"Quiet Time": 7 Minutes With God



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Quiet Time ("QT"): Aka "Daily Devotions", "Personal Devotions," "The Morning Watch" - This term describes the practice of having a daily appointment with the Lord, a regular period of communion with God through Bible study, meditation and prayer (e.g., see Seven Minutes with God). The primary objective of Quiet Time should be intimate fellowship with God. It is the vital ingredient which seems to be missing in the lives of many followers of Christ. For many saints, their Quiet Time is more "drudgery" than "delight!" (Ps 37:4) Or they fall into the subtle trap of reading someone else's devotional thoughts, to the neglect of focusing on the pure milk of God's Word. There is nothing wrong with devotionals per se, but there is if they are used as a substitute for personal time in God's Word.

Webster defines necessity as that which is indispensable or that which is unavoidable. While Quiet Time is an indispensable discipline for every believer, unfortunately it is not one which is unavoidable. In fact we can easily avoid a daily meeting with God for a variety of reasons, but we dispense with this discipline to the detriment of our walk of faith.

Henry Blackaby encourages us to...

Try not to think of the time you spend with God as a duty. The purpose of a quiet time is for you to get to know God. And as you come to know Him, you can walk out of your special times with God enjoying a living relationship with Him that you can cultivate all day long — throughout all your life.

Be still and know that I am God.
(Ps 46:10)


A common excuse for not practicing (under grace) the discipline of a Quiet Time, is "I don't have enough time." If you are too busy to have a quiet time, then you are too busy! A daily time of communion with the King of kings is not just a nice suggestion but it is a holy privilege which is absolutely essential for every believer's spiritual growth and maturity! In fact, you know you are in serious need of a Quiet Time when you don't have time! Jesus speaking to His disciples said "Come ye yourselves apart to a desert place, and rest a little." (Mk 6:31KJV) The Quiet Time is a place to "come apart" from the world and rest in Jesus. "Jesus knows we must come apart and rest awhile or else we may just plain come apart!" (Vance Havner) When the Bible becomes a part of you (in your Quiet Time), you'll be less likely to come apart! To be much like Christ, we must be much with Christ. Attachment to Christ is the secret of detachment from the world. And so although we must live in the world, we must draw our strength from outside the world. As Charles Hummel wisely said "Adequate time for daily waiting on God... is the only way I can escape the tyranny of the urgent."

Only to sit and think of God,
Oh what a joy it is!
To think the thought, to breathe the Name
Earth has no higher bliss.
Frederick W. Faber

Is God calling out to you in the morning watch "Where are you?" In God's original plan, we see He sought to have a personal relationship with Adam, but sin entered the scene...

And (Adam and Eve) heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” (Ge 3:8-9)

Patrick Morley writes that

Whenever a man tells me that he doesn’t feel very close to God, the first question I ask is, “Tell me about your devotional life.” Often the problem is just there.

If you think you are too busy for a Quiet Time, consider Charles and John Wesley's mother Susanna Wesley, who had nineteen children. And yet in the middle of her busy day, she would sit down in a chair and pull her apron up over her head and have her Quiet Time! When the apron went up, the children knew mom was praying and reading her Bible and they left her alone. While some question the veracity of this story, if true, it is certainly convicting.


Remember that a daily Quiet Time does not mark the end but the beginning of the day. Our time with God in the morning (although any time can be your quiet time) sets our stage for our time with men during the day. Our time in the morning with God is not meant to be a ritual or a routine but a relationship. We meet Christ at the Cross, and call that conversion. We meet with Him "in the closet," and we call that conversation. At the Cross we come to know Christ, and in the closet we come to know Him more and learn to walk in the power of His Spirit.

To include the Lord in our
daily routine often results in
seeing His divine activity at work.

Let me ask you...Does your spiritual life lack power? C H Spurgeon once said that "If we are weak in communion with God we are weak everywhere." Do you find yourself seemingly unable to resist temptations from your besetting sin? Indeed, our sensitivity to sin and ability to resist it is directly proportional to the nearness of our communion with Christ. Our "power to live a new life depends upon daily communion with the living Lord." (John Eadie) Have you noticed how quickly your Iphone loses its charge during routine daily use? What about your spiritual life? Beloved, Quiet Times are not optional if we are to have our "spiritual batteries regularly recharged", ready for the day's activities!  Simply put, we must seek to spend quality time with God, for "Our ability to stay with God in our closet measures our ability to stay with God out of the closet." (E M Bounds) "If our lives and ministry are to count for anything today, we must solemnly resolve to make time for God (today)." (Vance Havner)

Moses demonstrates the pattern of meeting with God...

Thus Jehovah used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent. (Ex 33:11, cp Nu 12:8, Dt 34:10)

Comment: In everyday life, friends speak with each other face to face, clearly and openly. "Face to face" speaks of intimacy, not that Moses actually saw the face of God (cp Ex 33:18-23 with Jn 1:18). "Friend" in the Bible is a covenant term (see note #1) and note #2). Even the pagan Aristotle understood this truth writing that a friend is "One soul in two bodies." J Oswald Sanders once said "Every one of us is as close to God as he has chosen to be."

Who was Jehovah? This Jehovah Who spoke to Moses from the Cloud (Ex 33:9-10) is most likely identified as the pre-incarnate Christ, the "Angel of God (Jehovah)" (see note) Who moved in the cloud (cp Ex 13:21 and Ex 14:19, Ge 16:7; see related discussion: Jehovah = Jesus) (Related Article The Pillar of the Cloud by Ronald B. Allen - Bib Sac 153:612, 1996)

Why was David a man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22)? Surely the opening words of this psalm give us a clue...

My soul waits in silence for God only;
From Him is my salvation.
Ps 62:1-note

There is a QUIET PLACE
(Play this hymn)
Far from the rapid pace,
Where God can soothe my troubled mind.
Sheltered by tree and flow’r,
There in my quiet hour,
With Him, my cares are left behind.
Whether a garden small
Or on a mountain tall
New strength and courage there I find;
Then from this quiet place,
I go prepared to face
A new day with love for all mankind
-Ralph Carmichael


The right time is when you find the time. The point is like the Nike commercial says "Just Do It!" That said, there are a number of reasons to consider the early morning for one's quiet time.

We are encouraged (actually commanded) to imitate Jesus in 1Cor 11:1, so the question is did Jesus have a time alone with His Father? While the following passage emphasizes prayer, it clearly speaks of Jesus' communion with His Father which should also be the primary objective of our daily quiet time. Beloved, if Jesus felt the need for time with His Father, how much more should we! (See Jesus' declaration that He could do nothing "unless it is something He sees His Father doing." Jn 5:17, 19, Jn 5:30, Jn 8:28 - all emphasize Jesus' dependence on His Father and thus His necessity to meet with and hear from His Father! And as our Elder Brother demonstrates, we have no less of a need to hear from our Father in heaven. See related post on how to discern THE WILL OF GOD)

And in the early morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there. (Mark 1:35, cp Mt 14:13, Lk6:12)

Compare this OT passage which speaks prophetically of Messiah:

The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of disciples, that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning. He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple. (Isa 50:4)


J D Jones comments on Mark 1:35: I was once taken through the engineering shops in the Devonport dockyard. I saw innumerable machines busy at various kinds of work, most of them making considerable noise in the process. Then my conductor took me to a room which by contrast was almost silent, where a great engine was working smoothly and quietly. "This," said he, "is the power-room." In that quiet room I found the secret of the multifarious activities of the machines in the various shops. In Mk 1:32-34, Mark has been showing us our Lord's various activities. In Mk 1:35 he takes us to the "power-room." Back of all the activities of the synagogue and the street lay a life of secret prayer. In communion with His Father, Jesus refreshed and renewed Himself for further labour and toil amongst men. "A great while before day"—Jesus made time for prayer! He snatched it from His sleep. What an object-lesson as to the indispensable necessity of prayer! We realize the obligation of service in these days, and consequently we have become very "busy." But are we neglecting the "power-room"? We must keep the balance true. We must never become too busy to pray....

