5 ways to make the most of your quiet time
These small changes could make a big difference to your time with God!
Am I the only one, or does keeping a daily quiet time sometimes feel like a fight for you too?
Distractions bombard us from every direction: new text messages beg to be read, Instagram notifications ding from our phones, and let’s not even mention the endless TV show episodes on Netflix that we’ll never get around to finishing.
However, spending time with God is vital for our growth as a Christian. I can’t afford to sacrifice this time because His Word is a “lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (see Psalm 119:105) and His Word is my daily nourishment (see Matthew 4:4). I also want to store up treasures in heaven, as mentioned in Matthew 6:20.
So, since this time is far too important for us to skip, what habits can we implement that will allow us to cut away distractions and make the most of our quiet time?
1. Schedule time when you're most fully present, alert, and engaged
Are you a morning person or a night owl? What time of day is your brain most active? Often, when I find myself dozing often during my prayers it’s because I’ve waited until my brain has decided to retire for the day.
Think about it: How terrible would it be if your friend always fell asleep every time the two of you had a conversation at a coffee shop! It wouldn’t make you feel like he/she valued your friendship much, would it?
God deserves more than the scraps and leftovers of our energy. Matthew 6:33 (NLT) says to “seek the Kingdom of God above all else”. This involves finding that time of day when we are the most alert, when distractions are lessened, and when we can seek Him fully (without snoozing during our prayers!).
2. Set the atmosphere by turning on worship music
I have found that doing this eases me away from the distractions of life and invites me to center my attention on God and His Word instead.
When I play worship music while reading His Word and praying, I am constantly reminded of the purpose of this quiet time and, therefore, less likely to give in to that temptation to check my latest text message.
3. Keep a prayer journal
This is a habit of mine that I began in middle school. The act of writing out my prayers keeps my attention fully engaged.
Plus, it’s faith-building to look back through these prayers journals and witness how God has answered these prayers (and to see how I’ve grown spiritually over the years)!
4. Have a plan (and stick with it)
If it’s our goal to grow in our relationship with Christ and expand our knowledge of His Word, then we need to be intentional about this.
The same applies to any goal that we set out to achieve: ambitions require action, and action requires a plan. When we have a plan in place, we will be less likely to hit the snooze alarm and miss out on this morning time with God.
This plan can involve reading through a Bible study in a certain amount of days, writing in a prayer journal, and reading a devotion. Whatever plan you create, choose one that will allow you to dive deep into God’s Word, share your heart with Him, and intercede on behalf of others.
5. Dedicate a specific space to your quiet time
Matthew 6:6 (NLT) says, “But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”
If we’re striving to cut out distractions and prioritize our quiet time, it’s helpful to not only dedicate a specific time of day toward growing this relationship but also a specific space. This place should make it easy for us to, as this Scripture says, “pray to your Father in private.”
What does this space look like? Some Christians have chosen an empty closet as their place to meet with God, while others prefer to meet with Him on the porch during sunrise. The place isn’t as important as its purpose.
Is there a comfortable spot in your house that allows you to shut out the world, and will you be able to have an “appointment with God” every day in that place?
If so, I’d advise dedicating that space to Him and sticking with that appointment. Then, once you have chosen this time and space, you’ll be surprised at how easy it becomes for you to stick with this habit and grow in your relationship with Christ!