How To Have An Effective Quiet Time

In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. (Psalm  5:3, NIV)

My Bible and my coffee: perfect start to the day.
My Bible and my coffee: perfect start to the day.

Beginning my day with Jesus is more important for me than beginning my day with coffee.

I need you to pause and take that in. That is no small statement. Without coffee I cannot think, talk, or smile. So when I say Jesus is MORE important.....well then. Now you understand.

So I begin every day with Jesus.

Well, actually, I begin every day with making coffee. Then I sit down with the Word, my journal, and a blanket, and when the precious "beep, beep, beep" sounds to alert that coffee is done, I put it all aside and grab a cup. Then I sit down again, cuddle in, take a sip, and get back in the Word. Because while time with Jesus is better than coffee it is also better WITH coffee.[tweetthis]Because while time with Jesus is better than coffee it is also better WITH coffee.[/tweetthis]

Below are some of the keys to staying on course for a lifetime of regular time with the Lord.

Helpful Pointers:

  • Start with prayer and keep a journal "Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law." (Psalm 119:18)The Bible is full of wonder and mystery and treasure. Praying for the Lord to be with you and to reveal what He has for you today is key. Keeping journals for many years has been vital for me to remember what God shows me during my QT. The discipline also keeps my mind engaged. I can read through a whole chapter in the Bible only to realize I was thinking about something else the entire time. Like a computer with too many tabs open, this is very ineffective. Writing down insights- even mundane ones- keeps my mind focused. No one will ever read my journals but me, so I don't have to write to impress, or not write something out of embarrassment. 
  • Have a reading schedule. I have used many different plans over the years. I employ the word "plan" loosely. They are rarely written down or in an organized format to check off. I am such a list user and checker offer of things accomplished that I shy away from written plans with the Word. My plan can become my idol or even worse a task master that brings condemnation when I get behind. I prefer to choose a section and go through chapter by chapter. Right now I am in the Gospels. I have read Matthew and Mark, and am about halfway through Luke. Reading all the Gospels right after each other is giving me new insight into familiar passages.
  • Ban legalism Having a quiet time is not a requirement. It might be a responsibility. It is definitely a privilege and a delight.[tweetthis]A quiet time is not a requirement; maybe a responsibility; but definitely a privilege and delight.[/tweetthis] If you shackle your quiet time with guilt for a missed morning or a short session then you are missing the point. Once you HAVE to have a quiet time, the joy evaporates. It is like HAVING to spend time with your Great Aunt Ethel. We GET to spend time with the Lord. Enjoy it.
  • If you miss, just pick up where you left off. Along with banning legalism, you must also ban guilt. If you miss a day, or several days, or several weeks, just pick up where you left off and get going again. It has never been too long away to just pick up the Bible and dive back in again. Start where you were or start somewhere new entirely. Just start.

The old saying, "Slow and steady wins the race," applies here. Be in the Word consistently, steadily, persistently, diligently, obediently, humbly. It brings life to your soul, joy to your heart, enlightenment to your mind, and strength to your will.[tweetthis]The Word brings life to my soul, joy to my heart, enlightenment to my mind and strength to my will.[/tweetthis]