Our Lord had, according to Mk 1:35, "risen up a great while before day," and had departed into a desert place to pray. He had stolen out while His disciples were asleep. It was only when, with the dawning of the day, those who had sick folk in the city, and who had not received Christ's healing grace on the previous evening, began to knock at the door and inquire for Him, that the disciples discovered He was not there. And then they pursued—that is the Greek word—in hot haste after Jesus. Incidentally let us notice what a tribute there is here to the character of Jesus. These four disciples knew exactly where to look for Him. They had already become acquainted with His prayer habits. They knew His love for quiet and solitary communion. And so when He was missing, they went straight to the place of prayer to look for Him. "They pursued after Him."

What an illustration this is
of the difficulties of communion!

"Scarcely can we turn aside," our hymn says, "for one brief hour of prayer." Jesus could "scarcely turn aside." It was with difficulty He found His "quiet time." Something or other—the clamor of the multitude, the cares of the world—was always following Him even into the desert place. We know this difficulty too. What between the claims of business and family, social and church duties, we have no leisure for the "quiet time." Every hour we are "pursued" by something or other, nevertheless, we must make time for prayer. Meal times and prayer times, as the old saying puts it, are not lost times. (Mark Commentary-Devotional)

Around us rolls the ceaseless tide
Of business, toil, and care;
And scarcely can we turn aside
For one brief hour of prayer.

Behold Us, Lord, a Little Space

We see Isaiah speaking prophetically of Messiah's "Quiet Time"...

The Lord GOD has given Me (Messiah) the tongue of disciples, that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He (the Lord God) awakens Me (Messiah) morning by morning. He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple (Hebrew - limmud = one taught, a learner- cf Lk 2:40, 47, 52, Heb 5:8). (Isaiah 50:4)

So even Jesus had a Quiet Time which shows us our great need for the same! While He was clearly fully God, He lived His life in dependence on His Father and the Holy Spirit (John 5:19, 30, 8:28 Lk 4:1, 14, Mt 4:1, Acts 10:38, etc) in order to show us how to live our new life in Christ. If Jesus found it necessary (priority, important) to meet privately with His Father, surely His example is sufficient reason for us to imitate His pattern (1Cor 11:1, 1Jn 2:6, 1Pe 2:21-note).

Take time to be holy
Speak oft with Thy Lord
Abide with Him always
And feed on His Word

Take time to be holy
The world rushes on
Spend much time in secret
With Jesus alone
Play Hymn

Daniel a man greatly used by God had the lifelong OT equivalent of a "Quiet Time"

Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously. (Dan 6:10-note; cp David's mention of three times a day in Ps 55:17)

Southern Baptist preacher Robert G Lee used to say

If you wake up in the morning and don’t meet the devil face on, it just means you’re headed in the same direction! (Ed: It follows that we might be better prepared for the attacks from our Adversary and his minions if we first have a Coram Deo [R C Sproul] encounter!)

J. Hudson Taylor Missionary to China referring to the value of quiet time in the morning once quipped...

You don’t tune up the instruments after the concert is over. That’s stupid. It’s logical to tune them up before you start!


Comment: This quote begs the question do I "tune my heart" before I begin each day?


Dawson Trotman, founder of the Navigators Ministry, actually had two quiet times, morning and evening. He had a code for his nightly quiet time: H.W.L.W. Whenever he was with a group of people at night or home with his wife and the conversation seemed to be ending, he would say, “All right, H. W. L. W.,” after which a passage of Scripture would be quoted without comment and all would go to sleep. H.W.L.W. stood for “His Word the Last Word.” This was his reminder for the men to go to sleep thinking about and meditating on some verse God had given them that day. Trotman practiced  H.W.L.W. throughout his life as a way of ending a day with one's thoughts fixed on the Lord and His Word. Are you memorizing His Word (see also Memory Verses by Topic) during the day, so that you might able to meditate on it before you fall asleep?

Rob Morgan comments: Dawson knew that the last dominant conscious thought in the human mind at the end of the day would inevitably simmer in the subconscious during sleep and help shape the attitude and personality of the heart. And he was right. If you want to hide God’s word in your heart (Ps 119:11), go to sleep while meditating on a verse of Scripture (Read Joshua 1:8, Ps 1:2, Ps 63:6, Ps 77:6, Ps 119:97). It seeps into your subconscious mind and helps shape your soul. You’ll sleep better, and wake up the next morning more refreshed. Charles Spurgeon used to say that Bible verses make good pillows. (The Best Seat Is On The Floor)

Stephen F. Olford once said

I want to hear the voice of God before I hear anyone else’s in the morning, and his is the last voice I want to hear at night.

In fact the Bible frequently mentions other godly men and women rising early in the morning to meet with the Lord:

Abraham: Gen 19:27 Now Abraham arose early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood before the LORD; (Spurgeon's sermon -The Smoke of their Torments)

Job: Job 1:5 And it came about, when the days of feasting had completed their cycle, that Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, “Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.

Jacob: Ge 28:18 So Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on its top.

Moses: Ex 34:4 So he cut out two stone tablets like the former ones, and Moses rose up early in the morning and went up to Mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and he took two stone tablets in his hand.


Comment: Notice that in this passage "morning time" was commanded.


Hannah and Elkanah: 1Sam 1:19 Then they arose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD, and returned again to their house in Ramah. And Elkanah had relations with Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her.


Comment: Notice that a major component of this "morning time" was worship, which should likewise be our practice. Devotional study is fine but may it always drive us to desire deeper worship of the Worthy One! This probably will not be your experience the first time you try the "morning time" but over time, it will become your reflexive response to our Master's majestic manifestions.

David: Ps 5:3-
note In the morning, O LORD, Thou wilt hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to Thee and eagerly watch. Ps 57:7 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises!8 Awake, my glory; Awake, harp and lyre, I will awaken the dawn!


Spurgeon's Comment: "In the morning" is the fittest time for intercourse with God. An hour in the morning is worth two in the evening. While the dew is on the grass, let grace drop upon the soul. Let us give to God the mornings of our days and the morning of our lives. Prayer should be the key of the day and the lock of the night. Devotion should be both the morning star and the evening star.


• Ps 90:14-note O satisfy us in the morning with Thy lovingkindness, That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. (See also Spurgeon's sermon - The Young Man's Prayer)


Spurgeon's Comment: Since they must die, and die so soon (Ed: And won't we all, when comparing this little speck of time to eternity!), the psalmist pleads for speedy mercy upon himself and his brethren. Good men know how to turn the darkest trials into arguments at the throne of grace. He who has but the heart to pray need never be without pleas in prayer. The only satisfying food for the Lord's people is the favor of God; this Moses earnestly seeks for, and as the manna fell in the morning he beseeches the Lord to send at once his satisfying favor, that all through the little day of life they might be filled therewith. Are we so soon to die? Then, Lord, do not starve us while we live. Satisfy us at once, we pray thee. Our day is short and the night hastens on, O give us in the early morning of our days to be satisfied with thy favor, that all through our little day we may be happy. That we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Being filled with divine love, their brief life on earth would become a joyful festival, and would continue so as long as it lasted. When the Lord refreshes us with his presence, our joy is such that no man can take it from us. Apprehensions of speedy death are not able to distress those who enjoy the present favor of God; though they know that the night cometh they see nothing to fear in it, but continue to live while they live, triumphing in the present favour of God and leaving the future in his loving hands. Since the whole generation which came out of Egypt had been doomed to die in the wilderness, they would naturally feel despondent, and therefore their great leader seeks for them that blessing which,


• Ps 119:147 I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Thy words.


Spurgeon's comment: He was up before the sun, and began his pleadings before the dew began to leave the grass. Whatever is worth doing is worth doing speedily.


