You’ve heard that having a quiet time with God is a key spiritual discipline but what exactly does it mean to have a quiet time? Read these 10 principles for how to have a meaningful quiet time with the Lord.
So you want to grow closer to God.
You’ve heard having a quiet time with God is a key spiritual discipline but you aren’t sure how to have a daily quiet time. And what exactly does it mean to have a quiet time?
In order to make a difference in our lives, we need to get super clear on what we want out of our time alone with God. The first and foremost goal of your quiet time should not be Bible knowledge but communion with God. This is so very important and I share why in this post on Why Your Quiet Time Isn’t Working.
While deep Bible study is a necessary component to your growth as a Christian, the distinct purpose of your daily quiet time with God is intimacy with God. We need to plug into the Vine daily and abide in Christ – so design your daily quiet time to help you do that!
There are certainly ways to make our quiet time with Jesus as meaningful as possible. Below are some tips I’ve discovered help me maximize my personal quiet time with God.
How to Have a Meaningful Quiet Time
First, understand why we call it “quiet time.” There are two words in quiet time… quiet and time… or times of quiet. While the the term itself is not found in the Bible, do you realize the Biblical precedent for having times of quiet? One of my favorites is Psalm 46:10 which says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
We are commanded to be still, be quiet, to re-center our hearts and align our understanding with the God-ness of God.
Another favorite is Mark 1:35 and the example Jesus set. “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”
Scripture advocates times of quiet where we are alone with God, regardless of what title you give it! Spending time with God without disruption, noise, and distraction is one of the best ways to sharpen your spiritual senses.
The best way to to have a devotional time with God is to simply decide on a regular, daily time and choose a place where you can be alone. This can be anywhere in your home, your car, outside in nature, on a daily walk, anywhere! The key is to make sure you are distraction free and can focus on communion with God.
So what does a quiet time consist of? How can you learn how to hear from God?
Well, let me ask you… how do you fellowship, commune, or relate to another person? You talk, right? That’s the most important component of a meaningful quiet time- communication.
Communication with God simply involves prayer and Scripture intake.
It’s that easy!
If you’d like a simple toolkit to help walk you through a meaningful quiet time, grab our SOAP BIBLE STUDY METHOD below. It’s FREE to my email subscribers!
Just click the image below to join the community and receive this study method:
There are many ways you can incorporate prayer into your daily quiet time but my personal favorite is to begin by praying ONE promise a day. This primes the pump for me and allows a natural flow in my prayers and increases passion and fervor. If you are stumped in your prayer life, I highly recommend using II Corinthians 1:20 as a spring board for prayer!
Alternatively, here is a great list of top 25 Scriptures to Pray in the Morning.
Likewise, there are many ways you can start reading the Bible and get into the Scriptures (and let the Scriptures get into you!), such as following a daily Bible reading plan, listening to the daily audio Bible, or using any of these tips for finding more time to read the Bible and getting more scripture into your daily routine. There are daily devotional apps and must-have Bible apps that can help you learn a memory verse or keep you consistent in reading God’s Word.
Hosea 4:6 says: ‘My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge’. The Bible is where we get this knowledge that will keep us from running our ship aground when the waves come crashing down upon us.
Matthew 7:24-25 says: ‘Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock’.
We build on the rock when we found our lives on the words that are written in the Bible, so let’s make this part of our quiet times count!
Put it in Context
When reading the word of God, it is important to come away with a practical application so that our lives are impacted by what we’ve been exposed to in God’s word. However, it’s also important to understand what is being said and why.
Sometimes, we have a tendency to lift certain verses out of their original context in an attempt to apply them as a universal principles.We can, instead, glean spiritual principles from theses passages that can teach us things about God even if, say, the customs and traditions are ones that we do not practice in the time and place where we live.
The tendency to take things out of context is why Bible study is also a very important spiritual discipline for every believer.
Having a simple “go-to” Bible study method can make Bible study easy and effective. I’ve written about Bible study extensively on this blog and have put together 7 all time favorite Bible study methods here. I highly recommend you check these out as you seek to rightly divide the word of truth.
Bigger Isn’t Always Better
We often hear about people who set out to read the Bible in a year, and while this is commendable, not everybody can do this while ensuring their quiet time is meaningful. Sometimes, you have to stay small to get the most out of the text.
Allowing God’s Spirit to work, awaken your spirit, and fill you afresh is the goal of our daily quiet time so being sensitive to His Spirit is critical for making your time meaningful. When you invite the Spirit to guide you, even a brief unpacking of a short passage can be infinitely more meaningful than if you tried to scan large portions of text on your own.
Do this the next time you have your quiet time and see if sometimes less is more!
If you’ve been out of the Bible for a while, our back to the Bible challenge is a wonderful place to start digging into God’s Word!
Aim for Obedience
After we have spent time with God, it’s very likely we’ll have some direction, prompting, or instruction from Him. It is important to follow through on these promptings and obey! Scripture tells us to be a doer of the word, not a hearer only. Faith without works is dead so be sure to follow up your quiet time with actions aligned with God’s truth!
Finally, remember that your personal time with God doesn’t have to look exactly like someone else’s, nor does it need to be the same every day. I like to incorporate different things into my time alone with God, such as writing the scripture, singing and music, scripture memory, journaling, going on prayer walks, and even going through quick resources like this Personal Guide to Consecration.
The key is to always remember your goal: intimacy with Christ. Then let Him lead and discover the joys of walking in the Spirit!