Hey, friend! Whether you’re here because you’re wanting to create a new rhythm this year, or you’re just realizing something needs to change, I’m so excited you’re wanting to prioritize time with God!
Maybe you’re assuming that you’ll need to wake up an hour earlier to get some Bible reading in (and that’s stressing you out). Maybe you’ve tried some reading plans in the past and haven’t been successful. And you just want this time to be different.
Well, I’m here to give you my top three recommendations for making this attempt the most successful one yet.
Before we jump in, I just want to be clear. There’s no right or wrong way to have a quiet time. Sure, there are some best practices… Pray, read the Bible, meditate on what you’ve read… But that’s not the end-all-be-all.
You may enjoy adding music to the mix. (Quiet time doesn’t necessarily = silent time.) You may want to use a Bible study guide or a prayer guide. Other people may want to be more free. The point is to figure out what’s going to work for you, help you connect with God, and make your time enjoyable.
So, with that here are my top three tips for having a successful quiet time.
- HAVE A PLAN
It definitely seems like you should be able to just open your Bible and have God speak directly to your soul (someday I’m going to ask Him why that doesn’t always happen…) But you really need to have a plan. It doesn’t have to be crazy involved, but it does have to exist.
If you’re totally unsure of what to do, then here’s a recommendation: Grab a notebook and a pen. If you have a Bible, great! If not, download the youversion Bible app or head to biblegateway.com, and you’ll be able to read like a gazillion different translations of the Bible there. Pick either the NIV or NLT (those are really easy to read) and read the book of John. Not 1 John, 2 John, or 3 John… I know, it’s confusing at first. But just find the book of John (it’s toward the beginning of the New Testament) and read it. Go at your own pace each day, and just right down in your notebook what sticks out to you. What questions do you have? What verses are super cool? Write it all down, and at the end of your time say a quick prayer. Something like this will work: “God, thank you for this time in your word today. Help me to understand what I read. In Jesus’ name, amen.“
- BE REALISTIC
If you’re already super busy, maybe don’t commit to reading the entire Bible this year. If you have little kids that aren’t on a regular schedule, maybe don’t assume you’ll be able to sit down for an hour of peace and quiet each morning.
Be honest with yourself about where you’re at in this season of life, and make a plan that makes sense for you. If you’re super busy, but have a long commute to work, you could listen to the Bible in your car. If you have little kids, just set a goal of reading the Bible sometime before you go to bed. If it’s in the morning, great. In the afternoon, fantastic.
The point is to know that God will meet you where you are. Don’t try to make your life something it’s not. You’ll be setting yourself up for disappointment, and nobody wants that.
- TELL SOMEONE
Once you have a realistic plan, tell someone. I like to tell everyone I live with, so they know what my new priority is. I’ve found that when I try to set any type of new goal I’m way more successful when my family’s on board. If you live alone, you could tell a friend or coworker.
Bonus tip: It’s even better if you can find an accountability partner – someone who will check in on you and keep you on track.
That’s it! If that didn’t quite give you what you were looking for, then let me know in a comment. If you want tangible recommendations for prayer, Bible studies, quiet-time tactics, or anything else I’d be happy to help where I can.
And if you have any other suggestions… tips that have helped you be more successful in your own quiet times with God, then please share with us!
God, please help us all to figure out a plan that’ll work in our current season of life. I pray that you would encourage us when things don’t quite go to plan, and give us all a yearning to come back to you day after day. Thank you so much for meeting us where we’re at. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Because there’s a better way,
Sarah (and Trent)