Practical Quiet Time Tips

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((This is Part 3 of a 4 part series on strengthening our relationship with God-  Read the 1st article here and the 2nd article here))

We’ve talked about why quiet time is so important and why we need it.  Today we are going to get really practical with some tips that you can use in your quiet time.

Before we start, we have to remember that we are all so different. Likewise, this time that we spend being intentional about being with God is going to look different to each of us. The time of day we do quiet time, what we enjoy doing during it, how it looks, and where we enjoy doing it all may be different.

One person in Sunday School this past week said he has quiet time in his garden. One girl shared with me that she has time in the middle of the night to spend with God. Another busy homeschool mom has time during the middle of the day that she carves out to set everything aside and be with God. However this time looks for you, you need to have it. It needs to be a priority, and there are no rules for how it has to look.

For you, it may include taking a walk and listening to a podcast or an AC Streamer sermon. Maybe for you, it is walking, then sitting with your Bible and enjoying God’s creation. Maybe for you, it is slowly working through a Bible Study at your kitchen table. Perhaps it is reading a non-fiction self-help book or reading in a daily devotional. Maybe it is doing the dishes and listening to songs/ hymns. Whatever this time looks like for you, it should include:

• time for God to speak to you

• time for you to speak to God in prayer

  • empty space to hear the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit.

It is important to make this time with God a priority.  Let’s start with what tools can be used in our quiet time.

March 12, 2016 (56) Matte

Finding the Right Tools

Bible-

First, of course, is the Bible! There are Bibles with cross-references, concordances, or Greek & Hebrew translations included. There are also endless amounts of digital forms, including both desktop versions and apps. With the digital forms, there are many options; some include cross-references, concordances, dictionaries, and different translations, including Greek & Hebrew. Some Bible apps are able to read it out-loud to you. My personal favorite digital Bible resources are www.biblegateway.com and www.biblehub.com.

Bible Studies-

The Apostolic Christian Counseling & Family Services website (www.accounseling.org) has many many resources that can be used in your quiet time. There are over 19 Bible Studies available on many different topics. Some of the topics include faith, salvation, grief, hope, prayer, and friendship. There are also studies available on several books of the Bible; James, Joshua, John, Philippians and more.

If you want a Bible reading plan, to use with the TAP study method that I spoke about in the last article, you can go to www.GirlsinGodsWord.com. This is a website that was started earlier this year. It is run by Apostolic Sisters; the purpose is to help busy Apostolic girls, moms and wives get into the Bible. So far we have reading plans on God’s love, Wisdom, The Fruit of the Spirit, and Psalm 27.

Non-fiction books-

On the ACCFS website, there are also many book recommendations, again, on a variety of topics. “Boundaries” by Dr Henry Cloud & John Townsend, “The Gift of Mercy” by Ed Schwartz, and “Who’s Pushing Your Button” by John Townsend, just to name a few.

Audio-

Again, there are many audio options available. There is the AC Central app, with hundreds and hundreds of sermons. There are many topical sermons and talks available. Topics, books of the Bible, and certain ministers can be searched.

The Breaking Bread Podcast, by ACCFS, is also on AC Central. Some of the podcast topics include forgiveness, living joyfully, and unmet expectations. Again, that is just to name a few. This is a great resource!

Devotionals-

One devotional the counselors at ACCFS have recommended is “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. It is a devotional written in first person; written as if Jesus is speaking to you. I love this devotional. It is especially comforting for those days where it is hard to concentrate or hard to invest a lot of time. There are also other daily devotionals, some were written by people we know, like Glimpses of God by Ed Schwartz.

Journals-

One of my favorite quiet time resources is a blank journal.  A journal is one of my must haves for quiet time. It is a place to write your thoughts and prayers. It is a place to write Bible Truths that stick out to you while you are reading.  A journal is a place to record God’s faithfulness.

Those are just some ideas. Find something that works for you. Find something that gives you a starting place. Remember the point is to connect with God and to spend time alone with Him. Be still and let the Holy Spirit speak to you.

Finding the Right Time-

This is where the stage of life you are in may affect what your quiet time looks like. You may be facing some challenges in finding time to spend with God. You might be a mom with young children and need every minute of sleep that you can possibly get. Or perhaps you are a mom of teens and find yourself staying up late every night, because they need to chat. You may also find yourself in a stage of life where you have blank amounts of time; maybe you are unable to sleep at night, maybe while your children are away at school and the day is quiet, or maybe your children go to bed early. Whatever the case is, we need to find a few moments to sit and be still and listen to the Spirit speaking into our life.

Jesus gives us an example of finding the right time. In the book of Mark, we see Jesus going out in the morning before others are awake. (Mark 1:35) We also see times where Jesus sent the disciples away after a long day and He went to a mountain to pray. (Mark 6:46)

This quiet time doesn’t have to happen every day, but often. As a elder said in Sunday school recently; if you make yourself do quiet time everyday there is a tendency to make it a ‘check mark’ or ‘to-do list’ item, and it loses the blessing. Does this quiet-time have to be long? No, it doesn’t, but it does need to be quality time. Don’t pick a time where you have lots going on or lots that you are being needed for. Don’t pick a time where you are tired. Think through your days, maybe even pay attention to how the time passes for a week. Pray for God to open your eyes to when He wants you to carve out time to spend with Him. When you start paying attention, maybe you will find yourself running to Facebook, email, newspapers, or books; perhaps there is a way to replace that time and instead start spending it with God.

Finding the Right Place-

Next there is an issue of a place; where to do quiet time. I’ve read many, many other people’s ideas for answer to this question. Some people like to get a fabric bin or basket and put their quiet time tools in it. Then they take it to wherever it is convenient for that day’s activities. They might fill their bin with their Bible, dictionary, concordances, pencils highlighters, books or Bible study materials and journal. Still another idea I’ve heard is to set up a quiet time chair. They find a comfy chair somewhere in the house, a rocker in the bedroom, the lazy boy in the family room, or the front porch swing. They leave their quiet time tools there on a side table or bookshelf.

I’ve tried both these ways, and I have settled on yet one more method. I have found a quiet time closet to work for me. I’ve turned our tiny little closet into a tiny little quiet time room. I have a small desk and chair. There is a bulletin board up for me to hang encouraging Bible verses or quotes and a small white board where I can write down people I’m praying for. There is always a pile of books sitting around, and still yet, a bookshelf stacked with books above me. My Bible, pencils and journal are also spread around on the desk. This is my hideout- my place to spend quiet time with God. (maybe I’ll post pictures of my little hideout sometime)

I hope some of the tips and resources help you as you find a time, find a place, and find things to use during your quiet time with God. 

**This article was first seen Titus2Ministries Fall 2016 Edition**

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