How many of us start with good intentions with having quiet time with God, but never actually followed through with it? Typically the demands and busyness of life take precedence as well as following our own selfish desires. Behind closed doors, many of us yawn through our quiet times. Instead of rolling over and hitting the snooze button, try one of these ideas for your next quiet time.
Pray to God. Begin your planning with a sincere prayer to the Lord. Let God know that you have the desire to spend quality time with Him and yet you’ve struggled for various reasons. Speaking plainly to Him relieves your guilt and brings in His restoration of peace to your life. (Psalm 5:2)
Choose the best time. Timing is important because we all have commitments to our families, church, work, etc. The best time for you may be early in the morning when everyone else is asleep or perhaps late at night. We all have our own body clock that gives us an idea of our most or least productive times. Choose the time that you sense the most leading from God. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
Find a good place. Some of us can find a quiet place in our home for reflection and meditation; while others need to take a walk, bike ride, or car trip to a special place. Wherever works best for you—make sure you find a place with the least distractions so you can focus on what God is directing your life. (Psalm 26:8)
Write a letter to God about your life. Give it to a friend to email back to you in three months. In the letter, talk to God about the area of your life that are bothering you. Write about how you’d like to grow and what attribute of His you’d like to see more clearly.
Write out and personalize Scripture by inserting your name into promises relevant to your life or current struggles. For example, I would personalize Philippians 4:19 in this way: “My God will supply every need of Daisy according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus”. Many of the Bible’s promises come to life and seem more powerful and relevant when personalized in this way. Spend some time meditating and praying over verses that you personalize. I once copied a set of verses and string them together as a personalized love letter from God’s heart to my own. I have it framed and hanging in my room. Those personalized verses help me keep a big view of God.
Go on a praise walk. Thank God for everything you see. Take the opportunity to look closely at God’s creation, praising Him for His creativity and the beauty of the world He’s crafted. After hiking for a while, find a quiet spot to read one of the many psalms that describe His creation. Isaiah 40 and Genesis 1 are two other chapters that will help you focus your heart and mind on God’s creative character.
Spend your entire time with God singing and praising Him. Write down your favourite hymn. Church hymnals and books of choruses are great resources to enliven your quiet time with personal worship. You might even try creating a song of your own!
Dance before the Lord like David, who danced “with all his might” (2 Sam. 6:14). David’s dancing was a heartfelt and spontaneous expression of rejoicing. So put on your favorite hymn or praise song, and dance away. Interpretive dance is a wonderful way to express your heart and soul in praise before God. If you enjoy Jewish folk dancing, ballet, or some other kind of dance, dedicate your talent to God.
Write down every sin that continues to haunt you. Then write 1 John 1:9 over each sin. Destroy the list – God has. This is a strong visual reminder of how God blots out your sin.
Write out a Philippians 4:8 list. What is lovely to you, worthy of praise, excellent, etc.? Hang the list in a place where you tend to be grumpy, such as above the washer and dryer or on the dashboard of your car for that frustrating commute!
Pray in a posture you don’t normally use. Try praying on your knees, prone, or standing with your face to the heavens and your hands raised in worship. It’s amazing how simply changing your posture before God can change your attitude and help you experience Him in new ways.
Read a different translation of the Bible. You might consider purchasing a Bible that has several translations in parallel. Reading a new translation or comparing different ones can stimulate new insights into Scripture. If you’ve used and marked up one particular Bible for many years, reading a different Bible will enable you to see the Word with new vision. Because your eyes will not be drawn to notes and highlighted passages from previous study or devotional reading, the Scripture will feel as beautiful and inviting as a fresh snowfall on a crisp winter morn.
Praise Jesus from A to Z. For example, “Jesus, You are amazing…Jesus, You are beautiful…” This activity will challenge you to think deeply about who Jesus is and why you love and serve Him. As you praise Jesus using each letter of the alphabet, spend some time meditating on each word you use to describe Him. Thinking deeply about Him is more important than racing through each letter of the alphabet as fast as you can.
Write out your prayers to Jesus. You might write them in a journal, or purchase special stationery for these precious letters, as you might do if you were sending a letter to someone you have fallen deeply in love with. At the end of the letter, sign your name, just as you would a normal letter. Something powerful and deeply intimate happens when you record your thoughts and prayers in a letter to Jesus.
Make a list of the hurts and needs in your life. As you come to a verse that shows how God can meet that need, write it down next to that need. Like the letters mentioned above, you can do this in your journal, or separately. You might even create a journal that records only your needs and relevant Scriptures. As you do this, you create your own book of God’s promises!
Spend a period of time fasting from food, TV, or a hobby to spend more time with God.If you’re able, combine your fast with a day at a quiet retreat center, the beach, the mountains, or even tucked away in a library to reflect on God’s Word and His hand in your life.
Girls, please feel free to share your ideas too.
(Adapted: Pam Farrel & Crystal McDowell)