Steps to Developing a Regular Quiet Time With God
I created this 5-step process for our high school students to help them establish a daily quiet time with God. Christians, for more than 2,000 years, have been committed to the practice of getting alone with God on a regular basis for their own spiritual nourishment. It is the building block for having a personal relationship with God through Christ, and so I offer this up to anyone who may also find it helpful.
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, [Jesus] departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. (Mark 1:35)
STEP 1 – Pick a time
Quiet times don’t just happen. It’s important to choose a regular time to do it. Jesus got up early while everyone was still sleeping, and other times stayed up late to pray. A quiet time of 10 minutes is a great starting place, but 20-30 minutes is better. Some common times people choose are:
- First thing in the morning
- During lunch
- After school, right when you get home
- Right before bed
My quiet time will be: ________________________________________
STEP 2 – Choose a place
Jesus had a few favourite places to pray: on a mountain and in the Garden of Gethsemane. There was nothing special about these places, but they were spots that Jesus could be alone. Some ideas for you could be:
- In your bedroom
- At the kitchen table
- Your favourite chair or couch
- In a quiet hallway at school
- At a nearby park or coffee shop
My quiet time will take place: __________________________________
STEP 3 – Get rid of distractions
The key to a successful quiet time with God is getting rid of distractions. Distractions kill our focus and hinder us from really spending time with God. Here are some ideas for removing distractions:
- Choose a time and place where you are not likely to be bothered by other people
- Turn off notifications on your phone, iPod, or computer
- Turn off the TV
- Don’t have quiet times when you tend to be hungry or tired
- Don’t have quiet times when you are rushed for time
My most likely distractions will be: ______________________________
What I will do to remove them is: _______________________________
STEP 4 – Have a plan
Quiet times can look different for different people. There are some essentials and some other things you may want to include.
- Prayer is simply talking to God. Start by thanking God and asking for forgiveness. Then just say whatever is on your mind. It’s also good to ask God to help you be ready for the challenges you will face that day.
- Bible reading
- Some ideas: read the “verse of the day” on the YouVersion Bible app, or from one of their reading plans; read from a devotional book; read straight from the Bible (John, Ephesians, Philippians, Proverbs are good places to start).
- Ask questions like: What is this passage saying to me? What in my life needs to change? What about God am I not appreciating? What promise can I cling to? How am I living for myself instead of for God? How can I bless someone else?
- Write down what you are thinking, what you want to work on, re-write a verse that spoke to you, jot down prayer requests and answered prayers etc.
- Take time to praise God by singing to him.
- Choose a verse to memorize. Write it down on a card and read it several times a day.
- Book reading
- Read good Christian books or blogs.
- Listen to sermons or Christian podcasts online.
- Audio Bible
- Listen to the Bible on audio, using your computer or iPod/phone.
My quiet time(s) will include: __________________________________
I will start by reading: _______________________________________
STEP 5 – Engage the day
Quiet times with God are meant to get us ready to face the day. Some ways to help your quiet time really make a difference are:
- Try to memorize a phrase from your Bible reading time that will help you throughout the day
- Pray short prayers all day long
- Journal after your quiet time, and then later again how it affected your day