One of the comments I hear most when I speak to ladies is that they want to have a daily quiet time with the Lord, but they just can’t seem to find the time or be consistent with it. One of my greatest desires is to influence women to seek Jesus through worship and the Word. In my last post, I shared three steps for developing a consistent quiet time with the Lord. If you missed it, you can read that post here.
Today, I want to share with you what I do in my quiet time each day. You may already have a consistent quiet time and not need this post. That’s awesome! But I really feel that there are some ladies out there who just want to know practical ways to spend time with God. So, here goes.
I journal, but that is because I am a writer, and that’s what I like to do. So I start with the date at the top of the page. The format I use after that is devotional, praise, confession, Scripture, requests, thanks, and listening.
I begin by reading Journey, which is a ladies’ devotional that Lifeway publishes monthly, and our church provides them for our Sunday school classes. I journal a sentence prayer in response to what I have just read, because I want it to impact my life, and I want to remember it.
Then I read whatever devotional I have. I buy a new one for each year. Right now, I am using Beth Moore’s Portraits of Devotion. Again, I write a sentence prayer that is my response to what I have just read. Many times, these two devotions will correlate, and I will know God is speaking a particular message to me.
Next, I begin my Scripture reading. I like to start with praise, so I read a Psalm every day and journal my thoughts back to God as I read it. I love the Psalms because they express such a range of human emotions. I start at Psalm 1 and read one each day through Psalm 150, and then I start back at the beginning!
After that, I ask God to show me every unconfessed sin in my life. I confess those things to Him and agree with Him that it’s sin and that I am willing to turn from it and submit to His authority in my life. I write it all down so I can remember and look back at how God has rebuked, corrected, and changed my heart. I ask God to search me and show me the things that I may be blind to on my own.
Next, I read a section of Scripture, depending on where I am at the time. I sometimes start in Matthew and read through the New Testament, but taking my time. I read just enough to feel that I have a message from God, and then I respond to that in written prayer. The next day, I pick up where I left off the day before. It may be just one verse if God is speaking. It may be a passage or a whole chapter (rarely). Right now I am going through Proverbs for the second time, because I am in a season in my life where I believe I need more wisdom. I take my time, reading about 10 verses each day, sometimes even less.
I occasionally will turn to some of the great stories in the Old Testament and stay there for a while. God can speak through any part of Scripture. There’s always something new I receive. The Word of God is so amazing to me. I can never get enough of it! When we read it, we are interacting with Jesus Himself, who is the Word made flesh. We get to personally sit at His feet as we read and hear His voice to us.
Sometimes I am convicted and corrected; sometimes I am encouraged and enlightened; sometimes I am instructed. But I am always in His presence, experiencing Emmanuel–God with me!
After that, I pray, which I journal as well. This is when it is really easy to get distracted; that’s why I write my requests down. I know it seems selfish, but what works best for me is to start with me. I pray for myself to be what God wants me to be, because without that, I am useless to anyone else. Then I pray for my immediate family, my extended family, my church family, my school family, my community, nation, and world.
I pray as the Holy Spirit leads me, so some days I may pray for others’ healing, and another day I may pray for their spiritual growth. I pray for our church leaders on some days, and I pray for our services on other days. Sometimes I pray for our nation’s leaders, and some days I pray for our community to grow. It just depends on how God leads me. But I pray in those different areas every day. And I always pray for the people I know who are lost.
After my requests, I love to write out all the things I am thankful for. God will bring different things to my mind as I do this. Some days I will realize that yesterday I asked God for a particular request and He answered my prayer that day. I may have gone through my busy day and not stopped to thank Him, but then He reminds me the next morning. How awesome is that!
After my “thanks” session, I always write the word “listen,” and then I sit quietly and ask the Shepherd to let me, His little sheep, hear His voice, especially if I am in need of direction. Sometimes I will suddenly think of a particular verse from the Bible and write it down. Sometimes I will hear words that I know are not from me, but come from deep within my spirit. I write them down, and I always make sure they line up with Scripture so that I know I am hearing from the Lord and not my own thoughts.
This is just an example of what my typical quiet time might look like, but I allow the Holy Spirit to lead me as He desires. Your time with God may look totally different, but I pray that someone will be able to apply some of these suggestions and begin an adventure with the Lord like they’ve never known!
I have more to share in another post, but for now, I encourage you to “seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near” (Isaiah 55:6, NIV).