How To Have an Effective Daily Quiet Time with God
The single greatest priority in the life of any disciple must be to have an effective, meaningful time with God each day. This takes place through the study of His Word and prayer. The reason that many Christians lives are void of spiritual power, direction, and purpose is they fail to have a meaningful time with God daily. Therefore, they are ill equipped to face the spiritual challenges of the day. The following are five guidelines to help you have an effective daily quiet time with God.
The Right Time
As a disciple, you must spend time with God through the study of His Word each day. Your success in doing this depends much on picking the right time (time of day and amount). There is no set amount of time, but make it a goal in the beginning to spend at a minimum 15 minutes. Don't give the Lord your leftovers, instead give Him the first and best part of your morning. You will never “find the time” to read and study your Bible, you have to “make the time”. Psalm 63:1 says, “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.” A wise traveler will study a map before beginning their journey. In like manner, a wise disciple will study God’s word before the day’s journey begins.
The Right Mindset
Your quiet time, is a time for you to fellowship with a Holy God. You should be mindful of this and have the right mindset. First of all, be physically alert. Get up and out of your bed. Make sure you are awake and can think clearly. Second, be mentally focused. Remind yourself of the reason that you are having a quiet time and its importance to your spiritual life. Then third, be spiritually clean. Psalms 66:18 says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.” If you have unconfessed sin in your life, you will neither hear from God nor will God hear you until you repent of the sin.
The Right Place
You must find a place to have your quiet time that is free of distractions. In Matthew 6:6 Jesus said, “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” If Jesus withdrew Himself from crowds and the distractions of life to pray, how much more then should we?
The Right Book
Make sure you have a readable translation (not a paraphrase). Make sure the Bible that you read each morning has room in the margins to take notes and record the truths that God is teaching you. A conservative, true to the text devotional is a great study tool (ex. Bible Pathway Ministries), but it is not a substitute for God’s Word. It should be a tool to help and compliment your study of the Scriptures.
The Right Sequence
Now in your quiet place that is free from distractions, begin with prayer. Ask God to cleanse you of any unrepented sin and to focus your mind upon Him and His word. Now read the passage of scripture that your devotional is expounding upon or the next chapter in the book (ex. Genesis, Psalms, John, James, etc). Remember the goal is quality, not quantity when it comes to reading. You will be better off to read and understand one chapter than to breeze through 3 chapters and have no idea what you just read. As you read Gods Word seek to answer three questions:
- Who was the original recipient of this passage?
- What is the timeless unchanging truth that God is teaching the recipient?
- What is the application for my life today?
Read your companion devotional for additional insight and commentary. Remember to take notes in your margin from what you learned during your time of study. Conclude with prayer. In deep humility pour your heart out before God, telling Him exactly how you are feeling. As an "On Mission Christian", resubmit yourself to His Lordship as the day begins. Ask God to help you remember who and what you are throughout the day…His child and His ambassador. Remember, the truths that you have learned will be of no effect in your life if you do not obey them. Be sure to share with others what you are learning and how you are daily being changed by the study of and obedience to God’s Holy Word.