftentimes, I think people struggle with prayer because we try to be super pious about it. We fold our hands, bow our heads and try to use just the right words to talk to that great big God up in the sky. I don’t mean to devalue the power of God, but our God is approachable, He is love, and He is kind, and He wants to actually talk to us as His children, not as simply servants and subjects.
We are allowed to approach our God with confidence, with truth, and honesty. I encourage you to pray honest, passionate prayers, to tell God anything and everything. To trust in His love and goodness and know that there is nothing you can say or do that will change His love for you.
Pray with your head bowed or pray with your eyes open while you pace your room. Pray on your knees or pray seated in a chair. You can pray lying prostrate on the floor or be standing with your hands raised to heaven. There isn’t a right or wrong, the point is simply to pray.
Prayer should also be all throughout your quiet time. Since the point is to build a relationship, you’ll likely want to pray in the beginning, pray during, and pray at the end. Just hold up a continual conversation with God all throughout your day, but especially during your quiet time.
Our God is incredible, powerful, and wonderful. His love is rich and mighty. And He deserves our daily praise and worship.
When we focus on God’s love and His attributes like kindness, goodness, and faithfulness we remind ourselves that we can trust Him, that we are safe with Him.
Spend some time each day in worship. This could be as simple as saying words of praise during your prayer, adoring and thanking God for who He is, or you may want to include music. Turn on some worship music and sing or maybe even sing acapella.
This can look different each day depending on your current circumstances and the time you have available for the day, but make sure that you spend at least some time worshipping your Savior.
Bible Reading and Study
This is probably one of the first things you think of when you consider a daily quiet time with God. And for some people, this can be the most intimidating part. The Bible is a really big book, and truthfully, there are a lot of confusing and odd pieces in the Bible. How are you supposed to make sense of it all? Where do you begin? How do you apply it to our modern life?
Reading the Bible
I think it is important to both read the Bible as well as study the Bible more in depth. When we read the Bible it can be similar to reading any other book. You take a passage and just read through it each day to learn the story, the overall concept, and see the big picture.
It is very valuable to read through the entire Bible once in a while to help us understand the full story and history of the gospel. There are so many stories and nuggets in the Bible that can teach us new things about God and the world He created.
When reading the Bible there are a number of ways you can move through it. Each time I set out to read the entire Bible I try to approach it in a different way. Here are a few options:
- Cover to cover. You can begin at Genesis and just read verse by verse until you get to the end of Revelations. (Here is a sample reading plan.)
- Chronologically. This is one of my favorite ways to read the Bible. You move through the Bible in the order in which the events actually occurred. (You can find a reading plan using this method here.)
- Historically. The idea with this approach is to read the books of the Old Testament in the way they were ordered in ancient Israel and the books of the New Testament in the order in which they were written. (An example of this plan can be found here.)
- Spread out. There isn’t a great term for this, but many people like to read different parts of the Bible on different days or alternate the genres as they read through the individual books of the Bible. For this method you might read from one of the Gospels one day, then some of the Psalms the next day, then maybe some of the Law, then the Epistles, and so on. (There are tons of options here, but this is a plan that I love using this method.)
Studying the Bible
When we study the Bible we aim to take things a step further than just reading the passages. Here, we are looking to really go in depth to allow the Word to affect and change us. We are searching for meaning, application, and context.
When studying the Bible, you might just focus on one verse or small passage for days so that you can learn as much as possible about what is being said and allow it to impact your life.
There are several approaches when studying the Bible. You can do things yourself and pull out commentaries and other resources to help you dig into a specific passage or topic of the Bible. Or you can use a published Bible study to guide you in your learning and study. I don’t think either approach is right or wrong, but it can be helpful to try both at some point or another. Most people feel more comfortable with a pre-written Bible study at first and then as you study the Word more you might be interested in branching out and studying the Bible on your own.
Some great pre-written Bible studies that I’ve either done or hope to do soon include:
- Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer
- Dance Stand Run by Jess Connelly
- Breaking Free by Beth Moore
- The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer
- Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst
Meditation is not a new-world or secular concept. Meditation is Biblical and directed by God. There are several times in the Bible where God instructs His people to meditate on His Word and commands (Joshua 1:8), His love (Psalm 48:9), and His wonderful deeds (Psalm 119:27).
Meditation can also be the time in which we hear from God the most. We can choose a passage of scripture to think and meditate on, when we are still and silent in His presence, God can use that time to speak to us and reveal new insights.
Be sure to regularly find a time where you can just be still and focus on God. Allow Him to speak, to teach, and to lead you in the stillness and quiet.
Writing out our prayers, our thoughts, our struggles, and the things God is teaching us can have a powerful impact on our lives. It’s one thing to read and study the Bible, or even to talk to God, but writing things out allows your brain to process things in a different way. It helps you to better absorb what you are learning, to wrestle with the things you are struggling with, and to be open to the Holy Spirit speaking to you.
Always be sure to have a journal near you during your daily quiet time with God so you can jot down thoughts, concepts, and ideas. If this is a new or unfamiliar practice for you, you can read more about journaling in this post on why to journal and this post on how to get started with journaling.
Today’s Action Step
My hope is that this post helps you feel more confident and comfortable about beginning a daily quiet time with God. Again, there are no rules, these are just meant to be guidelines to remove some of the intimidation and overwhelm. Find some time in the next couple days where you can try out each of these suggestions and begin to make your quiet time with God a powerful and enjoyable part of your daily life.