Lesson 12: Quiet Time – Putting Reading, Meditating, Journaling, and Prayer Together
Objective: Learn to fellowship with God through a daily quiet time of reading, meditating, journaling, and prayer.
You’ve come a long way and learned some valuable disciplines for being a Disciple of Jesus Christ. Congratulations!
This week is about putting it all together (reading, meditating, journaling, and prayer). It’s called having a daily quiet time where you consistently practice all of those things.
A reminder or word of caution before we begin this week. Although we are focusing on fruit-bearing activities (things to DO), the goal of such activities is not to simply perform the activities.
Keep your eye on the goal or purpose of such activities: to know God, to know how God wishes you to live (his will for you), and to be in an intimate relationship with Him.
Here are some of the reasons for having a daily quiet time.
- Inhibit busyness in our live. A daily quiet time helps us slow down and focus on our highest priority, a relationship with God. An early quiet time can help you focus on God throughout the day.
- Resist the “I’m working so hard for Jesus that I forget to spend time with (or have no time for) Jesus” syndrome. Instead, draw near to the Lord, to truly know him. Jeremiah 9:23-24 says, “This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.“
- Fellowship with God. We are called into fellowship with the creator. 1 Corinthians 1:9 says, “God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.“
So, here are some tips for your quiet time with God
- Go to a place that is free from distractions, where you can be alone and have undivided time with the Lord. We can learn from our master Jesus Christ who modeled such a practice.Mark 1:35 says, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.“Luke 5:16 says, “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.“Matthew 6:6 says, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Matthew 26:36 says, “Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.“
- Pick a consistent time and place to have a daily quiet time. By picking a consistent time and place, you can more easily say “NO!” to other requests for your time or attention. You already have an appointment with God during that time.
- In your prayers, ask God to guard this time. Distractions and competing agendas will happen. You will need God’s help to protect your time together.
OK, so you know the purpose of a quiet time and some tips to get the most out of that time. Now, what exactly are you supposed to do during a daily quiet time?
This is where you put your prior lessons together.
- Read the Bible This could be as little as a single verse or paragraph, or a whole chapter. I encourage you to read straight from the bible, but a daily devotional or daily reading plan is also fine. Don’t read for distance or quantity. Instead, read for understanding and quality.
- Meditate Think about the verses you just read. Think about how the verse applies to your life. What might God want you to hear in those verses.Here is an example from my own quiet time reading Romans 12:1-2, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”I first thought about God’s amazing mercy. Then I thought about how I can offer my body as a living sacrifice-a tool to serve other people. I asked myself and considered…WHAT IS the pattern of this world? I allowed God to renew my mind in opposition to the pattern of this world. And finally, I contemplated God’s sovereign and perfect will.As you can see, trying to do this with more than a paragraph of the Bible can be tough. So, start with just a verse or two.
- Journal Write down your thoughts and also your questions. You might even re-write the verses you just read. Write down what the verses spoke to you. Write down your response to the verses. Write what you said back to God in prayer.
- Pray, intercession, praise End with a prayer to God about what you’ve just read. Pray for what you need, and pray for other people that are on your heart. Finally, offer God honor and praise by expressing gratitude for God and your growing relationship with Him.
So the action this week is simple. Have a daily quiet time with God.
If you pick one verse, this can be done in less than 10 minutes. If you can commit more time to God, then go for it. However, this week I would rather you spend 10 minutes a day for 5 days, than once a week for an hour. Our goal is to make this a sustainable habit; something you can do for the rest of your life, along with other life commitments.
What can you commit to? (example: 10 minutes a day for 5 days)