Wholehearted is a Christian brand that focuses on encouraging those who want to have a daily Quiet Time! Their vision is to strengthen and build God’s kingdom all around the world!
Each week, they feature a Quiet Timer who share’s about their own personal quiet time. This week I was able to mine. Thank you to Wholehearted for allowing me to share my story of quiet time. I hope it encourages you to find your own.
Why is having a quiet time important to you?
I see quiet time as a lifestyle. That means, at any moment throughout my day, I can experience quiet time. Some are scheduled, due to the type of daily activity I’m doing, while others are random due to the situations around me.
This approach allows me to have continuous quiet time with God, which keeps me connected and dependent on Him. It creates a natural tendency for moments to be more centered on Christ. These quiet time moments happen every day. It’s up to us to see and use them as a chance to spend time with God.
When I see an ambulance, I say a prayer for the medical personnel, patient and their families. Driving by a semi-truck on the interstate, I pray they know Christ and get home safely. Trips to daycare with my daughter are filled with conversations ranging from days of the week to God and grace. Any chance I get to play some tunes, I crank them up and sing along in worship. It’s the opposite of “quiet”, but it’s one way I’m able to spend time with God, and I love it. When I’m nursing my daughter, we pray or read a devotional. I love going for walks. It’s the perfect quiet time where I can pray, worship with music or be still with God. Journaling and writing posts for my blog, Living in the Wait, has been one of my favorite quiet times. Here is where I dig into Bible verses and reflect on all the ways God is working in my life.
What has been some of your greatest quiet time struggles?
Comparing my quiet time to someone else’s or molding it to look like what “they” say it should be; whoever “they” are. I felt guilty because I knew I needed and wanted to spend time with God, but it never became something I did on a consistent basis. This ultimately left me feeling defeated, frustrated and overwhelmed. Once I embraced the reality that my quiet time is supposed to be different because of who God made me to be, I was able to actually enjoy and look forward to my quiet time. The purpose of quiet time – to connect and spend with God – is the same, but how we ultimately do that will be different because of who God made us to be.
What have been some of your greatest quiet time victories?
I saw a drastic change in my prayer life when I started praying in expectation based upon Mark 11:24 – “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” The believing happens before anything you want to receive materializes. For my husband and I, it was to finally get pregnant. From that moment on, three times a day, every day, I thanked God in advance for getting us pregnant this year (which was 2018). Often times I felt I was minimizing my prayers to God because I, in my human capacity, felt like they were impossible requests. I felt silly asking God for them, especially when my current circumstances proved otherwise. Praying in expectation changed my understanding of how we can boldly come to the throne of God with our prayers. This type of praying ultimately changes our relationship with Him because we are thanking Him in advance for answering our prayers, despite what we feel or see. That creates a whole new level of trust with Him.
How would you encourage someone to start or keep up a daily quiet time?
Start by asking yourself what you want your quiet time to look like, keeping in mind, the purpose of quiet time is to spend it with God. That will never change. The way in which it is done, can and will be different for each person. So, do what works best for how you like to manage your day. Base it upon your personality, skills, interests, etc. When you base it upon these things, you’ll be much more willing to start or continue quiet time because you’ll find you actually enjoy it, vs. it becoming one more thing you have to fit into your day. Give yourself some grace as this may vary depending on the season of life you’re in, and that’s ok.
Maybe you drive a lot for work. Use that time to listen to a sermon or pray for each car you pass. Maybe you work in retail. If time permits, pray for each customer after you’ve helped them. If you’re a student, pray for your teachers on your way to school. Maybe you like to work out and can incorporate your quiet time by listening to a podcast or audio book. Maybe you like to write, try journaling. If you like to be creative, try drawing, painting, etc. If reading is your thing, start with a short, easy to read devotional. These can be less overwhelming and more manageable, which encourages you to actually start and finish them. For some, they prefer to schedule quiet time in their calendar because they view it like an appointment and they never miss them. Find what works best for you and your day.
Our quiet time still needs to be Biblically based, because it’s all about growing in our relationship with Christ, but the format in which that is done, can and will be different for everyone. You have to do what works best for your schedule and how you manage your day. This sets you up to be successful right away, which means you’re more likely to seek out and enjoy your quiet time. Start small and as your relationship with God grows, you may find yourself willing to step into new adventures with your quiet time.
Is there anything else you feel called to say about quiet time?
Quiet time is not a pair of one size fits all leggings, which I know you’re probably wearing right now as you read this. Keep that in mind when you sit down to intentionally decide what your quiet time looks like. Find the right fit for how you want your quiet time to look. Don’t base your quiet time on what your pastor said, whatever the podcast told you to do or even based upon what I just shared. Do it for you and your desire to build a deeper relationship with Christ. Once you understand and know the motivation is for you alone, you’ll feel an overwhelming sense of freedom and the true desire of your heart to spend quiet time with God will be revealed.
Here’s a challenge for you; write down all the moments in your day when you have “mindless time.” Dishes, showering, raking leaves, shoveling snow, waiting in line. Instead of allowing our brains to go blank during these times and start scrolling on our phones, try praying. It doesn’t have to be all or none, but give it a shot and see what happens. I think you’ll find there are more quiet times throughout your day than expected and you might just start a new and transformational habit.
I wrote this article originally for Wholehearted on 2.21.2020. Used with permission.
Please share with someone you know who could use some encouragement in the wait.