To be honest, when I first gave my life to Christ, I had no idea what a “quiet time” was or how to have one. I never really had it explained to me, but, through trial and error, I found something that works for me. I think the beautiful thing about this time is that it can be whatever you want it to be, and it means something different to everyone. So, as I share what I do, remember that you can take the parts you like and you don’t have to do what you don’t find helpful. There is no correct formula. I like to start my day off with my quiet time, but I know a lot of people who do it during lunch or at night. Usually right after I work out in the morning, while I am eating breakfast, is when I this time in my day. But find a time that works for you. The most important thing is to have personal time with God.
I always start by pulling out my notebook, my Bible and my prayer journal. I find it nice to have it all laid out in front of me so I don’t have go searching for something in the middle of my quiet time. Then I will pray a simple prayer that God uses this time to prepare me for the day ahead. The next three things I always write down even if it is all I can write. I start by writing the date, and then I will write three “I am” statements and three grateful statements. “I am” statements can be pretty much anything either simple or complex. I usually will do things that I am struggling to believe or see in myself. Some examples are, I am capable, I am financially free, I am a giving person… and so on. Honestly, they can be anything that you want them to be. Next, I just write simple things that I am grateful for; sometimes it is my dog or sometimes it is an event or a person. I just use this to get into a positive mindset for the day and my quiet time. It also helps me to see how blessed I am before I ask God for more.
Now onto the Scripture! I usually do one of three things to get my Scripture. I will either be reading through a whole book of the Bible (I just finished 1John and it might be my new favorite book!); I will randomly open to a page; or, when I work out before my quiet time, I listen to sermons and if a verse touches me, then I will use that. Once I have my Scripture, I will read through the whole chapter once and find a specific verse or two that really pulls me in. I will then write down this verse in both the NIV version and the Message, just because I like to see the same idea in different words. I will then start to ask questions about the verse. For example, What does knowledge truly mean? Or What does this verse call me to do? This gets my mind going. I usually look up words to fully understand them and the verse. But, after breaking down the verse, I try to summarize it into a sentence that I can apply to my life or that is relevant to me.
After I get a sentence, I usually will move on to my prayer journal, which just walks me through things I want to pray for and I will usually pray for the day. That concludes my quiet time. Since I started doing this structure, I have seen the love of God more in my everyday life and in the small things. I also feel like I can take on life with more confidence; and, since I prepared my heart, I can show His love to more people throughout the day. I hope you find this encouraging and helpful for some ideas to do during your quiet time. Come back next week to see a break down of my prayer journal!