An exciting and effective quiet time starts with a plan.
If you don’t have a plan for your quiet time…
If you don’t know where you want to read in your Bible, what you plan to study, and what you need to pray for, there is a great chance that you’re quiet time will get derailed, you’ll find it boring and unproductive, and you’ll quickly find reasons to avoid it.
I recently communicated with my readers: both email subscribers and Facebook fans, because I felt that my posts in recent months were not speaking to their lives or meeting their needs.
So, I asked them what their greatest spiritual needs are.
Overwhelmingly, I heard back that their greatest need is to develop a consistent time in God’s Word: a plan, a strategy, and resources for Bible study.
Have you ever sat down with your Bible, with no clear idea where you wanted to read, with no Bible study tools, and no prayer list, and just decided to launch in?
There are 66 books of the Bible to choose from. That alone is intimidating!
I have done this, and it did not go well.
After thumbing through the thousands of pages for a while, and landing on an obscure verse, I suddenly remembered a whole list of urgent things I needed to get done today, put my Bible down and started tackling my list.
Do you see what happened there?
I didn’t have a plan for my quiet time, but I did have a plan for my day. And the plan for my day superseded my unstructured quiet time because it was already more important to me, given the fact that I took the time to plan my day and not my quiet time.
If your quiet time is important to you, you’ll take time to answer the following questions.
3 Fabulous Ways to Plan Your Quiet Time
When approaching any project, you must start with a plan.
If you just set out to complete a project without a series of steps to get from the starting point to the finish line, you’ll likely never get to the finish line. In fact, you may never get off of “start”.
It is the same way with our quiet times.
The why of anything is always the most important question. When you answer the “why”, you are already 95% there, because you have settled 95% of the arguments against the matter.
Why do you have your quiet time?
The answer to that question really does settle the nature of your relationship with God and how you perceive Him.
Do you have your quiet time because it is just what Christians do? Sort of like a list of requirements to be in this “Christian club”?
Do you have your quiet time because you’re afraid if you don’t something bad might happen to you or your family? Like, God will send lightening to strike your house…or some other bad thing: your washing machine will break, your car will have a flat tire….because you didn’t have your quiet time?
Do you have your quiet time so that God will love and accept you?
If any of these reasons somehow resonate in your heart, your “why” is wrong from the start.
If the answer to “why” isn’t because I love Jesus more deeply than I love anyone or anything on this earth, and I simply enjoy spending time with Him, I want to get to know Him more deeply and intimately…
If the answer to “why” isn’t because I love the Word passionately “Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.” Psalm 119:97
then we need to go back to the essentials of salvation and do our first works over again. We need to find out First Love.
What kind of study do you want to do?
- Do you want to read through a book of the Bible? I mostly read through and study books of the Bible, like the book of Galatians or Ephesians.
- Do you want to do a topical study? You can use Blue Letter Bible to help you find all the verses in the Bible on a word or topic.
- Do you want to do a character study? Perhaps you want to study the life of Mary, Ruth, Paul or David.
Plan the kind of study you would like to do and then gather the materials you need for that study. Besides you’re Bible, you may need a notebook, pen, highlighters, a concordance, and some commentaries by trusted Biblical scholars.
I personally love this these Women’s Bible Study Templates from Faith Along the Way. It is perfect for creating a simple yet exciting study journal that leads you into a deeper study of God’s Word
3. When and Where?
These are essential questions to answer.
If you don’t know when you plan to have your quiet time, then chances are it wont happen. You will never just “find time” in your day for a quiet time.
There will always be something more important to do.
Set a time of day that you will have your quiet time and stick to it.
And don’t get hung up on feeling like you must have your quiet time in the mornings. If you’re not a morning person, then set your quiet time for the evening. It isn’t “biblical” to have a morning quiet time.
Also, set a place? I prefer to have my quiet time at the kitchen table. My dad has his “special easy chair” with a magazine rack next to him filled with his Bible and resources crammed in. For as long as I can remember, he has had an easy chair as his “prayer closet”.
Now that we have answered these three important questions, we can start to dive in!
During the month of May, we will dive in deeper into quiet times so that as a beginner you can begin your journey to a fabulous, exciting, and effective quiet time that daily leads you greater maturity in Jesus Christ.
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