Thursday, May 28, 2015

Quiet Time 101

I never really gave it much thought.

I don’t really know how my dishwasher cleans my dishes. I just know it does. So I put the dishes and soap inside, push a button or two, and let it do its job. It works.

In the same way, I’ve never given much thought to why quiet time works, but I know it does. So I meet with God on a regular basis.

Funny—I even call it a meeting with God; I never gave that much thought either. But this week I have been thinking about it, and it’s been an enlightening analysis for me. (Learning how my dishwasher works would not have had the same effect.)

Quiet time is a prayer and Bible reading meeting with God. It’s not about prayer. It’s not about Bible reading. Those are the tools that facilitate the meeting—kind of like the dishwasher is the tool that washes the dishes. Meeting with God, however, is the purpose of the event. That’s what quiet time is all about.

So maybe you’re thinking, “Well, of course!” Good for you. You’re ahead of me. But I needed to think this through; it's been helpful. Bear with me.

Andrew Murray says that someone has said, “I pray, I speak to God; I read the Bible, God speaks to me” (Teach Me to Pray, Oct. 17). It’s so simple, and it works. Together, prayer and Bible reading equal a conversation with God.

Sometimes I truly wish God would just speak out loud and give me specific instructions on what He wants me to do next or how He’d like me to handle a certain situation. The Andrew Murray quote helped me to see God sometimes comes close to doing just that.

When I sit down to read my Bible, I usually pray something like,
“Good morning, God! Here I am. I’m hoping to hear from You. Please point out something in Your Word that will help me today. I’m listening.”
Then, as I read, if I’m truly paying attention and not allowing brain cells to wander off toward the day’s distractions, God often does direct my attention to verses that speak to my current circumstances, encourage me, teach me, sometimes even convict me. Sometimes the words prompt me to praise Him; other times they make me think of people I know, so I can pray for them. The words are always the same, but God’s message is often tailor-made for the specific day.

Quiet time isn’t just for learning about God, talking to Him, or studying His Word. Quiet time truly is meeting with God, getting to know Him personally and learning His Will for our lives. It's a two-way conversation. God does speak to us! Listen up!

2 comments:

  1. Quiet time feels so hard to come by for me, but I hear what you're saying.....and, well, maybe my priorities are skewed, because in the evenings when the kids are in bed, I cannot wait to get to the TV and veg. I could use that time to meet with God in my room instead of throwing a quick prayer up at bedtime when I'm sleepy. Of course, I must also try to quiet my mind, a far bigger challenge. Thanks for this reflection!

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  2. Amen! I have been working hard at putting on my listening ears during my devotional time with the Father. He really does speak to us.

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