Hello friends. I don’t know about you, but this last week has felt heavy for so many reasons. In times like these the most important thing we can do is spend intentional time with the Lord. Peace can come and hearts can be softened in times like these when it is just you and Him. But in a world that provides media at our fingertips, to do lists a mile long, and constant distractions, it can be hard to take some quiet time away from it all. This is something I have struggled with and now that I have a toddler, it has become even more difficult. So today I want to share six tips that have helped me to make my quiet time with God intentional and a priority. Let me start by saying that I am not perfect and I don’t always succeed, but when I do, I never regret it. So here goes…
Number one, wake up early! Did I mention that I don’t always succeed? This is probably the hardest for me to do but let me tell you, that if you can achieve this, your day starts off so much better. Getting in some quiet time with the Lord early before anyone else arises or before you go to work helps you prepare yourself to battle the day. It is like putting on the full armor of God before your day starts so you are ready to fight whatever may come at you. So set your alarm a few minutes earlier and get your coffee ready because this one is a game changer if it can be achieved!
Number two, make a to do list the night before. I am going to be honest here and say that when I wake up one of the first things I think about besides coffee, is my to do list. I start running through all the things that I have to do in the day. I start to get distracted with my list and then before I realize it, I have already started doing the list and I didn’t take the time with the Lord like I was supposed to. So I have found that if I get my calendar out the night before and make a list of what needs to be done the next day, I can wake up knowing that the list is already there and waiting until after I finish my time with the Lord. This also means putting time with the Lord at the top of your list if you have to. It is better to schedule it than not do it at all!
Number three, during your quiet time, have a notebook handy to write your “extra” thoughts down. There is something funny that happens to me when I sit down to read the Word of God or pray. I start remembering things! It’s like all of a sudden when I am ready to focus on one thing, everything starts popping into my head! Many times these are important things that I may forget later if I don’t write them down right then! So sometimes to keep from getting distracted, I put a notepad on the table and when one of those “extra” thoughts pop into my head I write it down. That way I won’t forget it later but I also don’t have to dwell on it at that moment.
Number four, put the phone on silent, face down, and away. Yes I said it. This also means get yourself a physical Bible and not the Bible app! Having your phone open next to you during quiet time is the BIGGEST distraction. A notification pops up and even though you tell yourself not to answer it, you think about it the entire time until you give in and answer it! Maybe it is just me. Either way, it is a huge distraction when trying to be quiet and spend time with the Lord.
Number five, be intentional with what you are studying. Have a planned chapter to read and study or find a good Bible study that you want to work through. It is more likely that you will spend time with the Lord if you already plan what you are going to read and study for the day. There are many Bible reading guides out there and a ton of Biblical resources to help guide your quiet time. I suggest finding one that works best for you. Even if you are against a Bible study for some reason, at least choose a portion of scripture you would like to dive deeper into over the next few days. God can absolutely take you in a different direction if He wishes, but having a plan in mind with what you are going to do and study in your quiet time already sets you up for success because you are prepared.
Number six, set a timer for how many minutes you wish to spend in your quiet time. I use this more in regards to my prayer time, but if you truly have a hard time sitting down and quieting your soul for just a few minutes, set a timer. That way you know you have that certain amount of time to mentally allow yourself to be in the moment. If you struggle with focusing for a long period of time, start with just ten minutes and gradually increase your time daily from there. God can work in any time frame. The key is that you give Him your undivided attention for those minutes. What I find especially in prayer when I set a timer, is that I end up getting wrapped up in prayer and I forget all about the timer and I end up praying longer.
Well my friends there you have it! I hope these tips help! Feel free to share your own tips in the comments with what has helped you become more intentional in your time with the Lord!
"Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving."