“The Word of God is not a self-help book nor a placebo to calm our fears. Neither is it a [self-help] guide to career success or greater effectiveness in ministry. It is, in truth, a love letter that invites us to be embraced by the Lover who wrote the letter. Sacred Scripture has tremendous power to free us from the mold the world squeezes us into. The God of the universe, who, in the beginning, shaped life into existence with spoken words, today speaks words meant to reshape our lives.” – Fil Anderson
Quiet time is an opportunity to be alone with God in silence and solitude, to spend some quality minutes in meditating on God’s Word and a privilege to pray in an unhurried manner. Developing this godly habit calls for humility, faithful obedience, focus and discipline.
For those who are just starting to learn to do this, here are some things that may help you make the most out of your quiet time:
- Set your motives right. Do not do this to impress others – this is for your own spiritual growth.
- Find a safe, comfortable spot that is conducive for a time of reflection.
- Make sure you have your Bible, journal, and a pen with you. It is important to write down your thoughts, reflections and personal action points as you do your quiet time.
- You may want to do your quiet time in this sequence. Check the recommended steps below:
- Sing a few songs of worship, and pray.
- Read the assigned passage for the day. Read it in context by reading the whole chapter. Do this twice or thrice, at an unhurried pace. If you are a beginner, I recommend that you start with the Gospels in the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). You may also use a devotional book (e.g. “Daily Bread”, “My Utmost for Highest”) as an initial guide.
- As you read along the Scripture passages, take note of important lines that catch your attention. It can be a repeated word/phrase, or it can be a line that has simply touched your heart. Mark it or write it down on your journal.
- As you study and reflect on the passage, ask these helpful questions. First, what is the passage saying? Then, you ask yourself: what can I learn about God in what I just read? Next, how does the passage’s principle/s relate to my current situation? Lastly, what is God leading me to do in the light of the passage I have reflected on?
- Write down your reflections and your initial action points.
- Close your quiet time in prayer.
- In addition, you may want to take this time to “process” your personal struggles as you reflect on a passage in focus. Admittedly, everyone goes through a trial of some sort in varied levels and in different areas of life. When we go through trials, I believe it is necessary for us to pause and prayerfully wrestle with these questions:
- Where is God is this situation? What is He doing?
- What is God teaching me? What does He want me to learn and do?
- Considering my answers to the first two questions, then how must I respond?
- Prayer is crucial in this whole process. At any point, take time to pause and pray.
- This is a safe and sacred time. Be honest with God and even with yourself.
- Above all, enjoy an unhurried time with the Lord.