The way you begin your day often determines the quality of the day. For this reason, throughout my adult Christian life, I’ve tried to spend some time focused on the God I love and trust. It truly does make a difference.
I often encounter people, however, who want to begin a daily quiet time, but they aren’t sure how. They’ve perhaps tried before, but it didn’t last.
It really isn’t as complicated as we often make it out to be. The main thing is simply to do something, but in case you are one of those still wanting to but not sure how, let me offer a few suggestions.
Here are 5 easy steps to begin a daily quiet time:
Find the right place
Pick a place where you’ll be everyday for your quiet time. Obviously, if you travel frequently this is more difficult, but the more routine you can make this the better. It should be as free of distractions as possible. This place will soon become very comfortable to you. I realize too, you may feel your life is too busy. I get it – I’ve lived in those seasons – and, still do many times. Don’t stress over perfection here, just strive for routine.
Pick a reasonable amount of time and put it on your schedule. If you use an electronic calendar like I do, you can set it to repeat the appointment everyday. Start with 15 minutes, maybe even 10. Five minutes in your “place” is better than nothing. The key at this point is consistency, so make sure you don’t burden yourself with something you will not do. By the way, it most likely will seem like a sacrifice at first, but keep the objective in mind. You need this. As you accomplish discipline, in a little time it will be easier to increase the time you spend.
Choose your goal
Ask first what you hope to achieve and base your format around it. For example, if developing intimacy with God in prayer is your goal, then you will probably choose to spend more time in prayer. You may also want to write down your prayers. If Bible knowledge is your goal, then you may want to choose to do a Bible study. And, if memorizing Scripture is one of your goals, you’re likely to be writing numerous index cards of various verses. You can change the goal over time and do combinations of each of these. It’s not what you do – but that you do it – which matters most.
Now that you have a goal, decide what you will specifically do in your time. Will you do a Bible study or simply read Scripture and pray? If your time is 15 minutes, for example, you could spend 6 minutes reading the Bible, 3 minutes talking to God, 2 minutes in silence, asking God to speak to you, and 4 minutes writing your thoughts at the time. If you choose the structure of a Bible study, you may need to allow more time, but again, the key is you decide before you start what you are going to do during this time. The idea is not to be mechanical or punch a clock here, but rather to provide structure, which will lead to productivity in your building your God relationship. Again, don’t worry as much about what activities you are doing at this point, just do something.
This is the absolute most important part. Commit to doing something consistently for at least 30 days. Every day – without exception – do it – whether you “feel” like it or not. If you miss the exact time, make it up later in the day. Again, it will require sacrifice. Habits and lifestyles form this way and you’ll need this discipline, because as soon as you attempt this dozens of obstacles will stand in your way.
Now I realize “easy” is not the best choice of words for this post, but I did want you to read it. Developing this time into your daily schedule will not be easy. Nothing of value is ever easy. The main objective for any of us, including pastors, is disciplining ourselves to do something everyday. Over time, it becomes a habit that is easily repeated. Even better, it will soon become the best and most productive part of your day.
Help my readers out.
What tips do you have? When do you do your daily quiet time? What format are you using?
Join the discussion 27 Comments
Great article! In our lives we must have daily quite time so that you know how to start your day without being stress on your whole day activity. Find the right place , Schedule Time , Choose your goal , Plan Activities and Discipline. This things will change your daily routine and your life. Having no quite time in your life brings head trash. Doing the things as Ron said will get you unstuck , overcome setbacks and fast-track your life.
I found that if I didn't spend the quiet time early in the morning, it just wasn't going to happen. So I make time early every day. To sit quietly and meditate and pray before doing anything else!
gret and awesome
This article is a blessing because you begin with an attainable, realistic amount of time. Bless you
Wow, thanks for the great advice. I’ve been trying to make this way too difficult as I get this habit started. Thanks again.
hey man thanks. But can you show how can we apply our quiet time in our lives and not easily forget our quiet time
I'll work on that in a future post.
Pastor your notes on Quit time was very useful and God bless your minitry. Ravikumar
Awesome. Thank you.
I can't help but notice that all the comments are from men. There's been some studies (some stuff I read long ago) that showed how men can focus on something without being as distracted as a woman would. Now, if this helps you guys out there, that's just fabulous. Sorry, but when I think about my own unpredictable life, this approach is pretty absurd.
It's been my observation that churches do not facilitate people having a sacred place for quiet reflection. Nothing that is prompted by suggestion or is scheduled (as in a pastor saying "Let us have a few moments of silent prayer) counts in my book. What is sad is that people seem to think the "one size fits all" approach to worship, praise and prayer is how it is supposed to be. I have enough experience with a range of religions to know that this happens in other groups as well. I think it stems from the conflict between wanting one's own approach to connecting with God (so people split off from their groups) and the need to have some other people agree and support the "new" approach (thus feeling validated to think they are right).
Just because we don't have the kind of religious persecution Christians living elsewhere on the planet are dealing with, doesn't mean we have religious freedom. People are truly religiously free if they follow your advice in this posting from an inner prompting. "Suggesting" what to do is NOT the same as actually providing people with songs to sing (with no regard as to whether it is appropriate for everybody), or reciting scripture that may not make sense to someone coming to church for the first time….but this is what churches do all the time and people think nothing of it.
