Having A Daily Quiet Time

I grew up in church. My father got his college degree in Theology and I spent nearly every Sunday in a church until junior high school. I became a believer in Jesus as my Lord and Savior at a very young age.

I also grew up believing that the only way for me to prove to others I genuinely was a believer was by following all the rules I heard each week. Naturally, one of the main rules was about reading the Bible. Repeatedly, teachers and pastors quoted Mark 1:35.

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”

Did you hear anything there about Jesus reading God’s Word there? No. That verse is about prayer, about purposefully seeking solitude with God, about sacrificing rest in order to do it. Of course Jesus did know the Scriptures since we read about him teaching in the temple even at a young age. However, what we miss when we read this verse by itself is the fact that before and after it, Jesus is healing and reaching out to others. He’s physically exhausted.

It’s interesting to me that he got up early when he was so tired…and that he knew he couldn’t keep giving himself to others without seeking God for the strength. What exactly was he getting and how was he refueling with this early prayer time?

John 15:1-5 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

My quiet time is about abiding in Him. Not only for me to draw on His strength but for me to be used by Him to exhibit the qualities of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, and so on…including self-control that I’d rather forget.

I’ve had quiet times that consisted of me opening my Bible to the verses referenced in my children’s Sunday School artwork. It lasted about three minutes. Dear God, help this verse be implanted in my heart and in the heart of my child. Help me to live this verse out. Then I would read the verse from my Bible. Then one {or both} of the children would demand my attention and quiet time was over.

I’ve neglected my quiet time. For years. I would feel guilty about not having a quiet time, set a huge goal to read the entire Bible, then quit reading altogether because I got behind. The longer I went without studying His Word and praying consistently, the worse my decisions became. Not just decisions I made as a wife and mother, but even decisions I made about how to serve in church and other ‘good’ things.

I’ve had a season of consistency the last couple of years. By God’s grace, my desire to read His Word, to study it, to memorize it, has grown into something I couldn’t imagine possible. When I miss a day, or two, I know I am the one being shortchanged. {And probably my husband and kids because I exhibit less fruit of the Spirit the longer it’s been without that quiet time.}

I’ve had my quiet time early in the morning and I’ve had it just before bed. I’ve squeezed it in when kids were napping. I know the benefits of doing it first thing in the morning, but I also know how beneficial it is to at least do it instead of giving up completely.

Here are my suggestions if you want to become more consistent about having a quiet time or go deeper with what you are already doing.

  1. Keep it all together: a tote bag, a nightstand drawer, by a comfy chair, etc.
  2. When you have small children, be prepared for kids’ interruptions: have toys or activities they can only use during your quiet time, swap quiet time with your spouse, or use a devotional/study that is designed so it can be picked up and put down quickly vs a long/in depth study.
  3. Incorporate Prayer: make a prayer list and start or end by praying for others.
  4. Journal: write what’s on your heart, or the verse you focused on, etc.

How do you make sure you have time in prayer each day?