My journey with God began when I was 14 years old, and the teaching of the day was regularly about the all-important Quiet Time (QT). For many years, I’d began the day with a time of prayer and Bible reading that lasted probably about half an hour. It was a time of committing the day to the Lord and seeking His face at the start of each new day.
There were many trains of thought in those days, as I’m sure there are in these as to how long your QT should be, where it should take place, how you should be structuring it and what to do during it.
Some came up with the ‘5 fingers of prayer’ time to remind you who to pray for. Thousands of devotions have been written to guide you through your time of Bible reading. All of this has been good and helpful.
But the bottom line is that you have to set aside time to do it, regardless of when.
I remember a time in my life when my prayer time was sketchy. Bible reading was different. I determined in 2007 to read through the Bible in a year and to try and do that every year until I am not able to!
So I read my Bible for 15 minutes a day and find it spectacularly helpful.
- Every year, there are new things that jump out, that I’ve never noticed before.
- The Bible is rich and deep and the Holy Spirit eternal and all knowing.
- He uses the words of Scripture to impact my life every single day.
- It’s the foundation of my life.
- It’s my handbook for living.
- It’s the unbreakable anchor to which my beliefs are tethered.
Bible reading was never a problem. Prayer was.
Just over four years ago, I was reading through the Bible, but I wasn’t praying much.
Something had to change.
I was feeling particularly tired. My ministry was in radio and I was up and out the house by 5 am. There was no time to pray, apart from a quick whispered, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you O Lord my God and my Redeemer” as I dashed down the stairs and into the studio moments before going on air at 6 am.
I would pray when I was walking and driving, but there was no time set apart to truly seek God’s face. At that time, I was also tired. So tired of getting up at 4-5 am. When I did pray it was usually me whining to the Lord, “I’m so tired!” I began to wonder if my time on radio was up.
It was not long after that, when I was still trying to figure out if I should stay in radio, that I watched the Fruit of the Spirit series by Beth Moore. She has a two part introduction and in the first part, she said something to this effect:
- with the fruit and filling of the Holy Spirit you will be able to do things you never thought you could
- know things you never thought you would
- and feel things you never thought you ought
That was all I needed to hear to have confirmation that I should continue on air.
The next week, Beth Moore’s message was how to get the fruit and filling of the Holy Spirit.
She spoke about the only way to do this was to spend time with God.
Then she looked directly at the camera (me) and said, “Even if it means getting up earlier!” I gasped! I put my hand over my mouth and was shocked.
“She has no idea of what time I get up,” I thought to myself.
But I knew. God had spoken.
On Monday 1st February 2010, I set the alarm for 4:15 am and started getting up to spend time with God.
By the end of that week, 4:15 am was not early enough.
The next week, I made it 4 am. Finally, I settled on 3:35 am.
I would get up, get dressed, feed the cat and make tea. Then I would pray until 4:20 am. After that I did my Bible reading and by 4:35 am, I would be writing a bit about what I’d read that morning. That would then get posted on Facebook, I would use it on my blog and read it on air. It was a time of rich blessing and intimacy. It was also during this time that God began to speak to me about leaving my radio work, which I did at the end of May 2014.
So now I’m building a new habit. I’m up at 5 am, see my husband off at about 5:45 am and then have my QT.
What I have learnt is that sacrificing sleep to meet with God is so worth it.
That early in the morning, there are no interruptions. God refreshes me day after day, strengthening me, encouraging me, filling me, enthusing me, washing over me with a great love and peace. I launch into the day with a smile on my face and a spring in my step.
That’s been my Quiet Time journey.
It’s time that is never wasted and has eternal consequences.
6 Tips to Making Time with God
- Decide on a time that will work for you and set the alarm
- The moment the alarm goes off, get up!
- Don’t pray in bed—the temptation is too great to go back to sleep.
- Have a prayer spot—a comfortable chair with a lamp nearby.
- Don’t be lured into wasting time by the one difficult distraction—you cell phone/FB access. Leave that behind.
- Build a habit—it usually takes 28 days—you’ll never regret it.