I’ll admit it - I am not great with self-discipline. I have a hard time getting new habits to ‘stick’ in my routine, so let’s just say a consistent daily quiet time has been a struggle of mine over the years. If you’ve had difficulty incorporating reading, reflection, and prayer time into your day, these tips may help you too!
1. Set a time and stick to it.
This will look different for different people. Some folks like to read the Bible first thing in the morning, before they even get out of bed. I like to have a few sips of coffee first! Maybe you’re a night owl who prefers the quiet after the kids are asleep and the daily chores are done. Pick the best time for you when you can focus with as few distractions as possible. Set up a reminder on your phone and treat your time with God as you would an important appointment or lunch with a dear friend.
2. Cut out distractions.
How many times have you started a quiet time, only to be interrupted by a notification on your phone, a dog that needs food, the dryer buzzer going off… you get the idea. It seems like the minute I sit down and try to focus, a million other things come to mind that I need to do! Make a rule that your quiet time is a distraction-free zone and take the necessary steps to protect it. Switch your phone to silent or leave it in another room and give your full attention to the Lord, so you can be sensitive to His voice speaking to your spirit.
3. Make it a special occasion.
Pick a cozy chair, light a candle, play your favorite worship music, add a creative element to make your quiet time a happy respite from the busy pace of life. Approach it with a mindset of filling up your soul and renewing your spirit for that day. Show up expectant for God to speak to you specifically and directly; avoid treating quiet time like another box to check off the task list.
4. Keep a written record.
Have a journal handy to write out prayers (and answers to prayer), thoughts, questions, and verses that stand out to you. If you are artistically inclined, express your response through drawing or painting. Journaling gives us a physical reminder of our history with God through all its ups and downs, so that we can look back and see all He has done in our lives.
5. Use resources to help.
If you don’t know where to start or have had difficulties understanding what you’re reading, find a resource to help guide you. Most daily devotionals take a small section of scripture and apply it to everyday life through an inspirational message. Study guides abound for both individual books of the Bible and specific subjects (fear, God’s plan, marriage, etc.). Make the most of a long commute by listening to a Christian podcast or sermon series.
I personally love a devotional called ‘My Utmost for His Highest’ by Oswald Chambers, and am using the YouVersion Bible app to complete a One Year Bible plan that divides the Word into daily readings incorporating Old & New Testament verses as well as a Psalm and Proverb every day. The point is, there are tons of trustworthy resources out there to help make sense of the Bible. When you use them, your study time can come alive with insight, understanding, and revelation from God’s word.