Imagine that you've been invited to meet with the President of the United States in the Oval Office. You'd likely look forward to your appointment with great excitement. Now imagine that someone much more exciting - the God of the universe - wants to meet with you personally. This scenario is true; God really does want to meet with you, and He wants to do so every single day through a private quiet time together.
Those appointments with God should be a source of great joy for you. But unfortunately, quiet times can sometimes seem too intimidating to schedule or maintain regularly. Here are some ways you can enjoy your appointments with God:
- Think about how much God loves you, and expect to be blessed as a result of spending time with Him. View your quiet times as cherished meetings with someone you love.
- Realize that the more time you spend with God, the greater the intimacy you'll develop with Him. Although the idea of a daily quiet time might seem awkward at first because you might not know what to say or how to recognize God's voice, after a while, you'll look forward to the appointment because it will be like meeting with your best friend.
- Set aside a consistent time every day to meet with God. Choose a time at which you're most alert and can block out distractions. Although many people choose first thing in the morning after waking up, the afternoon or evening can also work. Try starting out with a half-hour quiet time, and after you've developed greater intimacy with God, increase that time to an hour. It usually takes about five to ten minutes during the start of your quiet time to clear your mind enough to focus fully on God, so don't rush your quiet time. But don't schedule so much time that you become overwhelmed and lose your motivation to continue.
- Designate a special place in which you can meet privately with God. The place can be either indoors or outdoors, such as a home office or a garden.
- Relax! Don't feel pressured to perform certain rituals during your quiet time; there is no one "right" way to conduct a quiet time. Think about what activities best draw you into God's presence, then go with those. \
- Seek God Himself rather than anything He might give you. Know that God will meet you where you are and reveal much about Himself to you if you're sincerely seeking Him.
- Consider following a Bible reading plan during your quiet times. Then ask God to help you apply the verses you read to your everyday life. Meditate on Scripture and memorize it so it will renew your mind.
- Worship God in some way during your quiet times. Thank Him for His work in your life and praise Him for who He is. If you like, sing a worship chorus or hymn as part of your devotions.
- Ask God to reveal hidden areas of sin in your life, and make a habit of confessing your sins to God during your quiet time. Then receive His forgiveness and grace to do better. Invite God to use your quiet times to powerfully transform you.
- Pray for your own needs and desires, and intercede for others. Don't give up; God will answer you in the best way at the best time.
- Pray against evil in your life and the lives of other people.
- Ask for the Holy Spirit to fill you during your quiet time to give you fresh strength and grace each day.
- Consider fasting occasionally to help you focus more on God.
- Consider writing down your thoughts, feelings, and prayers in a journal during your quiet time to more clearly express them. Read through our ongoing journal to see how God has been working in your life.
Adapted from An Appointment with the King: Ideas for Jump-Starting Your Devotional Life, copyright 2002 by Joel Comiskey. Published by Chosen Books, a division of Baker Book House Co., Grand Rapids, Mich., www.bakerbooks.com, 1-800-877-2665.
Joel Comiskey, Ph.D., has served as a full-time missionary to Ecuador. He and his wife, Celyce, have three daughters.
Do you schedule a daily quiet time with God? If so, how does it help you draw closer to Him? If not, what challenges do you face that discourage you from scheduling or consistently maintaining a daily quiet time?