How to Have a Quiet Time with God
Paul TautgesPaul Tautges serves as senior pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in suburban Cleveland, Ohio, having previously pastored for 22 years in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Paul has authored eight books including Counseling One Another, Brass Heavens, and Comfort the Grieving, and contributed chapters to two volumes produced by the Biblical Counseling Coalition. He is also the consulting editor of the LifeLine Mini-Book series from Shepherd Press. Paul is a Fellow with ACBC (Association of Certified Biblical Counselors). He and his wife, Karen, are the parents of ten children (three married), and have two grandchildren. Paul enjoys writing as a means of cultivating discipleship among believers and, therefore, blogs regularly at Counseling One Another.
- 2016 Nov 23
Some Bible-believing Christians call it My Quiet Time; others refer to it as “having my devotions.” Regardless of what name you attach to it, one of the most common disciplines for believers who are hungry for spiritual growth is a daily (ideally), personal time with God. To encourage personal worship, as a spiritual discipline, I have taught through the following Bible study outline many times over the past 25 years. Perhaps you will find it encouraging and helpful, too.
Definition of a quiet time: A quiet time is an unhurried time of intimate fellowship with the Lord during which the Spirit speaks to us through the Word, the Bible, and we speak to our heavenly Father through prayer.
- This demands that we be a listener (Psalm 27:8).
- This demands that we be a learner (Luke 11:1).
- This demands that we be a pray-er (1 Thess 5:16-18).
Examples of people who practiced quiet times: Consider two examples of prominent men who maintained regular times of fellowship with God. And most exemplary of all, of course, is the Son of God. If Jesus the Son of God "needed" to spend quiet time alone with his Father, how much more do we?
Benefits of a quiet time: There are many benefits to a regular time of personal worship. Consider the following, for example.
- It helps to give an eternal perspective to your day (Col. 3:2).
- It provides spiritual food for growth (Matt. 4:4; Heb. 5:12-14; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).
- It enables you to seek God’s guidance (Ps 119:105).
- It may keep you from sin (Ps 119:11).
- It brings joy to your discouraged heart (Ps 16:11).
- It provides fresh spiritual water to renew your mind (Rom 12:1-2; Eph 5:26; Phil 4:8).
- It provides a regular time for self-examination (Heb. 4:12; 2 Cor. 13:5).
- It encourages confession and, thereby, helps you to keep short accounts with God (1 Jn 1:9; Ps 51:1-7).
- It keeps you walking in step with the Spirit (Rom 8:5; Eph 5:18; Col 3:16).
Hindrances to having a consistent quiet time: When it comes to keeping this daily habit, multiple other activities compete for our attention and our flesh fails in so many ways. Consider five examples of hindrances.
- Laziness (Prov 13:4; 2 Pet. 1:5).
- Lack of spiritual appetite (1 Pet 2:2).
- Other books (Eccl 12:12).
- Pet sins (Ps 66:18).
- Busyness (Luke 10:38-39).
Practical suggestions: Here are some action steps...
- Put this time into your daily schedule.
- Find a quiet place, free from distractions.
- Work out an agreement with your spouse that you need this time.
- Have someone hold you accountable.
- Use a written prayer list or journal.
- Write our memory verses on 3x5 cards.
These are just a few suggestions to get you going or restart an old habit that has died. Whatever pattern you find successful for you is the way to go. The key is to be regularly feeding your soul with the Word and talking to the Lord in prayer.
*This post was originally published at Counseling One Another.