Monday, October 8, 2012

How to Have a Regular Daily Quiet Time

Post written by Raymund Tamayo

“Others inspire us, information feeds us, practice improves our performance, but we need quiet time to figure things out, to emerge with new discoveries, to unearth original answers.” – Dr. Ester Buchholz

In my previous post, I’ve explained what Quiet Time is. We now know that it is important not only for inner peace and quiet, but also for spiritual growth.

We’ve also learned that it is simple and unrestricting; you can do it at any time of the day. And that we should start slowly, incorporating it in our life progressively.

Despite of its simplicity, having Quiet Time consistently day by day is not an easy thing to do. If you’ve tried it, I know you’ll agree with me.

But not everything that is simple is easy. Actually, most simple things are relatively hard to do. The best explanation is that nothing beautiful comes easy, and that simple is beautiful.

Joel Runyon said in his Blog of Impossible Things: “Just because something is simple, doesn’t mean it will be easy. Just because something is easy, doesn’t mean it will be worth it.”

Consider this forewarning: It will take a lot of self-discipline to successfully incorporate the habit of daily quiet time in your system.

How to Have a Regular Daily Quiet Time

Now that we’ve agreed that important, simple things are hard to do, here are some tips on how to have your daily Christian Quiet Time regularly:

  1. Start small. Start by praying and reading the Bible for just 5 minutes. Do it for a week. The next week try 10. Then the next week 15. Don’t confuse yourself on what to pray for or what to read. Just start. Don’t worry about disappointing anyone. This is your time alone with God, and I’m pretty sure He will understand you. The important thing is you begin.

  1. Enjoy your time alone. Having daily Quiet Time is a journey, so learn to appreciate and enjoy each moment. Be aware and excited of what God is going to speak to you for the day. Be aware of how you can practically apply in your life what God had told you. Make a log of the things that you’ve learned and already applied and write down its benefits.

  1. Sleep early to wake early. If you decide to do it in the early mornings, like I do, you have to get ample sleep for your Quiet Time to be effective. If you don’t, you’ll just end up hating having to get up so early.

  1. Reward yourself. Have a nice cup of freshly brewed coffee while reading. Or inspire yourself by listening to your favorite music. Have some chips or freshly baked pandesal in your time alone. The point is making yourself look forward in doing it. Be creative!

  1. Have an accountability partner. Ask someone from your church who is more spiritually matured than you are to accompany you in your journey. Both of you can schedule a time each week to talk about each other’s Quiet Time, like a report. This way you can also encourage one another to continue with the daily habit.

It’s Not About Perfection

I admit I’m not perfect, and I still do miss a day or two of quiet time, but it’s not about perfection.

It is about strengthening our relationship with God, so don’t feel too guilty of missing a day and not wanting to continue on.

If you’ve missed a day, then do it tomorrow. If you’ve missed again tomorrow, then do it the next day. Don’t quit. Don’t surrender. Persevere. Just don’t miss too much or you’ll end up without the habit again.

Eventually it will become a non-negotiable habit, kind of like brushing your teeth. You can’t carry on the day without doing it.

Other Tips

  • Personally, I chose to do my Quiet Time early in the morning as it prepares me for the circumstances of the coming day. I also meditate on what I’ve learned in the morning, being sensitive of ways I can apply it, throughout the day. It helps me a lot, especially when unexpected troubles come.

  • Some decide to spend their Quiet Time in the evening, before sleeping, as it becomes sort of an account to God of what happened the whole day. Some also prefer it this way as the last thing and highlight of the day just ended, when everything is already at rest, with the quiet helping to clear the mind and heart.

  • Find a nice, clean, and quiet place where you can be alone to converse with God. Stay away from TV noise and active children playing. Set your phone in silent mode, or just leave it someplace else.
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