But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. -Matthew 6:6
You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word. -Psalm 119:114
Why is it so incredibly easy to grab a cup of coffee and chat with a friend for hours? For me, I would say that my guard is down, I’m comfortable, and it feels refreshing to sit in the presence of someone who genuinely loves me, wants to hear what I have to say, and speaks truth.
If our best friends make us feel such contentment and ease, we know that our Heavenly Father, especially when given the time, will do this and much, much more. Quiet time is the most important time of our day. It’s the fuel our heart, mind, and soul needs to persevere and survive day-to-day. Before we face the world, God wants to talk to us. He wants to listen to us. He wants to hear our problems. He wants to give us peace, strength, and love, and He wants to prepare us for the day. This time with Jesus is necessary if we want the relationship with Him that He designed.
So, if you’re brand new to quiet time or you just need some encouragement for finding a new quiet time routine, here are 7 tips for getting started!
1. Finding Time Alone
Time alone just means choosing a time you can be by yourself with little interruption as possible. There are multiple occasions in the Bible when Jesus went to pray alone. Matthew 14:23 says, “And after [Jesus] had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.”
So, what does time alone look like for you? You may already have concerns running through your mind regarding your children, husband, job, or schedule interrupting this set-aside time. You are not alone in those concerns; I would say that most women have had the same thoughts. However, this is when Jesus tells us to be diligent and determined in creating this time. Galatians 6:9 tells us, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Whether it’s first thing in the morning, the final hours of your day when the kids are asleep, or even in your car on the way to or from work, creating time alone may be trial and error. However, it is worth it when we finally pin-point a time when the distractions are so small that our attention is devoted to God alone.
2. Your Favorite Spot
There’s nothing like a favorite spot! If you’re like me, you have a spot in the living room that’s yours and your family knows it. While I do have a comfy recliner with my name on it, my favorite spot is actually on my back patio (during the spring and fall when the Southeast Texas heat isn’t scorching!). From my favorite spot outside, I can see the sun come up, the trees sway in the wind, and the birds sing. I see God’s creation come to life, and every morning I am reminded of how big my God is and how His capabilities are endless in this world and my life.
This is why we need a favorite spot. When we take a seat and look around, we should see blessings. Choosing your favorite spot gives you a place of comfort and serves as a reminder for what God has done and continues to do in your life. It humbles us and gets us in the right mindset for talking with and listening to God. We should feel relaxed and focused.
3. Bible (and devotional if you choose)
The bible is God’s way of speaking to us. God uses scripture to teach, to correct, and to show us what our next steps look like. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” The bible is the foundation of our faith and the one and only truth.
The bible is where we learn what truth is. In a world where we are pulled in every direction, where we are told what to believe, where our values are questioned, having time alone with God and our bible every single day is not only necessary, it is literally our source of survival and the one place we know for sure we can go to find the truth. The bible and a good devotional is a great start if we want to face the world and build a solid foundation for us and our family.
4. A Cup of Coffee
Let’s face it, Jesus and coffee (or something hot) just go hand-in-hand. If you are not a coffee drinker, that’s ok too! Just grab your favorite comfort beverage and enjoy it as you spend this time in His presence.
5. A Prayer Journal
A journal, like a cup of coffee, is not a requirement, but I suggest it because I’ve never seen God’s work in my life as vivid as when I read it in my own handwriting. When I write my prayers, confessions, and feelings down, it does two things:
It keeps me honest with God and myself. We can say things all day, but when we write it on paper, it becomes real and we have no choice but to confront it. Whether it be repentance for not keeping my thoughts to myself when I should have, a problem in my marriage, a cry to heal a family member, or the confession to God that I hate my body, writing down my thoughts takes it from my heart, onto paper, and straight to the Father. It’s hard, but a relief. I breathe easier knowing that my feelings, thoughts, confessions, sins, and requests are in God’s control.
It is a record of God’s answers: It is unfortunate that over time we sometimes forget the blessings and answered prayers that God has provided throughout our lives. However, when we write them down, we can go back and see that our heartbreaks happened for a reason. We see that God was putting us through that trial to prepare us for the future, the now. We see the work God has done; we see it in our own writing. With that, we are able to grow in our faith knowing that God is always at work in our lives, and He has a reason and lesson for everything.
And while this is true, you may be thinking, ‘This sounds great, but I’m not much of a writer.’ That’s okay! Journaling doesn’t require paragraphs of prayers and confessions. Maybe for you, it looks like a bullet point list, notecards, sticky notes, or notes in the margins of your bible. Complete sentences and beautifully constructed paragraphs are not and never will be a requirement.
6. Worship Music
For some, music can be a distraction during quiet time; for others, it helps center them. Therefore, music should be used as you feel led.
Worship music, without a doubt, serves as its own form of communication. Just like the bible, the Holy Spirit uses music to speak to us in ways that we can understand. It also serves as words when we want to be still in His presence. Quiet time doesn’t look the same every day because we are not the same every day. And that’s okay.
7. An Obedient Mindset
This is the most important. As stated before, daily quiet time is necessary if we want the relationship with God that He intended, and this takes obedience. Nevertheless, please know that obedience does not mean you have to have quiet time for 30 minutes a day every day. It doesn’t mean you have to write down your thoughts every single day. It doesn’t mean you have to have the same quiet time routine as someone else. Being obedient means that you make time (not a set amount) for your creator every single day. It takes discipline and sometimes it takes a lot of work. I cannot lie and say that creating a routine is easy. Even after you have a routine down, life happens, and it can be disrupted. Whether it be a crazy worldwide pandemic, a death in the family, your baby’s sleep regression, or even the discouragement of unanswered prayers or direction, quiet time can be hard and can be put on hold. However, when we maintain obedience and discipline during the difficult times, God creates the quiet time we desire, and our relationship with Him deepens.
Here are some great resources and actions to help begin your quiet time:
Read a Proverbs chapter a day.
Download The Bible App-YouVersion: You can read or listen to the bible, read daily verses and devotionals, and begin different studies/plans!
“The Bible Recap” plan with Tara-Leigh Cobble in YouVersion is a great way to read the bible in a year!
Lastly, pray before and after. Allow God to use these resources and His word to speak to you and through you.
Do you have a consistent quiet time routine?
If not, what is keeping you from this? Ask God to help you in creating one and keep distractions to a minimum.
Is there anything we missed? What else do you like to include in your quiet time?