Having a daily quiet time is essential to a thriving relationship with God. It is the time of day that we devote solely to God to refocus our minds and hearts on Him. And while it’s a matter of preference in what manner one spends time with God, there are some things that we all can do to improve our quiet time.
1. Find the time that works best for you
When choosing the time of the day for your devotions, it’s important to consider your energy levels. Some people can wake up and have their quiet time the first thing in the morning. Some feel low on energy the entire morning, but feel better later in the day or even in the evenings.
I personally need to be up for at least an hour or so before my mind fully wakes up. I take my shower and eat breakfast during that time. In that way, when I sit to have my quiet time after being up for some time, my mind is alert and I can devote my full attention to God.
I personally like to have my quiet times in the mornings, as then I can start my day with God and let His light shine through me for the rest of the day. But if there is no way you can have your quiet time in the mornings, then that’s fine. Just choose the time that works for you.
Regardless of the time of the day you choose, it’s important to block off time on your calendar for it. In that way, you will be able to spend sufficient time with God and other things on your schedule won’t squeeze your quiet time out.
2. Get the essential supplies
If you are a new believer or have not read the Bible, then going with a simple Bible translation, such as the ESV or NIV, is best.
If you have been a believer for some time and want to dig deeper into the Bible, you might want to get a study Bible or get a commentary to read alongside the Bible. If you like to annotate as you read, then getting a journaling Bible with wide margins would really help.
It’s also good to read your Bible in different translations, as they you can grasp the meaning of the verses better. If you know another language and want to infuse some freshness into your Bible reading, then reading the Bible in a foreign language might help you to see it from a different perspective and might open your eyes to new things.
Different daily devotionals in addition to your Bible reading can also be a great supplement to your quiet times. Some people also like to keep a journal nearby for writing their prayers or what they have learned in the Bible.
3. Set the atmosphere
When planning a date, we pick a special place, turn on some background music, have candles, and try to create the best experience possible. I like to apply a similar approach to my “dates” with God.
Find a special place within your home, on your porch, or in your backyard. It could be as simple as finding a special chair.
I like to play some calm piano music in the background, light a scented candle, and just sit in my chair in our dining room. A lot of people also like to have a cup of coffee or tea with their quiet time.
Regardless of what you choose to do, create a ritual that you can look forward to doing every day.
4. Find your own pace
Some people like to go through a Bible in a year, and some like to ponder over just a few verses a day. Find your own pace and what works for you in the current season.
There were seasons when I just wanted to read through the whole Bible, and there were times when I just wanted to slowly ponder over just a few verses and journal about them in my journaling Bible.
Spending time with God is not about meeting your daily reading goal, it’s about meeting with Jesus.
It’s not about finishing the Bible in a year. It’s about developing a relationship with God. And if studying the Bible slowly makes you feel close to God, then that’s what’s right for you right now.
5. Remember it’s not about your feelings
And while it’s great when we feel filled with the Spirit and full of God’s love after spending time with God, the feelings are not the point. The feelings won’t always be there, just like with any other relationship.
We are human and may not always feel well or may be too low on energy on any given day to have those bubbly feelings of joy after having our quiet time. That’s okay.
It’s not about what we get out of our quiet time. It’s about spending time with God.
We should make a commitment to have our quiet time daily whether we feel like it or not or whether we get much out of it or not.
If you feel far from God, maybe you need to honestly look at your life and see whether you are engaged in any perpetual sin that may displease God. If so, then you can restore your relationship with God by repenting of your sin.
But if there is nothing in between you and God, then the lack of feelings may not necessarily mean anything.
Our feelings are not a reliable measure of how close we are to God. We should trust in God’s Word and not in our emotions.
And God’s Word says that God will never leave us. Once we are in His family, He will never depart from us.