BIBLE VERSE OF THE DAY: Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. – James 4:8
Growing up in church, I often heard about “having a quiet time with God.” It seemed to consist of a list of abstract rules that included prayer and an open Bible and usually a devotional of some sort to guide you. But the perfect quiet time always seemed just out of reach. I figured once I got older, I’d be more consistent.
But then I became a wife and a mother, and realized I was even busier. The truth is, there’s no such thing as a perfect quiet time because there’s no such thing as a perfect person.
However, while it’s crucial to lay down condemnation and unrealistic expectations of perfection, it’s equally crucial to realize that time with God is to our benefit and to our family’s benefit. We’re better moms and dads, husband and wives, children and community members when we draw near to the Lord.
Here are a few tips to having a good—not perfect—quiet time!
1. Drop the expectations. Any effort is better than none at all. Stop judging yourself, because no one else is judging you. Go to the Lord however you can, for as long as you can.
2. Think quality, not quantity. There’s been many times that I’ve received more encouragement and conviction from a single verse, than from the times I sat down and read an entire chapter. God can work with just a little bit, trust me! His Word never returns void.
3. Remember that interruptions can be Divine Appointments. It’s tempting to snap at our kids when they ask for juice in the middle of our prayer time—but if we were just praying for patience, that might be the way God chooses to build it up in us. Sometimes, interruptions can be opportunities to minister to someone else around us, and that’s glorifying to the Lord.
4. Make the most of your “white space.” We all have white space in our day—when we’re in the shower, sitting in traffic or carpool line, waiting on kids to get out of school or ballet, waiting on the pasta to boil…take advantage of that space. Quote Scripture. Pray. Acknowledge the Lord and ask Him to reset your emotions and thoughts. Hum a worship song. You’d be surprised how those small efforts can keep you centered all day.
5. Journal your prayers or what the Lord reveals to you. If you write it down, it helps you focus, especially if you’re sleepy. Also, doing so provides an opportunity to go back and see how the Lord spoke to you. This will always fan the flame inside to want more!
Remember, perfect doesn’t exist outside of Jesus. Having a quiet time isn’t about perfectly following a list of rules or expectations, it’s about connecting with your Savior, fueling up for the day in the morning, or processing the day by night. It’s about worship and confession and conviction. It’s about relationship.
He loves you, and He’s waiting for you to come in all your imperfection.