How Can I Improve My Daily Quiet Time?
- Gregg Farah Ask the Expert for Guys
- 2001 12 Feb
Q. I have trouble doing daily quiet times and praying consistently. I want to though. Can you help?
A. I love your heart. And just so you know, I have trouble too. I have times when I'm consumed with God and times when God has to reintroduce Himself to me.
Before I share thoughts from my own struggles, let me ask you a question: Why is this important to you?
Are you hungry for God, wanting to love Him and know Him in greater intimacy? Or do you feel like you're letting others down? You know, other people respect your walk with God, and so you may be trying to live up to their expectations, rather than being more concerned with what God thinks. That's pride, and Jesus addresses that kind of heart in Matthew 23:1-6
I'm guessing your motives are pure, and you're simply wanting to take the next step with God! But I can relate to that other motive ... the prideful one ... and it's ugly. Don't go there. Instead, here are some things that have helped me when I've struggled with spending time with God.
Don't Miss the Obvious!
Time with God is not a five-minute quiet time or even an hour. Time with God is a 24-hour lifestyle! Sure, there may be times in the day when we get away from our routine to pray or read or journal or sing or ... whatever. But we
need to worship God all the time, when we're in school, playing basketball, going to the movies, laughing with friends ... you get the idea.
Sometimes I'm motivated by accountability. Ask a friend to call you once a week to let you share what you've been reading and learning and what God has impressed on your heart during times of prayer. Ask this friend to
pray for you, to be open to what God wants to teach you.
Meet with a friend or two and pray for one another, for non-Christians, or whatever else is on your heart. Designate a place and time to meet and give it to God. Not only will you be motivated to grow closer to God, but your friendship with your prayer partner(s) will deepen.
Think About It
Pick one thing from your Bible reading that you can think about all day long. Write down that thought on an index card and stick it in your pocket. When you're walking between classes or have any time to think (30 seconds or so), pull out that card and read it. Let it soak into your brain. By the end of the day, you won't even have to look at the card ... you'll already be thinking about its message!
Mix It Up
Don't get stuck in a rut. There's more than one way to spend time with God. So try something completely different. Draw, journal, sing, take a walk ... whatever. Just do it while focusing on God.
In his excellent book, The Life You've Always Wanted, John Ortberg reminds us that "our primary task is not to calculate how many verses of Scripture we read or how many minutes we spend in prayer. Our task is to use these activities to create opportunities for God to work. Then what happens is up to Him."
God wants to spend time with you and use you to serve Him. Are you ready?
Check out these tips on How to Develop a Personal Prayer Life.