3 Tips to Prioritize Your Quiet Time during the Busy Holiday Season
- Laura Bailey Author of Beyond the Noise
- Updated Nov 16, 2023
Does anyone else struggle to maintain their quiet time during the Holiday season? Keeping a consistent quiet time year-round is a challenge. Add in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, and I find it nearly impossible to read my Bible daily. Often, my prayers are regulated to a few sentences before I fall asleep. The holidays, with reminders of thanksgiving and the birth of our Savior, should drive us into a deeper communion with our Heavenly Father. But, more often than not, the season's busyness and the obligations we can see take priority over our spiritual health. Please know in writing this article, my hope is not to shame but to encourage you, as I encourage myself not to neglect meeting with God this holiday season.
The Lord looks out our hearts; He desires His children to spend time with Him out of gratitude, not obligation. Reading your Bible doesn’t get you an extra gold star by your name, but its Truth-filled words will help guide and direct your path. Remembering to make your requests known to God doesn’t mean that He will grant all your desires, but does it help us not forget our Creator. May we keep Christ at the forefront of our minds this Christmas and all year around as we seek to prioritize our time with our Heavenly Father.
1. Make a Plan
The words of your high school guidance counselor were never truer than when applied to your quiet time, “failure to plan is planning to fail.” I do not advocate that your devotional time needs to be at the same time every day, but I would argue that just like making time for working out and slaying your task lists, you need to plan out your quiet time. The best way to do this is by consistently having your quiet time at the same time every day.
And yes, sorry for you non-morning people, but the best time is first thing in the morning. Why? It is the least likely time you will be interrupted, as the day's distractions won't derail you from getting it done. But if you can’t muster getting up earlier, think of pockets of your day you could spend with God.
Do you have a long commute? Listen to the Bible on your way to work. There are numerous applications for the Bible on audio and various podcasts that will unpack the Scripture. Take your Bible with you to work and read on your lunch break. It’s not the quantity but the quality. Even if you only have 15 minutes, in those 15 more minutes, you fill your heart and mind with God’s word.
Do you pick up your kids from school? Bring your Bible study and go through it in the car line. I have three girls, and our days are packed; throw in holiday plays, church musicals, parties, and various events, we are stressed for time. But, sometimes, I waste time on silly things, like social media or googling unimportant information. Scan your schedule and carve out time to meet with God; it’s the best use of time in your day.
2. Grab a Friend
The New York Times published an article that shared the importance of accountability when sticking to a new habit or achieving a goal. Simply put, when people are watching or an application tracks us, we are likelier to stick with something. Just one friend is enough to hold me accountable, but if you want more, join a small group or start your own. Share your intentions with the group, schedule a follow-up, and get started.
For example, you have four friends who want to read through a devotion you found on Advent (this is one of my favorites). Let them know where to purchase the book and how long it takes to read, ponder, and pray each day, and then set a time that everyone will “check” and let the group know they read.
Accountability takes many forms, so if you prefer to join a group on Facebook or log your time through an application, that’s great, too. I like to set a reminder after dinner, when I would typically snuggle down with a good book or watch a show with my husband, to remind me, if I hadn’t that day, to take time with the Lord.
3. Grace over Legalism
Having a plan and securing accountability are great tools to keep us on track during the holiday season. But, resist the temptation to lean too far into a legalistic approach to your quiet time, and remember God’s grace. We can not earn our salvation, nor can we earn favor with God. We must resist the urge to let our works indicate our right standing before God. We are justified not by what we have done, our sacrifice, but by God’s mercy and Christ’s sacrifice.
It is essential to prioritize Scripture study, but let’s remember why we are setting aside time to meet with the Lord. The Bible is God’s love letter to His people; every time we open the Scriptures, we learn more about who God is and fill our hearts and minds with Truth. We fight spiritual battles every day, and the only way we can be prepared is by equipping ourselves with Scripture.
God invites us into conversation and communion with Him through prayer. Prayer shouldn’t be seen as a chore but a gift from a gracious God who wants a personal relationship with us. Don’t regulate your prayers to “just another thing to do.” Instead, take a minute and think about how the God of the universe wants you to talk to Him.
This holiday season, let’s shift our perspective from time with the Lord, studying the Scriptures, and meditating on God’s word from something we do to something we get to do. And like everything else, where we spend our time will show what we love. May we prepare Him room this Christmas and make time for worship of our Savior.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/SDI Productions
This article is part of our larger Thanksgiving Resource Library. Learn about the first Thanksgiving, what Thanksgiving means in the Bible, how to get along with your family, and ways you can make this celebration more meaningful.
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