How to Plan the Perfect Quiet Time
- Sarah Frazer Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- Published Feb 01, 2022
When I was a child, I was obsessed with perfection. To say I was a perfectionist would have been an understatement. My brain could not do any type of work unless my entire room was cleaned and straightened up. Over the years I’ve slowly been letting go (painfully) of being perfect. The road hasn’t been easy, and I still have days where I get anxious about messes in my home.
This perfectionism also affected my ability to have a quiet time with God. My Bible reading and prayer time always needed to be perfect. The house had to be quiet and my journals had to be lined with the same color pen. My Bible reading plan needed all of the boxes checked.
I’m not sure when my life shifted, but somewhere around child number four, I realized having the “perfect” quiet time would not be possible. I gave up having a quiet house (unless I woke up super early). My heart felt torn because I wished for that perfect scenario, but reality hit every morning when I would hear their footsteps down the hall. My life didn’t slow down and as my children grew, I realized I couldn’t wait until they were grown and out of the house before I spent time with God.
Instead of giving up because life isn’t perfect, I’ve learned the secret to having the perfect quiet time.
The Secret to Having a Perfect Quiet Time
The unspoken rule about the perfect quiet time is that there is no perfect-looking way to spend time with God. We all live in a messy world with messy emotions, messy houses, and messy people. No amount of planning, wishing, demanding, or dreaming will set up the perfect scenario. The secret is to let go of perfection and embrace the mess.
Don’t get me wrong, I wipe the crumbs off the table before I set my lukewarm coffee next to my Bible. My colored pens no longer match and sometimes I don’t even have a Bible reading plan. The Bible journal next to me is filled with messes. The secret is that none of those really matter when it comes to connecting with God.
What is quiet time anyway? At the core, it is a time we connect with God through prayer and Bible reading. Are we searching for the perfect spot, missing the opportunity to connect? For years I didn’t even crack my Bible because my life was busy, which lead to weariness. It took a desperate time of heartache within our family to push me to meet with God - no matter the state of my home or heart.
All you really need is a Bible and a willing heart. Sure, it is nice to have a cup of coffee or tea and a quiet house. But spending time with God isn't’ about all the extra stuff. Being with God is just about His Word and speaking to His in prayer.
Some things in our life are out of our control. Expecting interruptions, making do with the materials we own, and spending even just 10 minutes reading the Bible is the secret to really having the perfect quiet time. If you are still struggling, maybe there is one more thing you need.
One Thing You Need Today
That one more thing is a plan. A plan makes things easier when you are looking to develop a habit. One thing I’ve learned as I searched for the perfect quiet time is to make as many decisions as I can before I even open my Bible.
I’m a planner-loving girl! I love buying planners, I am in LOVE with organizing and planning… but that’s just how my brain is wired. I think we all benefit from plans!
- When we want to run a 5K, we make a training plan.
- When we want to learn how to do a new skill, we plan how to accomplish it.
- When we want to have more meals at home, we write up a meal plan.
But if I’m honest, I have a hard time planning my quiet time. So many times, I wake up early and find myself staring at Scripture without a clue as to what to study! I read a passage in the Old Testament, a Psalm or Proverb, then passage in the New Testament. Maybe sometimes I’ll read through an entire book, but if I’m not being guided by someone it feels so pointless.
That is why I developed this guide to help you plan the perfect quiet time! It walks you through five questions to ask before you even begin. After deciding these five things it takes the mystery out of each day. When you wake up tomorrow, you can know how to meet with God! What works for me might not work for you. But with these questions, you can make the best plan for yourself.
The 5 Questions to Ask
1. Where do I read in the Bible? Genesis. The book of beginnings would be a great place to start. This book is filled with stories that will keep you interested! Psalms. The book of Psalms is a book of songs. The Gospel of John. I love this gospel. John is said to be like a pool that is deep enough for an elephant to swim and a child to wade. It is both deep and clear. Simple and profound. It is a great place to start as you discover who Jesus is.
2. How long can I spend? 15 minutes? 30 Minutes? An hour? 10 minutes? After you determine where to read, you need to determine how much time you have to give. Before you figure out what to read, figure out the set amount of time. This will change over time, but give yourself at least 15-20 minutes each day to get started. You might do less on some days (or more!) But if you set your timer on your phone and stick to what you’ve pre-decided you are more apt to go over than under.
3. What should I do? A chapter is about 3-5 minutes. So do the math! If you have 15 minutes you can read three chapters. If you have more time, you might want to still just read for 15 minutes and then journal the rest of the time. This is also a great time to pray.
4. What do I write down in my notebook? First, you can write out God’s Word – just simply copy the words into your notebook. This is a great practice to get into as it slows us down and we can really dive into a scripture passage. Second, you could also write your questions. You will have questions – but that’s ok! As you read, write them down and maybe the next day you look up the passages in scripture in commentaries or online. Third, you could also write down your prayer requests or your entire prayers out to God.
5. How do I end my time? Prayer! I would highly recommend praying before and during your Bible reading time, but if you don’t, at least pray at the end! No matter what – ask God to speak to your heart and ask the Spirit to remind you of the words you read throughout your day.
Get this guide for free here and go plan your perfect quiet time!
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Sinenkiy
Sarah E. Frazer is a writer, Bible study mentor, wife of Jason, and mother of five. With a background in missionary work, Sarah encourages the weary woman to find peace in Jesus. She is a regular contributor to the Proverbs 31 First 5 app writing team as well as a featured writer for Crosswalk.com. Her favorite place to hang out is Instagram at @sarah_e_frazer.
LISTEN: Three Common Obstacles to Understanding the Bible
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
WATCH: 5 Verses on Strength for When You Feel Weak
Video stock video and music probided by SoundStripe