• Ps 143:8-note Let me hear Thy lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in Thee; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to Thee I lift up my soul.


Spurgeon's Comment: Lord, my sorrow makes me deaf,—cause me to hear: there is but one voice that can cheer me—cause me to hear thy lovingkindness; that music I would fain enjoy at once—cause me to hear it in the morning, at the first dawning hour. A sense of divine love is to the soul both dawn and dew; the end of the night of weeping, the beginning of the morning of joy. Only God can take away from our weary ears the din of our care, and charm them with the sweet notes of his love. Our plea with the Lord is our faith: if we are relying upon him, he cannot disappoint us: "in thee do I trust" is a sound and solid argument with God. He who made the ear will cause us to hear: he who is love itself will have the kindness to bring his lovingkindness before our minds.

• Isa 26:9-
Spurgeon's sermon (The Desire of the Soul in Spiritual Darkness) At night my soul longs for Thee, Indeed, my spirit within me seeks Thee diligently; For when the earth experiences Thy judgments The inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.


Spurgeon's Comment: NIGHT appears to be a time peculiarly favorable to devotion. Its solemn stillness helps to free the mind from that perpetual din which the cares of the world will bring around it. And the stars looking down from Heaven upon us shine as if they would attract us up to God. I know not how you may be affected by the solemnities of midnight, but when I have sat alone musing on the great God and the mighty universe, I have felt that, indeed, I could worship Him, for night seemed to be spread abroad as a very temple for adoration, while the moon walked as high priest amid the stars! The worshippers and I, myself, joined in that silent song which they sang unto God—“Great are You, O God! Great in Your works. When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have ordained, what is man, that You are mindful of him? And the son of man, that You visit him?”


• Ezek 12:8 And in the morning the word of the LORD came to me, saying,


• Hab 2:1-note I will stand on my guard post and station myself on the rampart; and I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, and how I may reply when I am reproved.


William MacDonald comments: Habakkuk retired to his watchtower to see how the Lord would answer him. He wanted to get alone in order to gain God’s perspective. This is a most important principle for believers today as well. Whether we call it our “quiet time,” “devotions,” or by some other term, daily communion with God is crucial for every Christian. (See also Spurgeon's sermon Watching to See)

In 1882 seven students (see note below) at Cambridge University became famous for their "Quiet Time" slogan...


In the beginning of his Confessions, Augustine writes...

You stimulate [us] to take pleasure in praising You, because You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they can find peace in You.

You are my Strength when I am weak
You are the Treasure that I seek
You are my All in All
Seeking You as a precious Jewel
Lord, to give up I'd be a fool.
You are my All in All...
Jesus Lamb of God
Worthy is Your Name.

You Are My All in All

We need to beware of a subtle trap regarding Quiet Times. We can begin to think of our  spirituality as proportionate to the number of times we have met with God during the week. If devotions become a chore we chalk up, then we are in danger of becoming legalists rather than lovers. Not only is this legalistic approach prideful, it is the antithesis of the desired effect of a rightly motivated Quiet Time for as John writes...

He must increase but
I must decrease.

John 3:30-

As Robert Murray M'Cheyne put it

Live near to God and all things will appear little to you in comparison with eternal realities.

Or as James Philip said...

In the light of God, human vision clears.

The psalmist extols the evening in the following passage...

Ps 119:148 My eyes anticipate the night watches, That I may meditate on Thy word.

Spurgeon: Before the watchman cried the hour, he was crying to God. He did not need to be informed as to how the hours were flying, for every hour his heart was flying towards heaven. He began the day with prayer, and he continued in prayer through the watches of the day, and the watches of the night. The soldiers changed guard, but David did not change his holy occupation. Specially, however, at night did he keep his eyes open, and drive away sleep, that he might maintain communion with his God. He worshipped on from watch to watch as travellers journey from stage to stage. “That I might meditate in thy word.” This had become meat and drink to him. Meditation was the food of his hope, and the solace of his sorrow: the one theme upon which his thoughts ran was that blessed “word” which he continually mentions, and in which his heart rejoices. He preferred study to slumber; and he learned to forego his necessary sleep for much more necessary devotion. It is instructive to find meditation so constantly connected with fervent prayer: it is the fuel which sustains the flame. How rare an article is it in these days.


There is no specific "formula" for Quiet Time in Scripture and for that matter the phrase "Quiet Time" is not even found in the Bible. The principle of meeting with God however is found (as discussed throughout these notes) and is foundational to growing in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2Pe 3:16). Modern smart phones have a feature called "Face Time" to make the phone encounter more personal and realistic. As Christ followers we need "face time" with our Master and quiet time is simply one way of accomplishing that end. In the notes below there are a variety of suggestions as well as caveats regarding quiet time, but simply put, we should keep our "face time" with God simple so that we are neither encumbered by even "good things" (Heb 12:1) nor distracted by details. Obviously if we aim at nothing, we are certain to miss. So our aim should be to seek God's face keeping it simple. I suggest the following as a minimum:

(1) A Bible you are willing to mark in. God speaks most clearly in His Word and we can record notes, thoughts in the margins. It is preferable to select a Bible without notes (lest you be tempted to read men's words rather than God's Word - remember your desire should be a face to face encounter with the Living God through His Living Word - cf Coram Deo [R C Sproul]. Sometimes I keep two versions open (NAS or ESV for more literal translation and NLT or Amplified), using the second version to provide insights not readily apparent in the more literal translations.

(2) Prayer - confessing anything unholy that might hinder communication with the Holy One (pray Ps 139:23-24, 1Jn 1:9), asking for His Spirit's guidance and illumination (Ps 119:18, Jn 16:13), and including a time of intercession for others (Gal 6:2, Jas 5:16).

(3) A notebook - Record passages (eg, one's you want to memorize - write them out on a small card to carry with you the rest of the day) and insights on passages especially those that convict you and call for Spirit of grace enabled obedience. Your goal is not the complete the quiet time (that's legalism), but to become more intimate with God, more like His Son, more ready to yield quickly to His Spirit. If you've never practiced the discipline of delight (not duty) of a quiet time see Robert Foster's Seven Minutes with God posted below for his suggestion.


A couple who is passionately in love can't be kept apart. If we love someone, we want to spend time with them. We say we love Jesus, but does our time alone with Him (our deeds) support what we say? "The more any man loves Christ, the more he delights to be with Christ alone. Lovers love to be alone." (Thomas Brooks) Making time often requires us to be intentional and deliberate. It is easy for the "tyranny of the urgent" to overwhelm our good intentions of time with the "Lover of our souls" and before we realize it we've postponed our appointment until the next day or the day after, etc. You've never done that have you?

As Spurgeon said

Have your heart right with Christ, and he will visit you often, and so turn weekdays into Sundays, meals into sacraments, homes into temples, and earth into heaven....In forty years I have not spent fifteen waking minutes without thinking of Jesus.

Robert Boyd Munger in his the little booklet, My Heart Christ's Home compares his heart to a home where Christ has been invited to dwell as the heavenly guest. He goes room by room, showing how the Lord cleaned the dirty books off the shelves of the study, took down the filthy pictures, how He cleaned the dining room of unhealthy appetites and desires, etc. The living room was a comfortable room with a quiet atmosphere.

The Lord said, "This is indeed a delightful room. Let us come here often. It is secluded and quiet, and we can fellowship together." Well, naturally as a young Christian I was thrilled. I couldn't think of anything I would rather do than have a few minutes with Christ in intimate companionship.

He promised, "I will be here early every morning. Meet me here, and we will start the day together." So morning after morning, I would come downstairs to the living room and He would take a book of the Bible from the bookcase. He would open it and then we would read together. He would tell me of its riches and unfold to me its truths. He would make my heart warm as He revealed His love and His grace He had toward me. These were wonderful hours together. In fact, we called the living room the "withdrawing room." It was a period when we had our quiet time together.

