Building a relationship with God? Have quiet time.
“Quiet Time”. Such a common phrase in Christian lingo, but what does it mean? For many people, it provokes images of hours and hours away in a secluded place doing nothing but sitting meditatively before the Lord. While this would be a wonderful scenario, it is simply not feasible for most of us to experience on a regular basis.
God did not intend us to have time with him only when we are on vacation. He desires relationship, and just like our human relationships, the cultivating of this relationship can happen in many different ways.
For some seasons of life, quiet time may be in 10 minute increments throughout the day, or 20 minutes before leaving for work in the morning. Other times we might have additional time to spend in the word, or find opportunities to escape to a quiet place for several hours over a weekend or holiday.
For me, I found great freedom in the flexibility of my time with God. In the past, I would limit my perspective of what this relationship could look like. If I didn’t spend a full 2 hours that day, I was failing and my quiet time was lacking. God was gracious to me, and in His gentle way reminded me that the time we spend together is about intentionally building a relationship. He wanted me to be invested in getting to know Him and communicating with Him, not worried about punching in the right amount of time on my clock.
Some suggestions for developing your own quiet time with the Lord:
- Ask Him when He wants to connect with you. Maybe for you it’s getting up earlier in the morning, during your lunch break, or on your drive to work. Perhaps He will show you time slots that you hadn’t even considered.
- Treat it like you’re meeting a real person. Most of us wouldn’t just blow off a coffee date with a friend, or repeatedly no-show when making plans with a loved one. Let’s keep our appointments with the Lord too, knowing that He is ready and eager to meet with us. If you make plans, He will be there.
- Ask Him what He wants to do. He can give you guidance on what passages to read, if the whole time that day is for prayer, worship, meditation, or maybe something else. Be open to His leading and if you aren’t receiving direction, prayer, worship and reading the Bible are great places to start!
- Use this time to get to know Him and to grow your love for Him. Spending time with God can seem awkward at first, especially as you are learning to hear His voice. Don’t give up, you’re building a relationship and most good relationships take time.