There is tremendous freedom in my daily quiet times with Christ. Today, I’ll share some of the methods I use in selecting where to focus, and when. At the very end of this post are scriptures that support what I have written.
PURPOSE OF QUIET TIMES
You may not yet be having a regular quiet time. Personally, I came to Christ in 1982 and had a roller-coaster walk with Christ until March 1996 when I got sober and entered recovery from alcoholism. After that, I began to have semi-regular quiet times, and there were periods of months and years when I was very faithful, but periods where I failed to maintain this discipline. Then, in 2016 a series of events occurred that led me to faithfully begin having daily, thirty-minute to one-hour devotionals every day. Since then, I rarely miss my dedicated time with Christ. The intimacy I have with Christ has grown exponentially as a result.
BEST TIME FOR A QUIET TIME
First, let’s agree there is no “one right way” to do a quiet time. While most Christ-followers prefer first thing in the morning, many have theirs in the evening, before going to sleep. Personally, I prefer waking up my body fully, by doing exercise for an hour, and then spending the next hour in prayer and meditation. In Mark 1:35, we see Jesus Christ having time with His Father first thing in the morning “when it was still dark.”
ANATOMY OF A QUIET TIME
For me, there are four components of a quiet time:
1. Reading God’s Word
3. Journaling insights and actions from my quiet time
4. Meditation on God’s Word
READING GOD’S WORD
There is great freedom in what to read during our quiet times. Some have a regular reading schedule, and some, like me, do not. Some choose a book of the Bible to read, which I do some of the time. Some choose a theme, such as what I did recently by studying the Fruits of the Spirit identified in Chapter 5 of Galatians. Sometimes, I sense the Holy Spirit leading me to a certain book, chapter, verse, or theme. Sometimes, like this morning, I am inspired to explore a topic like “Quiet Times.” Personally, I believe that Christ will lead you to what He wants you to read and do, if you will ask Him. The key is to:
While God’s Word is superior reading material, in my opinion, some read other literature. My only caution with that practice is this: “Make sure you also spend time going to the source: The Holy Scriptures.”
PRAYING WITH GOD
I first wrote: “Praying to God” as the title of this section. Realizing my mistake, I changed the title to be more accurate. Praying “with” God is a better description of what I believe God wants from us. I find many Christ-followers only engage in one-way prayer, which can be defined as “talking to God.” However, God does communicate with us by impressing upon our Spirits things that He wants us to know and do. In order to engage in a conversation with Christ, and go beyond one-way prayer, we have to:
Praying with God, and not just “to” God, will make our quiet times much richer and more interesting. Personally, it helps me a lot to journal, which is my next topic.
CAPTURING THE MOMENT THROUGH JOURNALING
For me, actually writing down notes from my quiet time helps me to focus, concentrate, and stay on purpose. Some use a paper and pen, which I have enjoyed for many years. Now, I have an electronic journal and use an application that is specifically for journaling. There are many to choose from (I use “DayOne”). I believe you need to experiment and find what works best for you. Writing down lessons learned, scriptures memorized, and conversations had with Christ is a powerful way to develop greater intimacy with our Heavenly Father, Christ Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I highly recommend you try journaling of some sort during your quiet times.
MEDITATION ON GOD’S WORD
There are many forms of meditation that are practiced throughout the world. I am specifically referring here to Christ-centered meditation, which includes meditating on God’s Word, meaning scriptures found in your Holy Bible. Whatever Bible translation you choose (there is no “best version”), God is able to talk to you through His Word and impress upon you messages He wants you to get, which may be general ones for all people, everywhere, or special and unique to you. God’s Holy Spirit that lives inside of you will help you gain insight. We just have to do our part, by dwelling on verses, and reading the same verse over and over, seeking God’s revelation to us of the meaning for us in that particular scripture or passage from God’s Word.
If you are not having a daily quiet time with Christ for prayer and devotion, you would be well advised to do so. For me, it is the most important hour of my day, and I can’t imagine a time when I would want to go back to the way I used to live, where I was not having this daily quiet time. For those of you that are having one but are not consistent, please know that God will help you find the time to become consistent if that is your heart’s desire. To those that are not having one, I encourage you to begin. I pray it will become your favorite time of the day as well, and it bring you great joy, peace, and intimacy with Christ.
Your aspiring servant, Daniel M.
October 23, 2023
POSTSCRIPT: Dear friends, if this daily, transparent “Conversations with Christ” blesses you, please go to www.SOLIDpastors.org, where you will find these posted, and a repository of all, in English and Spanish. Note: All scriptures quoted are from the NIV.
SCRIPTURES SUPPORTING QUIET TIMES WITH CHRIST:
These scriptures underscore the importance and benefits of regularly setting aside time to be alone with God. Whether it's through prayer, reading the Word, meditation, or all of these combined, having a daily quiet time fosters spiritual growth, deepens our relationship with Christ, and equips us for life's challenges. Embracing this discipline can lead to a more centered, peaceful, and purposeful Christian walk.