Many of us have heard the importance of having a daily quiet time with God from Christian leaders. I wholeheartedly agree with this assertion and believe it is a way to keep our faith fresh, and relationship with God growing. However, the question I usually get after a statement like that is, how do have a quiet time? The leaders who are making these statements do not often flesh out how a quiet time should look, and after a while people give up. What I will offer below is what I do. It is not perfect, and it is not the only way to have a quiet time, still, I think it is a helpful guide you can use or modify.
Set aside at least an hour each day.
This can seem quite daunting at first. Most Christians have enough trouble figuring out what to say for a blessing at dinner, how am I supposed to spend an hour with the Lord every day? Maybe start small. 15 minutes at first and let it grow. The more you do it the more natural it will become. Soon you may see it go beyond an hour.
I recommend the mornings because it just really starts my day off right. However, that is not feasible for everyone. One man in the church I serve leaves his house at 4:30 AM every day to head to work. Whatever time of day you pick, just be consistent. If you are going to do it at 7AM then do it that time every day. Also, be consistent where you do it as well. I don’t like say getting in a routine because it’s not just something to check-off, but if you have a set plan of when and where you are more likely to do it.
Spend 10 minutes in worship through music.
Whatever music you like spend 10 minutes in worship before you start. Right now I am on Rend Collective kick in my quiet time, but I often listen to a variety of music including guys like Shai Linne. Songs a lot of times express what we want to say when we don’t know what to say. When you sing think about the words you are singing.
Spend 10-15 minutes in intentional prayer for others.
I once had a seminary professor ask me this, “Jared, if God answered all your prayers the past year how many people would be saved due to God answering those prayers?” Wow! Immediate conviction came over me. How true though that our prayers can become so selfish. So I set aside a different things to pray for each day.
Sunday: All the Bible-believing churches around the world who will proclaim the gospel this day, and for those who will hear it. Also, a UPG or UUPG.
Monday: My seminary (Students, profs, and its mission).
Tuesday: Churches I have previously served and attended. (Their leadership, congregation, and so on).
Wednesday: My local association and the churches and pastors who lead.
Thursday: Friends and people I know who are lost, by name.
Friday: Missionaries I know, and the countries I have been able to travel to on mission trips.
Saturday: SBC agencies (Other seminaries, IMB, NAMB, ERLC).
I also pray for certain things everyday. My wife, family and in-laws, my church and pastor, the students in my ministry, other pastors at our church, best friends, and mentors in my life. If you don’t know what to pray go to the Scriptures and let that be your guide.
Spend 30-40 minutes for worship through the Word.
This is a time you will hear God speak. The Bible is the very Word of God and when read we are hearing His words. If I read an Epistle I try to read the whole thing. The Epistles were letters and they are best read in one sitting, because when you get a letter you read the whole thing not parts at a time. Sometimes when I am reading through poetry or history I read a couple of chapters. Still, sometimes I get so captivated by a few verses I will spend all of my time there.
Take notes, write down questions, underline, and study. Saturate yourself with the word of God. If you read a chapter a day then read it two or three times. Get to the meaning of the text. This will be a time you will learn to look forward to and treasure. Some people will try a chronological Bible reading plan to read it in one year. That’s awesome, just don’t get discouraged. When you get in Leviticus you might be ready to hang it up. Remember the Bible is God-breathed and all of it is useful. I recommend a good study Bible to help understand what you are reading.
Be prepared. I do not recommend opening up your Bible and wherever you finger lands is what God wants you to read. Read through books start to finish. If you have never done this I recommend three books to starts with. John, Acts, or Proverbs.
Spend 10 minutes of meditation and prayer
This is a time to just focus on God. Listen to God, maybe go back to the Word as you feel led. Then pray. I pray that God will use me as His vessel, He will use me to further His gospel for His glory and not mine, and many other things that I may need pray for. Write down your request in a journal and flip through it every few months and see things that God has delivered on.
The most important thing: Just do it.
The first day may be the hardest but if you stick to it I really believe this will be one the things you look most forward to everyday. Find someone to hold you accountable that you are doing yours, and likewise do the same for them. Where we spend the most of our time is where our heart is. I hope this has been helpful and if you have any questions please feel free to contact me!