Have you ever purposed to have a quiet time with God, then just sat and stared at the wall, wondering what to do next? Maybe you tried to pray, but couldn’t think of the words to speak. You opened your Bible, but you didn’t even know where to start. If you’re like most people, finances, health and family take up a lot of space in your thought life. They’re important! But, did you know that the amount of time you spend with God each day can drastically change those things for the better? Quiet time with God builds your relationship with Him and allows you to hear His voice more clearly. When you receive a regular dose of His instruction and direction, the challenges before you don’t seem so big anymore and you feel more certain about how to handle them.
A Personal Message for You
Imagine yourself in the middle of a really important project at work or home. Someone walks up and hands you an envelope. Inside is a personal message from Almighty God Himself. You wouldn’t put it aside and wait for a time when you have nothing else to do. (Does that even exist?) No—you would drop everything and open that message right then. Why? Because you desperately need a Word from heaven on a regular basis. You are here on this earth facing one challenging situation after another. And, frankly, they’re beyond your own ability most of the time.
Well, this very situation is real! God has, in fact, sent an important message to you—it is His Word. And what He has to say will affect you today—and every day! No matter what is happening in your life at any given time, you can open the Bible every day and the Spirit of God will quicken to you the words you need to empower and sustain you. He will direct you to the scriptures that will move you toward the fulfilment of your dreams.
Supersize Your Success
If you ever order food at a drive-thru, you know that many restaurants give you the choice between a regular meal and a ‘supersize’ portion. It’s your choice to decide how much you want to consume. The same is true of your time in the Word. You have a choice when you spend time with God. It can be a small appetiser or you can ‘supersize’ your success in life by taking in more of His goodness, more of His grace, more of His promises, more of His wisdom.
As vital as the Bible is to your success, God won’t make you read it. He will let you choose your own level of faith. He’ll let you go as far with His Word as you desire. It depends on how much or how little attention you give it—how much you keep it in front of your eyes and in your ears—and whether you receive it, believe it and act on it. You can either have faith that’s strong enough to make your biggest dreams a reality, or you can limp along on just enough faith to get you into heaven. That still leaves you with the pressing question about finding meaningful time with God—How? Like a good recipe that’s been passed down from generation to generation, God has given you the secret ingredients to meaningful fellowship with Him. Once you’ve put them into practice, you’ll find it hard not to spend time with Him.
1. Find a Place for Your Quiet Time
“…go into your room, close the door and pray….” –Matthew 6:6, NIV Set aside a place and time where you will have privacy, quiet and no interruptions. Depending on what phase of life you’re in, you may need to ask the Lord to make a way where there seems to be no way.
2. Offer Praise and Thanksgiving During Your Quiet Time
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise.” –Psalm 100:4, KJV Thanksgiving and praise is a wonderful way to begin your prayers. It invites God to come and be a part of your time (Psalm 22:3). You’re asking that His presence and glory fill your life and your situation. As you praise God and speak of His marvellous works, you are reminded of all that God has done, and your faith in God and His plan for you increases. God created praise for a purpose. It reminds you who God is and stops Satan right in his tracks. That’s a powerful weapon!
3. Pray in the Spirit During Your Quiet Time
“A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened….” (1 Corinthians 14:4) Have you ever gone to pray and found that you couldn’t think of the words to say? You may know the situation you’d like to talk to the Lord about, but you don’t even know where to start. That’s the perfect time to pray in the spirit! But why not just pray in English?
Praying in the spirit, or praying in other tongues, is a spiritual exercise that strengthens your faith. When you pray in the spirit, you are praying the perfect will of God for your life. You don’t always know what to say, but He does. And He makes sure you hit the mark every time. This may be a new and uncomfortable concept for you, but it’s worth the effort! You may want to start by using your prayer language while worship music is playing in the background. Start with a few minutes each day and work your way up to longer periods of prayer, as the Lord leads you.
4. Study His Word During Your Quiet Time
“…meditate on it day and night…be careful to do…all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and…have good success.” (Joshua 1:8, ESV) The Bible is God’s inspired Word, but more than that, it is your personal how-to book for everyday living. Though most Christians know the importance of being in the Word, knowing where to start can sometimes be the greatest challenge.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Always have quick access to a hard copy of the Bible. While many people use their mobiles or tablets to read the Word, it is important to have a Bible that you can mark up and make personal. It allows you to underline scriptures that have significance and special meaning to you.
- Make it personal. Begin by underlining each passage that includes phrases such as “in Christ” or “in Whom” or “in Him.” As a believer—born of God—these phrases refer to you.
- Receive in Faith. Once you have found the promises in God’s Word that apply to you, begin to receive those in faith for yourself. Know that whatever you find in His Word is meant for YOU.
- Meditate on the Word. Whatever you meditate on the most is what you will believe. That’s why it is so important for you to meditate on God’s Word.
A way to apply this is to your life is to find out what the Word says about the specific needs in your life, then meditate on that Word. As the Holy Spirit makes God’s Word reality in your heart, see your needs met by God’s provision.
- Speak the Word continually. Knowing the Word is not enough; acting on it is what produces results (Matthew 7:24-27). And part of acting on the Word includes speaking it.
Begin by reading the Word aloud during your quiet time. As you do, it will get down inside your spirit and will start to come out of your mouth throughout the day. What you really believe in your heart is what you speak all the time–and what you speak determines what happens in your life (Mark 11:23).
5. Ask God to Help You Understand During Your Quiet Time
“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” (Psalm 119:18, NIV) Finally, as you prepare to study the Scriptures, ask the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of your understanding so you can comprehend the deep things of God. Then, expect the Lord to do it; expect Him to meet you on the level of your need and reveal His Word to you. Even with these ingredients, it can still be challenging to make time with God a consistent part of your life. Don’t shoot for perfection. Just purpose to get started. It’s been said, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” So aim for meaningful quiet time with God, and watch it change the course of your day!