But, little by little, under the pressure of many responsibilities, this time began to be shortened. Why, I'm don't know, but I thought I was just too busy to spend time with Christ. This was not intentional, you understand; it just happened that way. Finally, not only was the time shortened, but I began to miss a day now and then. It was examination time at the university. Then it was some other urgent emergency. I would miss it two days in a row and often more.

I remember one morning when I was in a hurry, rushing downstairs, eager to be on my way. As I passed the living room, the door was open. Looking in, I saw a fire in the fireplace and Jesus was sitting there. Suddenly in dismay I thought to myself, "He was my guest. I invited Him into my heart! He has come as Lord of my home. And yet here I am neglecting Him." I turned and went in. With downcast glance, I said, "Blessed Master, forgive me. Have You been here all these mornings?"

"Yes," He said, "I told you I would be here every morning to meet with you." Then I was even more ashamed. He had been faithful in spite of my faithfulness. I asked His forgiveness and He readily forgave me as He does when we are truly repentant. "The trouble with you is this: you have been thinking of the quiet time, of the Bible study and prayer time, as a factor in your own spiritual progress, but you have forgotten that this hour means something to me also. Remember, I love you. I have redeemed you at great cost. I value your fellowship. Now," He said, "do not neglect this hour if only for my sake. Whatever else may be your desire, remember I want your fellowship!"

You know, the truth that Christ desires my companionship, that He loves me, wants me to be with Him, wants to be with me and waits for me, has done more to transform my quiet time with God than any other single fact. Don't let Christ wait alone in the living room of your heart, but every day find some time when, with your Bible and in prayer, you may be together with Him. (My Heart Christ's Home)

May we be ever mindful of Christ's love for us,
So that our Quiet Time is motivated
By a sense of anticipation and delight,
Not a sense of drudgery and duty.

Tim Schoap notes that many believers are "functional legalists" explaining that...

As functional legalists we recognize and condemn legalism when it comes to salvation, the idea that we can be saved by our works. However, we embrace it and live as legalists for sanctification. Although it is God's grace that justifies and sanctifies, many of us live day by day relying on our works for our sanctification. When our works don't measure up, we either question our salvation or our worthiness. We saw this "nobody/somebody" model of behavior in an earlier lesson.

This nobody/somebody "model" works in three ways - first, by causing us to judge according to what we do. Ask yourself these questions: How do you feel about yourself when you miss your quiet time, when you don't pray, when you pass on a witnessing opportunity, or fall into a "big" sin? When you are less than pleasant with your family, friends? When you just don't feel spiritual? Now, how do you feel when you have a great quiet time, share Christ with a friend, turn your back on temptation, are kind and generous to all those around you, and you have a plain sense of God's presence in your life? If you are like most, you fall easily into the trap of feeling like on a "good" day, God is blessing and you are walking in sanctification, and on a "bad" day, God is not only not blessing, but you are the lowest of Christian pond scum! (Ed: Quiet time is to be a blessing, not a burden!) (The Spiritual Life - 46 page monograph)

Steven Cole speaks of another potential stumbling block of quiet times...

There’s a serious danger which both individuals and churches must guard against—institutional religion. It’s so easy to fall into routine Christianity, where you run through your programs and activities, but you don’t live in close touch with the living God.

You even can have a personal quiet time,
but not meet with God.

You can go to church and go through the worship service, but you haven’t made contact with the living God. One day several years ago the phone rang in the rector’s office of the church in Washington, D.C., where the President sometimes attended. An eager voice said, “Do you expect the President to be there Sunday?” The rector replied, “That I cannot promise. But we do expect God, and we fancy it will be incentive enough for a reasonably large attendance.” (In “Our Daily Bread,” Fall, 1986.) (Sermon on 1Timothy 3:14-16)

In another place Steven Cole reminds us that...

Our hearts are so prone to fall into a legalistic spirit, where we congratulate ourselves for keeping our vows, but our hearts are far from the Lord. The main thing is to walk closely with the Lord, judging all known sin and gladly obeying His Word out of a heart of love. If you miss your morning quiet time, your day is not under a curse. Walk with God that day and make it your priority to meet alone with Him as soon as you can. The biblical balance is: Don’t put yourself under manmade laws or rules that have the appearance of wisdom, “but are of no value against fleshly indulgence” (Col 2:20-23-note). On the other hand, do discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness (1Ti 4:7-note). (Nehemiah 10:1-39 Putting God's Truth into Practice)

David writes...

For the choir director; for flute accompaniment.
A Psalm of David.
Give ear to my words, O LORD,
Consider my groaning.
Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God,
For to Thee do I pray.
In the morning, O LORD, Thou wilt hear my voice;
In the morning I will order my prayer to Thee and eagerly watch.
Psalm 5:1-3-
Spurgeon's Note

As we alluded to earlier, we do well to cultivate the attitude and pattern of David, a man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22, 1Sa 16:7) who alluded to meeting with the Lord....

One thing I have asked (desired as in Eccl 2:10) from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to meditate in His temple. (Ps 27:4 )

Comment: If your quiet times are too quiet consider making this your prayer to God, that He might cultivate this desire in your heart ("One thing I have asked...")

Devotions are a matter of our heart
more than a discipline of our day timer.

Keil and Delitzsch: There is only one thing, that he desires,...an ardent longing which extends out of the past into the future, and therefore runs through his whole life. The one thing sought is unfolded...a lifelong dwelling in the house of Yahweh, that is to say intimate spiritual intercourse...is the one desire of David's heart, in order that he might behold and feast upon (of a clinging, lingering, chained gaze) the pleasantness (or gracefulness) of the Lord.

Joseph Carroll adds: There you have it in one verse of Scripture. There is only one thing he desired; but because he desired this one thing, all things became possible. This is the mainspring. This is that which sets everything else in motion and enables all else to function as it was intended and to fulfill its appropriate role. If the one thing that is needful is desired and sought, everything else will fall into its proper place and will perform its proper function....David's desire is an ardent longing that runs out of the past into the future. It is not a momentary thing. Intimate, spiritual intercourse is the one consuming desire of his heart, and it was this that dominated David all his days...At the end of the day ask yourself what you have done with your time. How much time did you set aside to worship Jesus Christ? You might be surprised.
Of course, to worship Him in your quiet time is not the end. It is only the beginning. You are merely tuning your instrument to face the day. We seem to have the strange idea that if only we can have a quiet time, everything is going to be fine for the rest of the day; and if we do not have a quiet time, everything is going to turn out miserably. This is not so. The quiet time should be set aside early in the morning, but it is only the tuning of the instrument. You cannot say, "I have had my quiet time. Now I'm fine." This is just the beginning, getting in first gear, so to speak. We must walk in fellowship with the Lord throughout the day. C. H. Spurgeon said he was never out of vital contact with God for more than ten minutes! Little wonder that God used this great lover of Jesus Christ so mightily. Like King David before him, C. H. Spurgeon purposed in his heart to seek to be a true worshiper of his Lord, for no man will ever experience true worship in a consistent manner unless he sets his will to do so. (How to Worship Jesus Christ)

Spurgeon: Divided aims tend to distraction, weakness, disappointment. The man of one book is eminent, the man of one pursuit is successful. Let all our affections be bound up in one affection, and that affection set upon heavenly things. What we cannot at once attain, it is well to desire. God judges us very much by the desire of our hearts. He who rides a lame horse is not blamed by his master for want of speed, if he makes all the haste he can, and would make more if he could; God takes the will for the deed with his children. This is the right target for desires, this is the well into which to dip our buckets, this is the door to knock at, the bank to draw upon; desire of men, and lie upon the dunghill with Lazarus: desire of the Lord, and to be carried of angels into Abraham's bosom. Our desires of the Lord should be sanctified, humble, constant, submissive, fervent, and it is well if, as with the psalmist, they are all molten into one mass. Under David's painful circumstances we might have expected him to desire repose, safety, and a thousand other good things, but no, he has set his heart on the pearl, and leaves the rest. That will I seek after. Holy desires must lead to resolute action. The old proverb says, "Wishers and woulders are never good housekeepers, "and "wishing never fills a sack." Desires are seed which must be sown in the good soil of activity, or they will yield no harvest. We shall find our desires to be like clouds without rain, unless followed up by practical endeavors....

