Saturday, February 11, 2012

How can I get more from my "Quiet Time"?

I’m not much into New Year’s resolutions.  But every year, I have good intentions – especially to be more diligent with Bible reading and study. 

It’s mid-February now.  Taking inventory on how it’s been going this year hasn’t been too encouraging. 

So I’ve asked myself the question, “How can I get MORE from my ‘quiet time’?

Anyone else asked this same question? 

My 91-year-old Pastor often reminds us that “the Word of God is to the soul what food is to the body.”  We need His Word as much as we need three meals a day.

The trouble is. . . I often mistake hunger for His Word as a need for something else.

Maybe these tips (put into practice!) will help each of us dig into His Word more deeply this year.

Tip #1 – When sitting down to read His Word, have a pen/pencil in hand and a notebook right next to your Bible. 

Plan on writing down SOMETHING you learned or that spoke to you directly that day.  This tiny “gesture of activity” will prove as a reminder that His Word is full of hidden treasure.   Look at reading Scripture as an overwhelming opportunity to dig for that treasure.  

“I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.” (Psalm 119:165)


Tip #2Read out loud.

Reading Scripture out loud doubles the effect.  Reading silently involves only the eyes and the mind.  Reading out loud brings two more channels into the impact.  You’re not only reading the written page, you’re speaking the truth, and hearing it spoken.

“Take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth.” (Psalm 119:43)


Tip #3 – Look for a word, short phrase, or even an entire verse and commit to meditating on that thought throughout the day. 

This may involve writing the thought on a 3x5 card or a sticky note.  But keep it ready on your mind to turn your thoughts toward throughout the busyness of your day.  Don’t let “quiet time” be the only time in a given day that His Word is in your thoughts.  We need its nourishment “all the day.”

“Oh, how love I thy law!  It is my meditation all the day.” (Psalm 119:97)


Tip #4 – Saturate your reading with prayer.

Begin with the prayer: “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” (Psalm 119:18)
Pray the Scriptures – Turn the words of Scripture into conversation with God.
Close with prayer – To be truly impacted by the truth of Scripture, we need more than methods or even helpful habits.  We need the Spirit of Truth guiding us into the truth and working it into our lives.

“Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law, 
yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.” (Psalm 119:33)


How can I get more from my “quiet time”?
·         Eagerly anticipate it.
·         Read the Scriptures out loud.
·         Plan to meditate on a particular thought throughout the day.
·         Saturate it with prayer.

No matter how busy our schedules, one or all of these tips are possible.
And necessary.

As necessary as sitting down to a meal.

So. . . .Are you hungry?

“How sweet are thy words unto my taste!   
Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.” (Psalm 119:103)

4 comments:

  1. Great reminders, Bethany! I was reminded of the verse in Jeremiah 15:16 - "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart; for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts."

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  2. I love this. Thank you, Bethany!

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  3. Thank you for the ideas, Bethany! Some friends and I are doing some special reading for Lent, and I was just wondering this morning how to best use this extra time. I'll put some of these tips into practice!

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  4. Hi Bethany: I got your blog from Lynnae's blog. I love the way you posted this article. It was beautifully done and thought provoking. I wish every person would read this and put it into practice. It is the only way to truly "grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." Thanks for sharing itQ

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