Quiet Times

9 PM January 31, 2003

A ‘quiet time’ is a time set aside each day to talk to God (pray) and hear what God has to say back (read the Bible). Christians know that Quiet times are a Good Thing, but we struggle to find the time for them, and when we do find the time, we struggle to stay focussed while we pray and read.

Lately I’ve been fortunate. The past few months I’ve had two hours each working day on the train, so I don’t really have to “find the time”. Never the less it’s only been since the beginning of the year that I’ve finally started to use this time wisely. I had plenty of excuses for not making time for something so important, but they were all pretty weak in retrospect.

Here are my tips for a habit-forming quiet time. I’m putting them up here as much for myself as others. I know I’ll be struggling with quiet times again in the future.

  • Plan to have quiet times. If I don’t plan to have them, I don’t have them – time just slips away doing other important and/or fun stuff.
  • Be honest with God. If I feel like I can’t talk to God because I am anxious, angry or feeling down, then I tell God all about that. He really does care. Phillipians 4:6.
  • Set realistic goals. I’ve found ten minutes four times a week a good starting point.
  • Plan the time. Have a system, or agenda to follow. I can’t always think of what I could be praying about, and using a system helps focus my thoughts.
  • Finally, get emotional with God! Yelling at God is OK, or it would be if I wasn't on the trains, so I have to yell “on the inside”. This guy was good at it, and so was this guy.

The system I use in my quiet time is to first pray, and then read some from the Bible. I pray by writing down ‘A’, ‘C’, ‘T’ and ‘S’ on a piece of paper, three lines apart each. I then list 3 items for Adoring God, Confessing sin, Thanking God and Supplication. This site explains these four categories. As I list each item, I pray through it. The discipline of thinking of 12 things to tell God is helpful.

As for reading the Bible, I’m a bit more haphazard and tend to dart off and look up different passages depending on what is on my mind that day. After reading through the passage, I meditate on it a little. Come to think of it, I’m going to start explicitly asking God to help me understand what he is saying before I read a bible passage, and then thoughtfully pray through the passage afterward. Ask me how I’m going with that next week.

Quiet times are really a Good Thing. Talking to someone is the best way to maintain your relationship with them, and God really wants to talk to you.

By alang | # | Comments (0)
(Posted to Christian Life)
© 2003-2006 Alan Green