We shall not need to make enquiries in (meditate on) heaven, for there we shall know even as we are known; but meanwhile we should sit at Jesus' feet, and awaken all our faculties to learn of him.


A major factor regarding our spiritual growth is our time in the Word. Peter makes clear the relationship of intake and growth...

Therefore (because you are "born again" 1Pe 1:23), putting aside (enabled by the Spirit, discarding the following unholy attitudes and actions must precede intake of the holy Word) all (just try to do this in your own strength! Surrender to the Spirit's searching of your heart and enabling power to put off all) malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, 2 like newborn babies, long for (yearn for, pant for) the pure (no additives, undiluted) milk of the Word, so that (term of conclusion - don't miss it!) by it (What?) you may grow (not know but grow - intake without growth was characteristic of the Pharisees of Jesus' day!)  in respect to salvation (In context this refers to sanctification, growth in holiness, growth in Christ-likeness, progressive conformation to the image of God's Son).

Comment: Notice that the very thing that caused Peter's readers to be "born again" ("seed which is...imperishable...the living and enduring Word of God." 1Pe 1:23-25-note), enables them to "grow in respect to salvation." Simply stated, if you have no regular intake of the Word, you can be assured that you will exhibit no significant spiritual growth. It's easy to focus on verse two and miss the vital relationship with 1Pe 2:1. If we have unconfessed sin (like those in verse 1), we are not "spiritually healthy" (so to speak) and our spiritual appetite for holy things will be blunted at best and totally absent at worst. D. L. Moody had an excellent practice of keeping "short accounts" with God -- Every evening before retiring he would review the day with his Lord, trusting His Spirit to reveal anything that had displeased Him (cp Ps 139:23-24-note). Such a man is prepared for the morning hour of worship (recall that "worship" speaks of the worthiness of someone. He is worthy - Rev 5:12-note). See parallel passage Hebrews 5:14-note. Stephen Olford observes that "It is impossible to subsist as a Christian without one’s daily Quiet Time, because God has put into our spiritual life and nature a hunger for the Word."

Guy King tells about the time he...

lived in a certain vicarage for fifteen years which had a pear tree in the garden; but never a respectable pear did it yield me all that time. I am no gardener; but my successor was - and, strange to relate, he had a bumper crop his very first year! Why? He went at the roots, which I was too ignorant to do. That's it! take care of the roots, the secret connection with the Soil - the Quiet Time with GOD, and the use of His appointed means of grace - the Word; the Footstool; the Table; the Worship; the Work, "that ye may grow thereby," 1Peter 2:2, and become "Oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified" (Isa 61:3-Spurgeon's sermon): Not we, but He. May we not be stunted trees. (Colossians Commentary)

Ivor Powell

Trees which stand on top of a cliff need to send their roots deep!

A B Simpson

Dwell deep in the hidden life of God. The cedar grows more beneath the ground than above it.

C H Spurgeon

The nearer we come to God, the more graciously will he reveal himself to us.

Stephen Olford

The barometer of one’s Christian life is the Quiet Time. Do you have a Quiet Time, or have you let it slip? Be the man of God who takes time to be holy, speaks oft with his Lord, abides in Him only, and feeds on His Word. God grant that this may be true of you.

George Sweeting

While still in his childhood, John Wesley resolved to dedicate an hour each morning and evening to Bible study and prayer.

Warren Wiersbe

I suggest you discipline yourself to spend time daily in a systematic reading of God’s Word. Make this “quiet time” a priority that nobody can change.

Doctor's say the most important mean of the day is breakfast. Jesus understood the importance of a spiritual "breakfast of champions" and how it even prepared one for the spiritual war each day is certain to bring...

But He answered (addressing the Devil's temptation in Mt 4:3) and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’” (Matt 4:4-note; quoting Dt 8:3, cp Eph 6:17-note)

Comment: How did Jesus resist the Devil's intense temptation? Filled with, led by the Holy Spirit (Lk 4:1, cp Lk 4:14, Mt 4:1) and filled with the Holy Word (from Deuteronomy)! God's "template for victory" has not changed. Quiet time can strengthen us for the inevitable daily battles with temptation!

Spurgeon: Living is sustained by feeding. We must support the spiritual life by spiritual food, and that spiritual food is the Lord Jesus ("The Word of God," Jn 1:1, Rev 19:13).

R W De Haan comments
:  If we have been feeding daily on God's Word, it's natural to feel "hungry" when we skip our quiet time. But if we continue to neglect it, we may lose all desire to study the Scriptures. In fact, we may be starving ourselves. How much time do you spend reading the Bible and meditating on its truths? Do you miss the Word when you neglect it? Thomas Guthrie wrote,

"If you find yourself loving any pleasure better than your prayers, any book better than the Bible, any persons better than Christ, or any indulgence better than the hope of heaven--take alarm."

If you've lost your taste for the "bread of life," confess your negligence and ask God to revive your appetite for His Word. Avoid spiritual starvation!

Break Thou the bread of life, dear Lord, to me,
As Thou didst break the loaves beside the sea.
Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee, Lord;
My spirit pants for Thee, O Living Word.

Elmer Towns

The secret of our future spiritual maturity lies in our daily routine of Bible study.

E M Bounds

To be little with God is to be little for God.

Jonathan Edwards

True grace delights in secret converse with God.

Jim Faucett

It is misguided to think that God will revive a people who find no time to commune with him from the heart.

Dennis Fisher asks

How do we know if we’re making progress in our personal time with the Lord? One major characteristic will be an increase in appreciation for who and what God is. Our personal quiet time should cause us to praise Him (Ed: Cp "A garment of praise [Spurgeon sermon]" - Isa 61:3KJV).....

(Ed: In addition we will begin to...)

• Learn how to pray while “on the go.” (1Th 5:17-note)

• Let God into your daily problem-solving activities.

• Acknowledge to others your need of divine help. (Jas 4:6b-note)

• Expect God to act outside your own limited perspective.

• Keep reflecting on a biblical theme for the day. (Job 23:12-note)

(Ed Comment: In Job 23:12, he is saying that given a choice between breakfast and a quiet time with the Lord, he would opt for the latter. Little wonder that the incredible introductory description in Job 1:1 is affirmed not once but twice by God Himself in Job 1:8 and Job 2:3).

• Be encouraged by the fact that Jesus has promised to stay with us in all of life’s circumstances (Mt 28:20). (Booklet related to quiet time - Keeping Our Appointments With God)


Stephen Olford speaks of a "carry over" benefit of his Quiet Time...

My prayer list is a very interesting one. Monday-Missions. Tuesdays-Thanksgiving. Wednesday-Workers, staff, etc. Thursday-Tasks. Friday-Family. Saturday-Saints (so much of Paul’s praying was for the saints). And Sunday-Sinners. On the list of sinners for this present period of my life....Now, it isn’t the length of time I spend in my quiet time, though I usually take an hour, but there is a carry-over of the activity of prayer, the attitude of prayer, that marks the rest of the day. I never pick up a telephone without a prayer. I never dictate a letter to my secretary without a prayer. I never let anybody into my study or out of my study without a prayer, and as my beloved workers know, any time we get together we say, ‘Let’s pray.’ And so, prayer is literally praying without ceasing (1Th 5:17-note). At the drop of a hat…and so I feel I live in that attitude of perpetual prayer.

