One of the most beneficial things you can do for your faith and relationship with God is to establish a quiet time with God.
Some people might call this their devotions, doing their Bible study, going to their prayer closet, or any number of things. The point is simply to spend time focused on God, learning about Him, praying to Him, and listening for His voice, developing our relationship each and every day.
God desires to have a relationship with us. His purpose for us is to seek Him, to know Him, and to draw close to Him (Acts 17:27). The way to build any relationship is to spend quality time together and get to know more about each other. A relationship with God works the same way.
If you are not currently spending time with God on a daily basis, I encourage you to work toward developing this habit. It is truly one of the most life-transforming things you can do. Here are some tips on how to get started.
Everyone makes time for the things that are important to them. So instead of telling yourself that you don’t have time to spend with God each day, begin to make time with God a priority. Your relationship with your Savior is literally the most important thing in all of the world, don’t make excuses about being too busy.
Ideally, your time with God will be built into your daily routine. Some people do great with meeting with God first thing in the morning, while others prefer to end their day with Him. Other options include your lunch hour or just before you dive into your work. It really doesn’t matter when you meet with God, so find the time of day that works best for your life and your personality.
There is no rule for how much time you spend with God either, and this is likely to change during different seasons of your life, and even from day to day. There are some days when I can spend an hour or more reading and studying the scriptures and praying, while other days I only have a few minutes. The key is to make your quiet time a habit that you do each and every day.
If you’re just starting out, even five minutes is better than nothing. You can gradually work to increase the time. My quiet time usually lasts for about 30 minutes, but there are no hard and fast rules. That’s just the amount of time I put on my schedule, but if I have more time and feel I need to use it, I will.
The great thing about having an omnipresent God is that you can meet with Him anywhere. You don’t have to have a designated prayer closet or “warrior room”, though you can if you’d like.
When developing habits and routines it tends to be best to go to the same place each time. If you travel a lot or have an unusual schedule, feel free to do what works for your unique situation.
However, if you have a fairly consistent routine, find a regular place to have your quiet times. This can be your bed, your dining room table, a special chair in your living room, your office, or even your car. Again, the location doesn’t really matter, but being consistent will help your brain learn to focus and recognize what to expect when you go to that specific place.
What You Need
One of the benefits of having a specific location each day is that you can have all of your “supplies” nearby and waiting for you.
The things that you will use for your quiet time will vary depending on your own personality and lifestyle. However, you will definitely want to have a Bible (or access to it online or through an app on your phone/device). I also recommend that you keep a journal or notebook handy, as well as pens and highlighters.
You may want to have a specific devotional or Bible study book that you are working on to guide you. If you want to dig a little deeper or research your questions, you might also want to have access to a concordance, commentary or online Bible study websites to help you investigate and discover things.
Here are my favorite free online Bible study resources:
- YouVersion has both an online website as well as an app with nearly every version of the Bible you might want. They also have tons of reading and study plans you can use during your quiet time. I highly recommend downloading their app if you haven’t already. I tend to use this often if I’m traveling or just need to spend some time in the Word while I’m out and about.
- Bible Gateway is an excellent website with various tools to help you research and study the scriptures. I most like to use their topical search so I can find verses related to specific topics that I’m either struggling with or want to grow in.
- BibleHub has a ton of resources for additional study and research. You can access concordances, commentaries, atlases, and more.
Additionally, if you are more of a creative or artistic person, you might find it beneficial to use your artistic skills as you study the Bible and spend time with God. There are Bibles designed for creative journaling and coloring. I have this Inspire Bible, but would also love to have this one (because it’s purple). Dayspring also has a large variety of devotional kits for Bible journaling and creative study.
Remember the Point is Relationship, Not Rules
Most of the time I would guess that you look forward to date night with your spouse or a special family night with your kids. You enjoy spending time with them. The same should be true for your time with God. It should be an enjoyable experience and a time of day that you look forward to.
If you find that you are avoiding your time with God because you don’t enjoy it, try something new. There aren’t any rules here, so if something’s not working, change it. Maybe you do something more artistic, maybe you turn on some worship music and sing your heart out, or maybe you find a Bible study to help you understand things better.
Also, remember that God wants to spend time with you, but there is no guilt or condemnation if you miss a day or two here and there. You want to build the habit and routine to spend time with God regularly, but it’s also not the end of the world if your routine gets a little wonky once in a while. Do not spend one second feeling guilty or ashamed.
Avoid Distractions and Interruptions
I wake up really early in the morning and try to have my quiet time first thing. I love how the house is quiet and peaceful so I can really focus and enjoy my alone time, just me and God. But I have a five-year-old who also likes to wake up really early, so things aren’t always perfectly peaceful.
You can’t avoid every distraction or interruption in your day, but there are things we can do to minimize them. Turn off alerts on your phone or leave it in another room. Make sure you are away from the TV and the activity of others as much as possible. You want a quiet place where you can be alone to focus.
And if you have a little one who likes to join you, don’t be upset or discouraged. It is good for our kids to see us spending time with God. It sets a great example for them. However, I usually snuggle with my little guy for a few minutes and then set him up in front of the TV in another room so I can get back to my quiet time by myself. I feel no shame in letting him have some cartoon time so that I can have some God time.
Today’s Action Step To Establish a Quiet Time with God
If you don’t have a regular quiet time with God, look at your schedule right now and find a time of day when you can begin to work it in. As I mentioned above, maybe you only start with five minutes and grow from there. The point is to start. Find the time you want to do it and then make it happen.
Next week I’ll be sharing more on what to actually do during your quiet time, but for now, just open your Bible and start reading and open your mouth and start talking with God. I’ve also created a Bible reading plan you can print out and use to guide your reading to get you started. Just fill in the box below to grab your copy.