Quiet times? Is there any such thing as quiet…at this stage of life…in this home? With a coughing husband, a small echoing thin walled squeaky floored house, a baby wanting to get up from a nap, and a daughter who refuses to understand the rule to stay in her room during this hour, this hour which we recognize every single day??? The four o’clock hour. This is my only hour alone. I am a creative introvert, and I require lots of quiet and free space to think…otherwise, I feel a little crazy and if someone asks me a simple question, I go, “Uh…um…huh?” So, this one tiny hour. I need like 5 of them. And God is, in His sweet love for me, asking me to spend it with Him. He always rewards those who seek Him. (I desire to be more faithful!)
I think one of the hardest parts of having this time with God is staying focused during it. Sometimes having a plan isn’t as unspiritual and uncreative as one might think! I learned ACTS a long time ago. It’s a good way to get focused in His presence really; adoring Him –confessing sin–thanking Him (specifically)–supplication (laying before Him your needs and others). A plan for Bible study isn’t a bad idea either, instead of just jumping in a new book every day. Reading through a book of the Bible, going slow and meditating and memorizing and letting it sink in, is wonderful. If there’s something I don’t understand or am not getting anything new from it, I just go on. We are taking in truth; we can’t go wrong! Sometimes I journal everything about this prayer time, actually writing out my adoration, confession, thanks, and supplication, and sometimes I just write down a couple things He showed me during it. Another thing that usually helps is that if my mind wanders to something totally random, I will actually pray about that thing, even if it’s a TV show, I’ll pray for the people in it or whatever. One time I sensed the enemy’s aggravation when I did this, so I keep doing it!! If what comes to your mind is a to-do list, put an actual to-do list next to your quiet time spot and write down what comes to mind so you won’t forget it.
The last thing in regard to mind wandering/weakness of mind and heart during quiet time is that when we spend this time with God, we aren’t always going to walk away with our faces shining like Moses. We shouldn’t feel bad or empty if we took in His word, prayed for who He brought to our mind, and praised Him but didn’t walk away changed and glorious and exuberant. This is faith. And this is a relationship. So, if our mind is a little “off” during our time with Him and there was no real click, I truly believe He will bless us anyway. There have been so many times God didn’t show me during my quiet time what sin was in my life, but then a day later when I’m doing the dishes, He reveals it to me. I may hear nothing when I am listening for it, but then out of the blue when I am least expecting it, He speaks. That helps us to know it is Him many times. He is with us beyond the quiet time, but this hour (or whatever amount) dedicated to Him tells Him something special and opens a door for Him into the other hours of our day.