In Joshua 6:10 we see that a "quiet time" preceded a "shouting time" and victory over Jericho.

David writes...

Thou wilt make known to me the path of life;
In Thy presence is fulness of joy;
In Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.

Ps 16:11-

If we believe David's words
we too will seek the presence of David's God!

Henry Blackaby challenges us...

If you are not keeping a spiritual journal or diary, you need to. If the God of the universe tells you something, you should write it down. When God speaks to you in your quiet time, immediately write down what He said before you have time to forget. Then record your prayer response. I write down the verse of Scripture He uses and what God has said to me about Himself from that verse. I write down the prayer response I am making; so I have in place the encounter with God, what God said, and how I responded to Him. I also write out what I need to do to adjust my life to God so I can begin to experience Him relating to me in this way. (Experiencing God)

George Sweeting the respected former president of Moody Bible Institute once said that..

If we don't maintain a quiet time each day, it's not really because we are too busy; it's because we do not feel it is important enough....There's an old navy rule: when ships readjust their compass, they drop anchor in a quiet spot....Late nights kill the quiet time....Quiet time is not just a helpful idea, it is absolutely necessary to spiritual growth. (Great Quotes and Illustrations)

A W Tozer

God has not bowed to our nervous haste nor embraced the methods of our machine (Ed: Or technologically crazed) age. The man who would know God must give time to Him.

Robert Murray M'Cheyne

I ought to spend the best hours of the day in communion with God. It is my noblest and most fruitful employment, and is not to be thrust into any corner.

Martin Luther once said

I have so much to do today that I must spend at least three hours in prayer.

Steven Cole notes that...

If you're bored with worship or with serving the Lord, you've lost sight of the glory and majesty of God. Rituals and routines can be pretty boring, but the living God is definitely not boring! Whenever in the Bible someone got a glimpse of God, I assure you, they were not glancing at their watch to find out how much longer the service would last! I realize that not every worship service will give you a glimpse of God! Not every quiet time will be glorious. But if you're consistently bored with worship, you probably need a fresh glimpse of the greatness of God. (Serving God the Leftovers: Malachi 1:6-14)

The psalmist writes...

Whom have I in heaven but Thee?
And besides Thee, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail, "
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
For, behold, those who are far from Thee will perish;
Thou hast destroyed all those who are unfaithful to Thee.
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,
That I may tell of all Thy works.
Ps 73:25-28-
Spurgeon's Note

Joseph Carroll writes...

The best time to worship is, of course, in the morning, in that time that we call a quiet time. But what is a quiet time to you? To me as a young Christian, in the early years, it was anything but a relaxed, meditative time. In fact, it was a time when I had to get through a certain study of the Word of God and certain prayers that I had to pray from my prayer list. Thus, my quiet time was not really a quiet time. It was a study time, a time for intercession, a time for petition. Then I was introduced to a small volume on prayer by A. T. Pierson that led to an intensive study of the teaching of our Lord on prayer....Our Lord's first lesson on prayer is found in Matthew 6:6-note. He is saying, "The first thing you must do is get somewhere alone with Me," for a closet is a closed place. A room can become a closet. It means aloneness. A forest can become a closet. The important thing is aloneness, in secrecy, being alone with your Father....

We enter into the holiest, into the very presence of God, by the blood of Jesus to commune with Him on the basis of a blood-sprinkled Mercy Seat (Heb 10:19-23-note). That Mercy Seat is Christ Himself (1Jn 2:2 where "propitiation" pictured in the "mercy seat" as in Heb 9:5-note), whose blood gives us access (1Ti 2:5). What did this do for my quiet time? It absolutely revolutionized it. Instead of looking at my watch and saying, "I have ten minutes to get through my prayer list," I simply knelt down and quietly meditated upon the fact that I was in the presence of the Lamb of God and worshiped Him. My quiet time then became something for Him, not something for me and with the worship of my heart—the pouring out of my I heart to Him in worship—came the overpowering awareness of His presence. (How to Worship Jesus Christ)

Comment: Were you as convicted as I was when I read Carroll's description of his quiet time as "something for Him, not something for me?" I confess that too often my times have been inward rather than outward and upward focused. The flesh is very clever, even (especially) when it comes to "religious" activity. We need to approach the Quiet Time with a Ro 12:1 (note) attitude of surrender to the Majesty and Glory of our Great God. Such an approach will surely change our inward to an outward, upward focus and we will walk away less conformed to the world and more transformed by His Spirit, our minds renewed and ready to test and approve the many options of the day as to whether they are the will of God. (Ro 12:2-note). We need the attitude of Richard Fuller who said "Count not that thou hast lived that day in which thou hast not lived with God!"

The renowned Bible teacher Howard Hendricks had this to say about time in the Word...

 Dusty Bibles always lead to dirty lives.

You are either in the Word and the Word is conforming you to the image of Jesus Christ or you are in the world and the world is squeezing you into its mold.

The greatest tragedy in evangelicalism today is the many who are "under" the Word of God but they are not "in" the Word for themselves! Being "under" the Word of God ought to be a STIMULUS not a SUBSTITUTE for getting into the Word for one's self.

The Bible still remains the most sold book in the world and also the most neglected one!

Hendricks went on to answer the question of why people don't get into the Bible more often for themselves:

1). Not a priority

2). Not considered relevant to our "modern" generation. It's archaic, out of date.

3). Don't understand how to begin. People say "get into" the Word of God but don't tell you "how" to go about "getting into" it for yourself.

4). I'm just a layman, not a professional...you can't expect me to be able to study the Bible for myself. (Living By The Book Howard Hendricks, William Hendricks) - Highly Recommended; Living by the Book Video Series Workbook 7-part condensed version)

Related Resources: See inductive Bible study


When Rob Morgan asked respected expositor Stephen Olford if he had any advice for someone entering ministry (by the way we are ALL in ministry of some type - 1Pe 4:10-11), he responded 

“Yes,” he said with the same dramatic delivery I head heard in the pulpit. “Yes,” he said, “I do. Never, never, never miss your Quiet Time.”

Rob Morgan goes on to say that...

It was shortly after that when another influence came into my life. Through a mutual friend, I had the opportunity of spending several seasons of extended time with Ruth Bell Graham, and she described to us how important the Quiet Time was to her. One day, when I was asking her about it, she said, “Robert, do you have the notebook habit?” I didn’t know what the notebook habit was, so I said no, I didn’t think I did. So she told me about her little loose-leaf notebook made of leather. She said that she kept wearing it out, but she knew a leather crafter who kept repairing it for her. There she would record the thoughts God gave her each day as she studied her Bible. That very day I drove down to Ashville near her home and found a stationary shop and bought a notebook, and it’s been a lifesaver to me ever since. All these years, I’ve used a journal as part of my Quiet Time, and I owe it to that conversation in North Carolina. (I Need Help With My Quiet Time)

Andrew Bonar a great man of prayer, had three rules related to our discussion of Quiet Time...

1. Not to speak to any man before speaking to Jesus;

2. Not to do anything with his hands until he had been on his knees;

3. Not to read the papers until he had read his Bible.


Jon Courson writes that...

When I get up before the beginning of the day to find a quiet place with a quiet heart for a quiet time, I find the Lord instructs me about what I should do with my discretionary time. We waste so much time trying to figure out what we should do next. And when we don’t get to it, we feel condemned about it. In reality, the decision ought to have been made early in the day. I’m not saying there’s no room for flexibility, but for the most part, I have discovered that the real key is to say early in the day, “Lord, what do You want me to do? By Your grace and with Your help, that’s what I’ll do.”

And as I do those things, as I come to the end of the day, I realize the sun has indeed stood still. Therefore, like Jesus, I’m able to say, “Father, I’ve finished the work You gave me to do.” The tensions disappear; the burdens dissipate; and I find myself living a life of serenity and tranquility to a much greater degree.

