Quiet time. It’s something you hear a lot about and I love learning about how different people approach their quiet time. I regularly spend time with the Lord but when I first began meeting with the Lord, I didn’t know what I “should” be doing. It turns out there is no special formula and there are a lot of good approaches, so here’s how my time goes.
For my quiet time in the morning, I use a structured Bible Study. Currently, I am doing Breaking Free by Beth Moore. In the evening, I generally read a chapter in the book I am studying. I have been alternating between the Old and New Testament to help me fully understand the Bible and to make sure I am not neglecting reading all of the Word. For example, I finished Luke in the NT and switched back to Leviticus in the OT. Once I am done with Leviticus, I will go to John. This also helps keep me from getting overwhelmed with some of the material in the OT.
To do my quiet time, I bring:
- My English Standard Version (ESV) Bible,
- My Bible Study workbook, if applicable,
- A pencil, pen,
- My non-fiction Christian book, and
- My journal.
The only truly necessary thing is a Bible and a willing heart, so please do not put off your quiet time thinking you need lots of materials!
I am going to be discussing how I do my personal quiet time, not the structured Bible Study, since they generally give you the format to follow.
I begin by trying to quiet my thoughts and then I turn to my bookmarked location.
- First reading: I read the passage (usually one to two chapters only) to get a general understanding of what I’m reading.
- Second reading: I read it again and this time, I underline/make notes. Personally, I love writing and underlining things in my Bible. It helps me really study and understand the material.
- Third Reading: I read it this time with my study notes on the bottom of the page and make additional notes as needed based on the information I have gathered from the footnotes. I used to just read it once and underline/make notes then but I realized I wasn’t getting much out of my time and was missing a lot of things.
I only read one or two chapters at a time because I found when I read more, I wasn’t actually learning anything. I could brag about how I read the book of ____ but I could barely tell you anything about it.
- Memory Verses: Our church does monthly memory verses, so when I am done with my reading I try to review and recite them. I don’t do this on a daily basis but more often on a weekly basis. This helps me to engrave scripture on my heart and has helped me grow a lot.
- Christian non-fiction: Sometimes, I read from a non-fiction Christian book, if time and energy levels allow. I’m currently reading Joyce Meyer’s Power Thoughts.
- Prayer Journal: Once I conclude my reading, I turn to my prayer journal. If you don’t keep a prayer journal, I highly recommend you try. It is amazing to see God working in your life and sometimes it’s so subtle that you’d miss it if it weren’t written down. For example, I prayed for an opportunity to serve and was hoping to do so in an orphanage here. Exactly one month later, I was introduced to a Dutch missionary who organizes visits to the local orphanages. I didn’t remember my prayer request until I was flipping back through my journal.
People have different approaches to prayer journals. Prayer is simply talking to God. I talk to Him about what’s going on in my life and I pray for family, friends, my church, myself and whatever’s on my heart. It doesn’t have to be fancy – it just has to be honest.
How is your quiet time structured? Do you keep a prayer journal? Is there anything you’d like to know more about? Let me know what you thought about this post; I love hearing from you all!