I know the importance of having a quiet time, and I hate to admit this, but I struggle to regularly spend time in the Word and in prayer. I wake up in the morning and even if I try to get up early, the demands of the day steal my attention. By night time, I’m just too tired. How do I get past this?
Thank you for your transparency. I recently answered a similar question, but because this is such an important issue, I’m happy to comment on it again. You can read more thoughts on this in two prior posts (part one and part two). I think that many view their daily quiet time as a task to be accomplished and a box to be checked. We know that the way to learn about God is through the Bible, but the words seem dead on the page. We try to pray, but it’s like talking to an empty space. We soldier on, trying to force ourselves to do this thing because we’ve been told it’s what is expected and by gosh, we are going to check that box.
What is missing here?
It’s the connection…the bond…the friendship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Without it, having a quiet time for the sake of crossing it off the daily to-do list makes it unsustainable and less than meaningful.
So what to do?
Before you even roll out of bed in the morning, start a conversation with Jesus to set the tone of the day. For example: “Good morning Jesus! It’s a new day, and I’m relying on you to lead me, to direct my path, and to use me to honor you and bless others. I look forward to this day with you.” Use these moments to pray for your family and others as God lays them on your heart. During the morning hours, revisit this prayer as your day unfolds and commit every step to Him.
At noon, over lunch, pause and be grateful. “Dear God, I know that every good gift comes from you. I am so thankful for the abundance you have provided.” Consider several specific gifts from God and spend a few minutes in thanksgiving. Allow this attitude of gratitude to permeate your afternoon thoughts and actions.
In the evening, review the events of the day and count your blessings. Look back at the God-sightings, the moments he showed up and intervened, when he helped you hold your tongue or show kindness or patience or love. Read/pray a Psalm as if Jesus was sitting next to you, attentive to your prayer. Don’t forget to listen, ready to hear what he might say to you.
At bedtime, put in the earbuds and set your phone to play Scripture, or worship music, or a sermon. If (when) you fall asleep it will be with the word of the Lord filling your heart and your spirit. This is not a bad thing! It is a good thing! What a great way to drift off — hearing and processing God’s word. You’ve started, spent, and ended your day with Jesus.
Think of this as building your most important relationship, not as an assignment. Once you get back to your first love, your desire for more of the Word and deeper prayer will return. When it does, consider this approach to a different looking quiet time. It’s all about Jesus and loving him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
I wish for the days when I was strong, when God’s close friendship blessed my house. — Job 29:4 (NCV)