By: Rachelle Rea
“O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You, my body longs for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1 (NIV)
Have you ever gone a long while without a glass of water? Perhaps you forgot to throw your water bottle in your gym bag and were cotton-mouthed during your entire workout (not saying I’ve ever done that or anything). When you got home, you had never been so happy to see a glass of water in your life! You almost danced with glee as you plopped in the ice and tossed that refreshing wet stuff down your throat (definitely have never been in that situation, oh, no, not me).
Quiet times are a lot like that. After you’ve been running and panting, with no water bottle to supply relief, imagine the most refreshing, tallest, coldest glass of water you’ve ever tasted. Quiet times are when you focus your soul on what is most important: God. In other words, a quiet time means filling your soul with Living Water.
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, O God.” Psalm 42:1 (NIV)
What: What exactly is a quiet time? It is a sacred, special date with God in which you study His Word, worship Him, thank Him, pour out your heart to Him, and just sit quietly, allowing Him to speak to your heart. Quiet times are essentially times of fellowship with God.
Why: Spending time with God is absolutely essential to growing your heart closer to Him. Think about it. If you had a friend who you never spent time with and never talked to, would your friendship flourish or fade?
When: A lot of people have their quiet times early in the morning, before they start their day. Others find it works better for them to meet with God at night. Whichever time you prefer, just make sure you are awake and alert. I devote a few precious minutes (or a few precious hours) to meeting with God. Remember that when it comes to fellowship with the Lord, it is quality and not quantity that matters. Choose a time that works for you.
“I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.” Psalm 143:6 (NIV)
Where: You can have your quiet time anywhere. It is usually best to find a quiet place where you will be free from distraction and interruption (think turn off the phone, step away from the computer, and get quiet). I settle onto my bed or at my desk (sometimes even on the floor) as I set aside some special time just between me and the Lord. Again, it is up to you where you would be most comfortable to meet with God.
How: I usually start out with prayer. I ask God to help me find Him. I ask Him to bless this time together. I also usually have a devotional or Bible study guide that I am working through. With the aid of the devotional or study, I read His Word and study it by meditating, asking questions, and doing further research using a commentary or reading other verses on the same subject. I then have a time of prayer, in which I praise God, confess my sins, thank Him, and bring to Him my prayer requests.
Here is an outline for an effective quiet time:
1. Choose a time. Commit. Be consistent. If after a few days, you decide you’re not a morning person, switch to nighttime, or vice versa. But don’t give up! Remember this is your date with God; don’t stand Him up!
2. Don’t stress about the quantity of time. It’s not the quantity but the quality. After a while, you will enjoy your quiet times so much, you’ll be able to spend hours with Jesus.
3. Don’t be afraid of solitude and silence. They are the keys to a great quiet time. The phone may ring, the TV may beckon, and Facebook may call, but examine your priorities. Time with God is way more important than any of those things, isn’t it?
“One must get alone to find that he is never alone!” - Unknown
4. Open up your Bible and just read. Fold your hands and just pray.
Tip: Don’t worry so much about getting it “perfect!”
Be creative during your quiet time. Mix it up if you are bored with the devotional you are studying. Skip it for a few days and, instead, do a word study or follow a Bible reading plan. Try having your prayer time before your Bible study time and vice versa. Remember that this is your quiet time with God, not your quiet time with your quiet time. In other words, focus on the Lord. Worship Him. Praise Him. Pour out before Him your deepest soul. You will never regret getting into the habit of having a daily quiet time!
CHALLENGE: Commit to having a consistent daily quiet time for two weeks. Afterwards, evaluate your relationship with Christ. Did you grow closer to Him?
Book to Check Out: Teen Devotional Bible (New International Version)
© 2010 by Rachelle Rea. All rights reserved.
A college freshman, Rachelle Rea coaches gymnastics at her local YMCA. She loves blogging, walking, chocolate, and hanging out with friends. One thing that encourages her constantly is how God loves her in spite of how often she messes up. Her favorite verse is Ephesians 3:20 because through that verse, God reminds her to dream big because He dreams big!
For more from Rachelle, visit her blog at www.rosesdaringadventure.blogspot.com.