What God gives us to do is doable. Do what our Greater than Joshua did day by day. Before the day begins, find a quiet place and have a quiet time with a quiet heart. Let God direct your day. You will have less decision to make and you’ll be victorious in a whole new way.....

It was in the wilderness that God gave manna to His people. And it is in our wilderness here on earth that He daily provides the Bread of His Word, the Bread of Himself. If I don’t feast on the Scriptures daily, I become disillusioned, disoriented, confused. I get mixed up on the days I don’t get away with the Lord in a quiet spot at a quiet time and enjoy the truths and promises of His Word. I think about fleshpots and the bread of Egypt; I become restless and troubled. But when I take in the Word, I find what Jeremiah said to be oh, so true. I find it to indeed be the very joy and rejoicing of my heart (Jeremiah 15:16).  (Jon Courson’s Application Commentary)

Max Lucado...

Some of us have tried to have a daily quiet time and have not been successful. Others of us have a hard time concentrating. And all of us are busy. So rather than spend time with God, listening for his voice, we’ll let others spend time with him and then benefit from their experience. Let them tell us what God is saying. After all, isn’t that why we pay preachers? …If that is your approach, if your spiritual experiences are secondhand and not firsthand, I’d like to challenge you with this thought: Do you do that with others parts of your life? …You don’t do that with vacations.… You don’t do that with romance.…You don’t let someone eat on your behalf, do you? [There are] certain things no one can do for you. And one of those is spending time with God. (Grace for the moment: inspirational thoughts for each day of the year)

Henry Blackaby writes...

God created the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, for a love relationship with Himself. After Adam and Eve had sinned, they heard God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. They hid from Him because of their fear and shame. Try to sense the heart of a loving Father when He asked that wonderful love question, “Where are you?” (Ge 3:9). God knew that something had happened to the love relationship.

When your relationship is as it ought to be, you will always be in fellowship with the Father. You will be there in His presence expecting and anticipating the relationship of love. When Adam and Eve were not there, something had gone wrong.

Early each day, I have an appointment with God. I often wonder what happens when the God who loves me comes to meet me there. How does He feel when He asks, “Henry, where are you?” and I am just not there. I have found this to be true in my own walk with the Lord: I keep that time alone with God, not in order to have a relationship, but because I have a relationship. Because I have that love relationship with the Lord, I want to meet with Him in my quiet time. I want to spend the time there. Time with Him enriches and deepens the relationship I have with Him.

I hear many persons say, “I really struggle trying to have that time alone with God.” If that is a problem you face, let me suggest something to you. Make the priority in your life to come to love Him with all your heart. That will solve most of your problem with your quiet time. Your quiet time is because you know Him and, therefore, love Him, not only in order to learn about Him. The apostle Paul said it was “the love of Christ” that compelled or constrained him (2Cor 5:14).

Suppose you were dating a person you loved and intended to marry. What is the primary reason you date (spend time with) that person? Is it because you want to find out about his likes and dislikes or family background? Is it because you want to find out about her knowledge and education? Or is it because you love him and enjoy being with him?

When two people love each other and plan to marry, they are concerned about finding out information about each other. That is not, however, the primary reason why they date. They spend time together because they love each other and enjoy being together.

Similarly, you will learn much about God, His Word, His purposes, and His ways as you spend time with Him. You will come to know Him during the day as you experience Him working in and through your life. Learning about Him is not, however, why you should want to have a quiet time with Him. The more you know Him and experience His love, the more you will love Him. Then you will want that time alone with Him because you do love Him and enjoy His fellowship. (Experiencing God Knowing and Doing the Will of God, Revised and Expanded Henry Blackaby, Richard Blackaby, Claude King)

Wayne Barber speaks of the value of a quiet time in our ongoing battle with the lusts of our fallen flesh...

You had better learn this: don’t focus on the sin! Focus on the Savior who has conquered the sin! And learn! Train your senses to line up under Him. Accommodate yourself to Him. Put yourself where you can be influenced by the Spirit and not influenced by the flesh.  This is why it’s so important to have a quiet time. Quiet times have been used and abused over the years.

A quiet time is not to make you spiritual.

It just helps you start your day by putting yourself in the right place. Then all day long you begin to fellowship with Him. That’s all it is! It’s just a discipline. It’s not going to make you more spiritual at all. What prayer is and what Scriptures are and what praise is all about is the atmosphere we put ourselves in so that we can be drawn closer and so that the Spirit now can be accommodated instead of accommodating my flesh! I’ve learned now to accommodate my spirit. That’s what we are trying to say. I’m learning, too. (Romans 612-14)

Steven Cole asks...

Do you often make time to spend with the Lord? It’s sure easy for that first love to cool off, and time between you and the Lord gets squeezed out with other things. Or, it becomes your duty to have a quiet time, so you get out your Bible, grimace, and swallow a chapter a day to keep the devil away. But there wasn’t any love in it (cf Rev 2:4, 1Jn 4:10, Ge 3:8-9). You weren’t seeking to know Christ in a more intimate way. You weren’t opening your heart to Him, so that He could confront you and cleanse you and make you more like Himself. There’s no closeness, no intimacy. (Knowing Christ and Being Like Him)

Talk with us, Lord, Thyself reveal,
While here on earth we rove;
Speak to our hearts, and let us feel
The kindling of Thy love.

Charles Wesley

Ron Mattoon tells a story that relates to having a quiet heart during our Quiet Time...

In the book "Directions," James Hamilton writes: Before refrigerators, people used icehouses to preserve their food. Icehouses had thick walls, no windows, and a tightly fitted door. In winter, when streams and lakes were frozen into silver-gray pathways, large blocks of ice were cut, hauled to the icehouses, and covered with golden sawdust. Often the ice would last well into the summer. One man lost a valuable watch in this sawdust while working in an icehouse. He searched diligently for it carefully raking through the sawdust, but didn't find it. His fellow workers also looked, but their efforts, too, proved futile.

A small boy who heard about the fruitless search slipped into the icehouse during the noon hour and soon emerged with the watch. Amazed, the men asked him how he found it. The boy replied, "I closed the door, laid down in the sawdust, and kept very still. Soon I heard the watch ticking."

Beloved, often the question is not whether God is speaking but whether we are being still enough, and quiet enough, to hear what He has to say to us. Be still and get God's direction for your life! (Ps 4:4, Ps 63:6) (Luke Commentary)

The knowledge of the book is not as important...
as knowing the Author of the book.

Skip Heitzig comments that...

Devotional Bible study is the process of reflecting on a few verses or a passage of Scripture and making a personal application. Many Christians refer to this worshipful way of reflecting on the Scriptures as "having a quiet time" or "having devotions." Although devotional study is not primarily an academic approach to the Bible, it doesn't mean that we bypass observation or interpretation on our way to application. Instead, we are simply endeavoring to encounter God on the holy ground of His word by "stepping through the veil" into His presence to commune with Him. Devotional study is a peaceful and reassuring way to begin or end your day. Rather than examining the Bible as simply a textbook, as we might in school, devotional study focuses on seeking the Lord and desiring to know His will as it applies to us. The knowledge of the book is not as important in this method as knowing the Author of the book. Time spent in devotional Bible study becomes a joyful rendezvous with God. (How to Study the Bible and Enjoy It)

Greg Ogden in his excellent book on Biblical Discipleship has the following guidelines...

A daily quiet time is a private meeting each day between a disciple and the Lord Jesus Christ. It should not be impromptu. We can commune with the Lord on a spur-of-the-moment basis many times each day, but a quiet time is a period of time we set aside in advance for the sole purpose of a personal meeting with our Savior and Lord.

A daily quiet time consists of at least three components.

Reading the Bible with the intent not just to study but to meet Christ through the written Word.

