Growing up in church, I have heard it my whole life: “You should read your Bible everyday!” and “You should pray everyday!” Even though they told us what to do, they never really explained how to do it. I read my Bible sometimes, but I didn’t know what it meant to have a ‘quiet time’ every day. If I’m being completely honest, it wasn’t until my freshman year of college that I started to figure it out, and it took me a solid year before I realized what works best for me. The main thing I learned was: having a quiet time is important. Having that time to read Scripture and pray to our Father in heaven should be of the upmost importance in our lives. Some of you reading this might be like me before I came to college. You might know that you should read your Bible everyday and you know that having that time set aside is important, but you don’t exactly know where to start. In this blog post, I’m going to try to clear away some misconceptions of having a quiet time and give a few tips on how to have an effective quiet time.
So what exactly is a quiet time? Some of you are probably thinking: Krystal, we know this already. It’s your morning time that you read Scripture and pray. But what if I told you it’s much more than that? A quiet time is much more than reading Scripture and praying. Those are the basics, but if you sit down, read a few verses, then pray to check off those boxes that you did it before continuing with the rest of your day, you’re doing it wrong. A quiet time is about taking that time away from whatever busy day you might have to connect with the Father. It is a time to really hear from Him, to meditate and study his Word, to go before the Throne in prayer, and to listen to Yahweh’s voice.
Morning vs. night: the ultimate battle. Should you have your quiet time in the morning or at night? There are many people on both sides of the line. My answer: consistency! It truly doesn’t matter if you do your quiet time when you get up in the morning or before you go to bed. As long as you are consistent in making it a priority in your every day life. If you are a morning person, do it in the morning. If you are a night person, do it at night. However, be careful. If you decide to have your quiet time before you go to bed, make sure that you won’t fall asleep. I personally do mine in the mornings as I’m getting ready or eating breakfast. I do this because I want to start off my day with focusing on Jesus and it is when I’m most alert. At night, I’m so focused on going to bed that I nearly fall asleep.
What works best for you. I think quiet times are a great example of the personal relationship each of us have with Jesus. That each of our walks are different and that he reaches us in different ways. So many times people have given me advice on how I should do this or that. Though some of the advice was good, some of it assumed that that certain thing would work for me. Before I give you some tips on how to have an effective quiet time, I want to say that just because it really helps me connect with Scripture better or it is what I do, does not mean that it will be as efficient for you. Take the time to discover what it is that works best for you. If you are like I was and feel a little overwhelmed, try the S.O.A.P. method (see below). This method really helped me gather my thoughts better, and I think it’s a great way to begin if you feel like you don’t know what to do.
S. Scripture. What are you reading?
O. Observations. What sticks out to you in the passage? What is the passage saying?
A. Application. How can I apply these truths to my life?
Scripture/What do we read?
Reading God’s Word and connecting with his Truth is the most important part of your day. However, it can also be a little overwhelming. When I decided to get serious about diving into the word daily, I didn’t know exactly where to start. I tried to do that thing where you just flip to a random spot and start reading, but that didn’t work, and I knew I wasn’t going to get anywhere with that. Here are a few tips on where to start.
- Devotions/personal Bible studies. If you are having trouble figuring out where to start, devotions and Bible studies are a great way to begin. They are really good about directing you to certain passages. There are many types that range from surface level to more in-depth studies. These are really good for new believers or people who might have a hard time interpreting Scripture. The Youversion Bible app has some really good ones, and they are free!
- Reading through the whole Bible (Genesis-Revelation). Starting in Genesis, and working your way through the whole of Scripture is a great way to really get an idea for what Scripture is all about. Because you are reading everything, it puts things in context, and it shows you God’s story throughout the whole Bible. You get to see God’s purpose and plan for his people from beginning to end.
- Reading through a certain book/section. Because starting in Genesis and working through to Revelation seemed a little daunting at first to me, I decided to read through individual books or sections (like the Pentateuch or the general letters). If you don’t know what book to start with, I highly recommend Matthew, Romans, or Psalms, especially if you are a new believer.
Prayer: Talking to God.
After you know what you are going to read, make sure to include prayer. Prayer and Bible study go hand in hand, and so many times I think we forget that. Prayer is you talking with God, asking his Spirit to speak to you as you read his word. It’s his Spirit giving you the courage to live out the truths that you read in Scripture. There are many different things you can do. You could try praying aloud. Sometimes I do this because it helps me focus and keeps me from getting distracted. You could also try having a War Room, or a closet where you go and pray. I personally prayer journal. I don’t want to go too much in detail because someday I plan to do a blog post about it, but I write out my prayers (kind of like letters) to God. My journal helps me be more honest in my prayers, and I have the opportunity to look back on what I prayed for. It’s a great way to see what God has done in my life.
Having a quiet time is an essential part of our walks with Christ. These are just a few tips on things to consider. What do you do for your daily bible study? Do you have any advice for those wanting to get serious about their quiet time? Let me know in the comments below!! Thanks for reading! –Krystal 🙂