As we dip our toes into the grand, warm waters of summertime, a mixture of relief and laid-backness kicks in. Weeks either drift by lazily or rush around you like a surging river before cascading down the waterfall into autumn– the last place you may want to go.
As you ponder what to do with some of your new-found freedom, might I make I suggestion?… I think you should spend at least a good chunk of it dedicated to getting to know God better (He is, after all, your Creator!). “Now, wait just a minute,” some of you may be saying.
“I don’t know the first thing about doing devotions or having a quiet time.”
“It’s just too loud at my place– I can barely think, let alone get to a quiet spot with God!”
“I’m sorry, but I just don’t think I’ve the time– job, summer school, family, friends, Church… I’m booked!”
Wait, wait, wait. Hold EVERYTHING. This is important stuff I’m talking about. Remember how I said that God should be number 1 in all that we do? And that we need to seek His guidance in all we do? How are we going to get to get to know Him better if we don’t give Him the time of day– the time which, BTW, HE very graciously gave to US?
A relationship with God is like any other relationship, only more important– like other relationships, it requires communication. Open communication. Effort to getting to know and understand each other on both parties’ ends (since God knows you better than you know yourself– Psalm 139 for ya–it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get to know Him better, too. He’s a pretty cool Maker.). And trust.
Don’t worry, I’m not saying your above concerns aren’t relevant; I’ll be addressing them in this post as well as giving you ideas and tips for how to make your own quiet time with God, and do it consistently.
- Don’t think you have time? MAKE time. Turn that alarm clock on a bit earlier so you can spend a few minutes with God each morning, or make it a habit to do a few minutes before bed each night. Not a morning person? Or too exhausted before bed? Cut back–way back– on TV, social media, or Internet surfing to MAKE time for God. He’s more important than your daily media intake! Remember, you were blessed with 24 hours in each day– that’s a LOT of time, and hopefully this can help you to time-budget better. Even if you can only do 15 minutes out of 24 hours a day with God, it’s still appreciated.
- Too loud? Maybe you live in a big city, or maybe your family’s loud. I’d recommend a pair of earplugs… just kidding. If it’s really tough for you to find a nice, quiet corner of your room, a shed or backyard, try settling for distant background noise, as long as it’s not obnoxiously interrupting you. Try an open closet (make it comfy first– a beanbag chair, some blankets, and a Bible will do. And maybe a flashlight, if you’d rather close the doors for privacy reasons. ) or even (this may sound a little awkward) having quiet time while you’re bathing (what? You can sing to God in the shower, and you can also picture Him literally washing your sins away as you pray. Foolproof.).
As for the other question, well, I’ll get into that right now.
A quiet time, aka sometimes devotions, is basically spending time with God. It can be kept short, simple, and sweet, or be long, drawn out and intense. Either way, it should be kept very special. Here are things I’d recommend for doing a lil one-on-one with your Creator:
Bible (I use NKJV and NIV, but I’m not picky 🙂 As long as it’s God’s Word, I’m cool with it.)
Devotional (to help you with mini sermons, selected Scripture readings, etc. Some may also have daily Bible reading plans, which I enjoy doing. If you are interested in a daily Bible reading plan I recommend looking into the devo series, “Our Daily Bread”. As a teen, I used to read “DevoZine” a devotional mag for teens and by teens, specifically on all kinds of topics. Right now I’m trekking through “Streams in the Desert: for Graduates”.)
Journal (or as we call them– Prayer Journals! Go to a store like TJMaxx or Marshall’s for one; they’ve some nice ones! You can use this to write out prayers to God; mine are basically letters. You can request things of Him, but be sure to also thank and praise Him for his goodness. The journal is helpful in the sense that you can keep track of your requests and how He’s answered so far… it may also help give you a sense of where He wants you next.)
Highlighter (Whoa! Did that verse just spring up at me, or what?! Be sure to mark and highlight those key verses, and maybe also record them in your prayer journal.)
Comfy chair (I use a plush butterfly chair, but lounge chairs, beanbags, and recliners are nice, too… just don’t fall asleep in the latter!)
Optional but still important: List of prayer needs and praises. (Or you could get creative, like in the movie, “War Room,” and make a sticky note War Wall/Room of your own!)
Also optional: Candle or another scented thingie. If you like to burn incense outdoors as a part of your worship, go ahead– God fully approves (they did it way back in Old and New Testament times, after all!), and those incense stick thingies are pretty big right now (just be sure you know how to use them first). Me, I keep it simple and use a Rainmate IL, which I unintentionally won at a drawing (a scent diffuser). You don’t even have to use holy scents like frankincense or whatever; I use ones that smell to me of refreshing sanctity (I use mandarin rosewood scent, lavender juniper scent, or tea tree mint scent and leave the Rainmate on, humming faintly with its beautiful scent as I pray and worship.). Again, scent is optional, but I highly recommend it if you can/want to because scent has a powerful, soothing, wonderful, moving effect on people and it’s pleasing to God.
How to Go About Doing Your Quiet Time:
The best part about quiet times is that there’s no particular order that you have to do things in, although I’d recommend starting off by praying and ending also in prayer. You can sing songs of praise, journal your heart out to God and tell Him what’s been eating you lately, read your devotional for the day, look up Scripture. I would also recommend getting a Study or Concordance Bible, so if you’re looking for His will in something particular, you can look up a key word, and it’ll direct to to whatever verses you need (cool, huh?). If you’re at a loss for what to say to God, try using the Lord’s Prayer as a model guide: Start off by praising Him for His Goodness and Holiness, ask for His Will to be done, and also for guidance; repent of any sin, and also ask for courage to forgive those that may have wronged you, as well. Finish the prayer by asking Him to help you overcome temptation or whatever obstacle life’s thrown your way. Don’t forget– when you’re praying, also allow for extended moments of silence so God can respond. Don’t rush; be patient. Don’t get frustrated if He doesn’t respond right away.
This is just a model idea of what you can do during quiet time. You can also worship Him and praise Him by using your talents, such as drawing and painting, or even writing poetry. Don’t be afraid to get creative in praising and worshiping God! The important part is that you’re spending time together with Him, and learning about Him and His Will for your life.
If you have any other ideas for quiet times or suggestions, I’d love to hear them as well; the comments section is always open. 🙂 And for those who’ve tried it out– lemme know how it went!
“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Matt. 6:6, NKJV
Image Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/471611392199681124/