HomeQuiet Time
Ready, Steady, Slow! Part 2

How do I plan a Quiet Time?

First thoughts

Quiet Time is not just the absence of noise and movement but much more. Someone who is alone all day and lonely may have quiet in which to live but it is not a life giving tool to them. Quiet Time, as the subject we are looking at here, is one of the very important tools that every Christian needs to get to grips with in order to grow and strengthen their walk with God.

This is the second of three articles and we will look at some of the practicalities of how to go about having an effective Quiet Time.



Start a new habit

There are many things that we do every day. Some of those things we do because we want to and we could survive doing them less frequently. I wash my hair every day but I might be able to get away with doing it every other day. I do it every day because I believe it is better like that. I could think of lots of other things to do with that time but I use my time like this because I want to do it. The same is true for spending some sit–down time with God each day. If we want to do it we will find the time. If we don’t really want to do it then other things will easily fill that time. Choose to spend your time with God and make a habit of it. Set it a s priority over other things rather than waiting until you have a few spare moments to squeeze it in. You will benefit far more that way.


Let us pray together.

Heavenly Father, there are so many calls on my time and so many choices to make about what I do. Help me to choose to spend good time with you each day. Amen.



Take advice about Bible Study Notes

In the Ready, Steady, Slow Part 1 I have indicated that we will be spending our time communicating with God in various areas of life and in reading the Bible. If you are not in the habit of reading the Bible you may find it helpful to use Bible Study Notes. Some churches produce their own for their members but in the main you may need to find some.

There are many types of Bible study notes available. Some have a more academic slant, some are more creative in their outlook, some cover the basics of the faith for new Christians, some give a short thought for the day, some a page of challenging notes—and many in between. Some are freely available some need purchasing. Some are available on the internet (choose carefully).

How do you find some for you?—I suggest you ask people you know. Your church leader may be knowledgeable as may some of your friends and acquaintances. Your nearest Christian bookshop will have a selection available and will tell you about them and let you have a little look before you buy. Some organisations may give you free sample leaflets if you contact them directly.

The booklets are usually dated and cover a few months at a time. If you find you don’t like the one you bought this time don’t give up, try another next time.

Estimate how much time you can find

Decide before hand the minimum amount of time you can realistically find in your day if you are someone who has never been in the habit of spending sit-down time with God before. If you are totally new to this, aim to spend at least 7 minutes a day. That would give you two minutes to read a Bible verse and a few notes on it and five minutes to spend in prayer. It is a starting point and hopefully you will easily be able to build up from there. The more the better but be realistic about your time in the long term. Don’t push yourself to an hour for two days and then give up altogether because you can’t sustain it in the long term. One of my favourite mottos is “something is better than nothing.” Start with a little ‘something’ you can realistically keep up.


Let us pray together

Loving God, I make time for my friends and I want to make time for you. I pray that we will enjoy each other's company in our special time together. Amen.


Adopt a favourite place

Be purposeful in your Quiet Time. Choose to sit somewhere where you can focus on the job you have set your sights on. If you intend to write notes in a note book or your Bible you may want to sit at a desk. When my brother and sisters and I were young my mother tells us she used to sit in the play pen when she wanted space leaving us children to our activities around the house. This may be where you are at right now! You may want to sit on your bed, or in an arm chair. Try not to make it too comfy as you may be tempted to doze off when you didn’t mean to. By all means pray while you go out for a walk if you like but I think this disconnects you from your Bible reading time. This can be a shame because sometimes God wants to bring the two together to answer your prayers through your reading or you may be inspired to pray from what you read. It might be better to meditate on a few verses of scripture while you walk.


Here is a short prayer for you to make your own.

Father God, Sometimes I am easily distracted when I meant to concentrate on you.  As I set out to purposefully spend some time with you help me to find a good place which will help me in my concentration. Amen.


Design a prayer strategy

This sounds very grand but what I mean by a prayer strategy is a list. There will be many people over your lifetime that you mean to pray for and it is easy to forget them. If you have their names on a list you can pray for one or a few each day knowing that you have been faithful in prayer for them. This is particularly helpful as God too knows who is coming up on your list. Several times I just “happen” to have received letters from people with up to date information and concerns days before their name comes up—how much more effectively I can pray. (Look out for future articles on different ways to make prayer lists)


Let us offer this prayer to God now.

Lord God, there are many things that I would like to pray for and many people I want you to help and bless. I know sometimes you bring people to mind at special moments but I would like to commit myself to support them in prayer regularly. Show me the best way to to bring them to my mind. Amen.


Yard stick

We need to aim to grow in our maturity through our Quiet Times as in all other areas of our lives. We can do this affectively if we take note of our practices and make aims for growth. Perhaps with Bible reading you may aim to read the Gospels through in a year and then the next year the New Testament letters. After that you might aim for the whole New Testament in a year, followed by the whole Old Testament. Then you might feel able to tackle the whole Bible in a year, etc. See if you can set some aims to grow in your prayer life too.



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This article © Linda Faber 2006-2009.