Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Quiet Time


I promised I would share an example of what my own personal quiet time is like. I hesitate to do this, because I want people to understand that a quiet time is just that -- personal -- and it is going to vary from person to person and even from day to day in each person's life. Nevertheless, here's basically what I do.

My quiet time has three basic components: prayer, Bible reading, and Bible study.

I usually have my prayer time first. That works out better for me, because if I wait and do that last, or in the middle, things start to happen. The phone begins to ring, or someone needs me to do something. So I like to pray first, before the interruptions begin. As I mentioned, I have a time of confession, then a time of praising and worshiping God, then a time of praying about my character flaws and specific issues (areas that need work in my life), then a time of praying for the needs of others. You can find the details in my posts on using a prayer journal. I plan on a half hour for my prayer time. Occasionally it is more or less than that.

Next I have my Bible reading time. This can be done in many different ways, as I detailed in my post on Bible reading. I allow a half hour for my Bible reading; it often takes less time than that depending on the method I am using to read through the Bible.

Then, my Bible study time. Some days I don't have time to sit down and work on a Bible study, but I am studying my Bible each day anyway because I work every day on preparing my Sunday School lessons for the coming week. Again, there are many different ways of studying the Bible. One of the easiest is to use a Bible study book or booklet where you write out answers to questions. I highly recommend the Elizabeth George Bible studies. She has written studies on the life of Sarah, the life of Mary, Proverbs 31, and the books of Luke, Judges/Ruth, 1 Timothy, James, Esther, Philippians, 1 Peter, and Ephesians. (These are not expensive books. They're available at ElizabethGeorge.com, or you can find them on Amazon or CBD as well.) I have worked my way through Bible studies, literally inched my way through them one question at a time, and you can do the same. You don't need to block out large amounts of time for this.


The SOAP method of Bible study is also something that I highly recommend.  You can do this with just one or two verses at a time and it is incredibly helpful to your spiritual growth.  (I should add that some people don't think the SOAP method is a good idea because it can be easy to take verses out of context and miss their real meaning and application.  When I use this method, I always make sure that in observing the verse (the "O" in "SOAP) I look at the context and see who it's speaking to, the time frame, the verses before and after it, and more.) 

So that is my quiet time in a nutshell. Some days I will sing a hymn or chorus, particularly when I am praising God for one of His attributes or for His Word. I will find a song that fits with what I am praising Him for. Some days I will open my prayer time with a reading from a daily devotional book like Streams in the Desert,  just to set the tone for my quiet time.

In summer, I love to have my devotions outdoors or on the screened porch. In chilly weather, curling up with a cozy throw or in a rocker in front of a crackling fire makes for a nice quiet time. A cup of tea, hot cocoa or coffee is nice to sip on too.

I want to emphasize again that we are all at different ages and stages in our lives. I happen to have an empty nest and I also have the blessing of being a stay-at-home wife. Most mornings I do not need to be out of the house at an early hour. So I can take this luxuriously long time for my devotions. Many of you, I know, cannot. Especially you young moms with babies and toddlers. I want to emphasize to you not to beat up on yourselves because you don't have the time that I or someone else might have. This is not about designing the perfect format for your devotions. It's simply about spending time with your Lord each day. He knows all about your children, your responsibilities, and your schedule. If you can only take 5 minutes for each of these components to your quiet time -- and if those 5-minute segments are separated by an hour or more -- that's still fine. Start with 5 minutes. Then aim for more the next day, asking God to give you the time you need to spend with Him. The important thing is to spend that time with Him each day and to work at doing so consistently. As you do, the blessings will be so great that you will not want to miss a day. May God bless you all as you seek to implement a quiet time into your daily lives!

8 comments:

  1. My quite time like yours is so special to me and something I need everyday. This was a really good post...m.

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  2. I'm glad the post was a blessing to you, Mary. Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a thoughtful comment.

    Stop by my kitchen table anytime.

    God bless,
    Mrs.T

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  3. Hi, Thank you so much for coming over and linking up. I love it when I see you and your post was beautiful today. I am sure that you were a blessing.

    Just came in from working with my honey on a fence this evening. A storm was rolling by, but missed us. It doesn't look like rain, unless something builds up. We so need rain!

    Well good night. It is getting to be that time.
    Blessings, Linda

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  4. My quiet time is really simple. It's just reading through the Bible in a year. I do take notes as things pop out at me. Then when I have time, I go back to those notes and like to expand a little further :) :) Thanks for sharing what you do for your queit times :) :) I'm visiting from Linda's blog Prairie Flower Farm. I'm also participating in the "Building Our Homes Together" series :) :)Isn't it fun? I think it's really neat :) :) Have a lovely rest of the week Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

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  5. Thank you for sharing your time with our Lord.

    Now that I am working outside the home (ran a home daycare for 20 years and now I'm out in the 'real' world,lol)..when I have an early shift (6:30 or 7 a.m.) I make a point of getting up a half hour earlier so I can still spend time with our Father.

    This time each morning is what gets me to be able to go about my day with a joy filled heart.People are always commenting to me..'your always so happy'..Well of course I am..I'm a daughter to a King..and not just any king..but the KING of kings and the LORD of lords..Sure there are days when the storms are raging around us, but that does not mean it has the control to steal our joy..for Jesus is at the helm...I'm the passenger. God IS in control..Be still and KNOW that I am God..Ok Father,,I'm being still in Your presence, even though the squalls of the storms are raging all around me.

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  6. So nice to see you all here, ladies! Thanks so much for taking the time to come by and leave such insightful comments.

    Linda -- thanks for making this possible. I'm finding it very encouraging and I think others are too.

    Heather -- reading through the Bible is wonderful! I read somewhere that only a very small percentage of Christians ever read the Bible all the way through. So you are in a select but very blessed group as you do this!

    Angela -- I think home day care (at least for me) would be every bit as much of a challenge as a job in the "real world". Thanks for your insights on keeping our eyes on the Lord and not on our circumstances. A good reminder for all of us!

    God bless,
    Mrs.T

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  7. I enjoyed your post, Mrs. T, and meeting you through "Building Our Homes..." I paged through your dishtowel posts, because I so love making dishtowels! You're very creative. I'll be sure to come back. ;o)

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  8. Kathleen,

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment! There may be a few dish towel posts which I have not labeled yet. I'm still working on adding labels to all of my older posts. You might also like to visit my Christmas blog, Mrs. T's Christmas Kitchen. Lots of crafts and recipes there as well.

    I greatly enjoyed my visit to your blog and will definitely be visiting again.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    God bless,
    Mrs.T

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Thanks so much for stopping by to visit my kitchen table! I love company here in my kitchen, so be sure to leave a comment so I'll know you've visited! I'll answer your questions and comments here on the blog unless you request otherwise.