Longtime Daily Guideposts writer reflects on her own devotional time.
- Posted on Jan 27, 2012
When I first became a Christian, I thought that quiet time was shaped by formulaic rules: same time, same place. The holiest time to do it was first thing early in the morning with a Bible, journal and other books. It should last for at least half an hour. I felt like checking off my quiet time on my to-do list each day gave me the right to talk about it with other believers. It validated my sense of closeness to God and my own faith.
But as the years and seasons of life have passed, I have come to believe that though Jesus went to a quiet place to pray, he certainly wasn’t confined by formulaic ways of worshiping the Father. (I don’t think Jesus kept a prayer journal, for instance.) He came to give us life, not rules. And because of this realization, my time with Jesus is more relational. It can and does happen anywhere and anytime—in my car, on a prayer walk, at the grocery store. I often don’t say “amen” at the end of a prayer so that I remain in conversation with Him all day long.
In fact, I now resist the term “quiet time” because I think it sets us apart from “not yet believers” who want to know about our relationship with Jesus.
Now, to keep my own time with God fresh, I like to vary the time and place that I spend with Him. One day I might read the Bible, another a book by a Christian writer that’s encouraging or challenging. I also like to spend more time these days listening rather than talking to God. My prayer time includes a lot of listening for the “small, still voice” that the Psalmist talks about.
If I’m ever feeling stuck, becoming part of a Bible study helps direct and focus my time. God can be found anywhere, and as believers, we can connect with Him at any moment in our day. Outside. Inside. Walking. Sitting. With coffee. With music. Silence. Journaling. Not. The goal for me is to commune with God, both talking and listening and learning.