The goal of a church is to inspire people to choose to be in accordance with God, instead of always being knocked off center by Satan. To me "free will" means the will is not harnessed and is not a synonym for free choice. We DO have to make a choice to live as God wants PLUS we have to reject having a free will. Now, some people are more inclined to understand this and are predisposed for many reasons to being church attenders…and true Christians. They may have some success influencing others but it usually winds up being either short term and/or maybe not as deep of an effect.
If anybody claims to be a church planter, one needs to take in the kind of feedback that will help attract the people who are not as easily inclined to be part of a church. First off, one needs to take a hard look at what message the church is really giving to others. These buildings are supposedly "God's Homes" but most are closed unless there is a service or other event going on. When someone does come, everything is scheduled with usually no boundaries or choices in ways to pray. People socialize in the sanctuaries for example. Most people are capable of respecting public spaces such as a library. Even if they have places for noisy kids, they also have quiet rooms.
Some people like this kind of set up since it allows them to not think and it feels safe to have a plan. I'm not going to go into how, when and why I came to be a Christian here but I will say that if I didn't know what I know, I wouldn't have become a Christian just from the experiences I have had with various churches. Do you think that the Almighty Creator wants His "homes" to be so limited: in their use, the environment provided, with a few folks dictating what a group does or says when it is open?
God wants us to be in a relationship with him but people with their limited, possibly "well-intentioned" ideas get in the way. I see all these churches around and what I think is that I wished I wanted to go into all of them at some time or another. I don't care what name a church group gives themselves…you are either in accord with Christ (and know to apologize plus repent when you err)…or you're not. To me it makes sense that God can "clone" Himself, then be incarnate among us in order to be acutely aware of our condition/sacrificed so as to be the right intermediary between us a God.
We mortals are not qualified to know what each person needs, we can only strive to provide opportunities and careful guidance for people to find answers (once needs are uncovered) within a supportive environment. This is the what defines a healthy home…but many don't have a positive home life or it could just be lacking in some way. Churches can provide a neutral place for people to connect, but only if it is open and is a place people want to be.
The parable of the sower could be expanded to include the possibility that seeds can grow if the rocks/weeds are cleared first (people needing counseling or addiction intervention), that proper nutrients are added like in compost (eating better for health/clearer spiritual explanations) and other newfangled/modern approaches are used (hydroponics/greenhouses/grow lights). People still have to weed out/remove the rocks from the centuries of religious interference that had and still has more to do with power and control than getting people to choose to follow God.
Ron you really make this very simple. Thank God for your life.An anointed teacher makes things simple whiles an annoying teacher makes it complicated. You have made it much easier
I love posts with easy to use tips, I will have to try some of these. Thanks!
Ah, I love posts like this one! I posted my own set of tips for getting the most out of a quiet time. You can see it here: http://www.jeffrandleman.com/tips-for-becoming-mo…
Th eone thing I forgot to mention there is that I love a good cup of coffee while I read. Right now, it's an WEthiopian bean that I home roast, and grind and brew less than 24 hours later. The perfect cup of coffee for the perfect book, during the perfect part of my day.
Ron, this is nicely spoken. When the world continually churns out lists of "shoulds" that are more air than substance, it's refreshing to receive practical, doable, tangible lists. I'm going to apply this starting tonight.
Been following you for a month or so now, and started after someone emailed me one of your posts on leadership. This post on QT was great do you mind if I re-post it on our site at some point?
We have been working on an online Quiet Time site http://www.quiettimediary.com that has been live now for about two months, take a minute and check it out, there is a video on the home page that very quickly overviews the site and what it does. Word of Life has been producing a very unique printed QT for more than 50 years, where everyone in the family / Church / youth group / etc can read the same passage yet do it in a book that is age specific. Now we have taken it online bringing all the great aspects of our printed QT and mixing in the social tools Facebook has made popular so folks can share and dialog around the Word and integrated in Accountability. Just last week, I had a man communicate that he along with his son, that is a soldier in Iraq, are sharing QT each day thru the new site.
If you email me at [email protected] I will send you back a coupon code to try it out. Let me know about re-posting.
You can post it anytime. Thank you for asking. I'd ask for a link back to the site is all. Thanks for being a Kingdom builder!
#6 accountability – have someone (or a group of someones) that you get together with regularly (weekly, monthly, etc.) to discuss briefly what you've been doing and how it's effected your life.
Yes, that's the sure fire way. Thanks man!
At the beginning of the year, I started reading though the Bible (my first time through the whole deal!) using one of the daily plans on YouVersion. I roll out of bed early in the morning before the house starts getting crazy. A few months in, I got a journal to jot down verses that struck me or thoughts I wanted to capture. What has happened is that those moments in the morning and that journal have become very important to me, because God is revealing himself in amazing ways. Thanks for this post, Ron!
YouVersion makes it easier! Thanks for sharing a personal illustration!