(Ed: One caution - while you might occasionally use devotional books to augment your Quiet Time, you want to keep these resources to a bare minimum. Why? Because even excellent, inspirational as devotionals like "Our Daily Bread" [Radio Bible Class] or "My Utmost for His Highest" [Oswald Chamber's devotional] are not the pure milk of God's Word, but are the words others have gleaned from the pure Word. Your goal is communion with God Himself and this is achieved primarily by going directly to the Word He has spoken to you in the Holy Scriptures. God has promised to bless His word, not the words about His Word!)

Meditating on what we have read so that biblical truth begins to saturate our minds, emotions and wills. "Meditate on [the Book of the Law] day and night" (Joshua 1:8).

Praying to (communing with) God: praising, thanking and adoring him as well as confessing our sins, asking him to supply our needs and interceding for others.

Why Is It Important? - Why should we have a daily quiet time? There are at least three reasons.

It pleases the Lord. Even if there were no other consequences, this would be sufficient reason for private daily communion with God.

Of all the Old Testament sacrifices there was only one that was daily—the continual burnt offering. What was its purpose? Not to atone for sin but to provide pleasure (a sweet-smelling aroma) to the Lord. The New Testament directs us to continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, "the fruit of lips that confess his name" (Hebrews 13:15). It may astonish us to realize that God is seeking people who will do just that: "They are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks" (John 4:23). One indicator of the depth of our relationship with the Lord is our willingness to spend time alone with him not primarily for what we get out of it but for what it means to him as well.

We receive benefits. The psalmist had this in mind when he wrote, "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God" (Psalm 42:1-2). We benefit from a quiet time in several ways.

Information. We learn about Christ and his truths when we spend time with him and his Word. Before we can obey him we need to know what he commands. Before we can understand what life is all about we need to know what he has taught.

Encouragement. At times we get discouraged. There is no better source for inspiration than the Lord Jesus Christ.

Power. Even when we know what we should be and do we lack the strength to be that kind of person and do those kinds of works. Christ is the source of power, and meeting with him is essential to our receiving it.

Pleasure. Being alone with the person we love is enjoyable, and as we spend time with Christ we experience a joy unavailable anywhere else.

Jesus had a quiet time. "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed" (Mark 1:35). If our Lord found it necessary to meet privately with his Father, surely his example gives us a good reason to do likewise. The question is whether we will be mediocre Christians or growing Christians. A major factor in determining the answer is whether or not we develop the discipline of a daily quiet time.

How to Begin - Once you desire to begin a daily quiet time, what can you do to start?

First, remember the principle of self-discipline: do what you should do when you should, the way you should, where you should and for the correct reasons. In other words, self-discipline is the wise use of your personal resources (such as time and energy).

(Ed: Fisher writes: I knew a student a number of years ago who was an excellent writer. The problem was that he always turned in his papers late. Why?  “If I can’t do it right, I won’t do it!” was his response. His commitment to perfectionism led him down a path of inconsistency. This is a common problem in maintaining a quiet time. It is a “throwing the baby out with the bath water” mentality. It is the “all or nothing” approach to a devotional life. But in a realistic sense, daily devotions are about progress more than perfection. It’s better for us to have a shorter and even less meaningful devotional time on a given day than it is to skip it in the name of high standards.)

Second, set aside time in advance for your quiet time. A daily quiet time should take place each day at the time when you are most alert. For some this will be in the morning, perhaps before breakfast; for others it will be another time of the day or evening. Though it is not a hard and fast rule, the morning is a preferable time since it begins before the rush of thoughts and activities of the day. An orchestra does not tune its instruments after the concert.

How much time should you spend? This will vary from person to person, but a good plan to follow is to start with ten minutes a day and build up to approximately thirty minutes. This regularly scheduled chunk of time can be a major factor in strengthening self-discipline. Here's a suggestion: pause while reading this and make a decision—now—about when and for how long, beginning tomorrow, you will meet the Lord Jesus Christ for a daily quiet time.

(Ed: Fisher writes "When I was taking classical guitar lessons, the instructor told me, “It’s better to practice 15 minutes a day every day, and then to practice for several hours on only a few days.” He was right, especially when it comes to establishing new habits.")

Third, plan ahead. Go to bed early enough so that you can awaken in a refreshed condition to meet Christ. The battle for the daily quiet time is often lost the night before. Staying up too late hampers our alertness, making us bleary-eyed and numb as we meet the Lord, or else we oversleep and skip the quiet time altogether.

Fourth, make your quiet time truly a quiet time. Psalm 46:10 speaks to this: "Be still, and know that I am God." Turn off your radio or television. Find as quiet a place as possible and make sure your location and position are conducive to alertness. Get out of bed. Sit erect. If you are stretched out in bed or reclining in a chair that is too comfortable you might be lulled into drowsiness.

(Ed: We all concentrate or are distracted in different ways. C. S. Lewis brings up a surprising suggestion in his book Letters To Malcolm. His admonition on the “quiet time” is to make sure we have “just the right amount of distraction” to help us concentrate. Lewis tells the story of a man who would have his devotional time in a railway compartment because complete silence left him open to inner distractions. Ironically, his focus was enhanced when it was challenged just slightly.)

Fifth, pray as you start your time with God. Ask the Holy Spirit to control your investment of time and to guide your praising, confessing, thanking, adoring, interceding, petitioning and meditating, as well as to help you get into the Bible. Open your mind and heart to Scripture.

Sixth, keep a notebook handy. Write down ideas you want to remember and questions you can't answer. Expression deepens impression—and writing is a good mode of expression.

(Ed: W G T Shedd once said "It is not sufficient to commune with the truth, for truth is impersonal. We must commune with the God of truth." Although our Quiet Time is not to be a study time per se, our reading and understanding of what God is saying in His Scripture and hence our communion with Him can be greatly enhanced by practicing simple inductive Bible study techniques and you don't have to be a seasoned inductive student to accomplish this end. Take time to make simple observations [See discussion of the basics of observation], learning especially to ask the 5W/H questions of the terms of conclusion, terms of explanation, terms of contrast, and terms of comparison] which will slow you down and facilitate meditation on the text, allowing your Teacher the Spirit to lead you into the truth. As you engage in "active" rather than "passive" reading, you will be amazed at what God is able to say as you invest the time to slow down and "listen. Take time to chew the cud of God's Word - cp Jer 15:16)

Last, share your plans and goals with a friend. Tell him or her you are trying to develop the discipline of a daily quiet time. Request his or her prayer that God will enable you to succeed with your objectives.

(Ed: Most importantly, when you leave your "Quiet Time," don't let your "Quiet Time" leave you! In other words, as you enter the busyness of your day, remember to mentally take with you the truths God has spoken to your soul during your time of blessed communion with Him! Consciously recall specifics of your time of communion with God [passages, insights, prayers, etc] at various intervals during the day. As you begin to practice the conscious choice to reflect on your earlier time of meeting with God, you are more likely to find that the rest of your day becomes an ongoing experience of the presence of the Living God. As Frank Gaebelein said "A test of Christian devotion is the extent to which, in happiness as well as in sorrow, we think of Jesus." Vance Havner said it this way "It is tragic to go through our days making Christ the subject of our study but not the sustenance of our souls.")

When Problems Arise (Ed: Expect them to arise!). Below are some common problems you might encounter.

I know I ought to have a daily quiet time, but I don't want to. Solution: Ask the Holy Spirit to plant within you the desire to have a daily quiet time. Nobody else can do this for you. You cannot generate the desire, and no other person can produce it for you. (Ed: See Php 2:13NLT-note)

I don't feel like having a daily quiet time today. Solution: Have your quiet time anyway and honestly admit to Christ that you don't feel like meeting him but that you know he nevertheless is worth the investment of your time. Ask him to improve your feelings and try to figure out why you feel this way. Then work on the factors that produce such failings.

My mind wanders. Solution: Ask the Holy Spirit to give you strength to set your mind on Christ and his Word. Use your self-discipline to direct your mind so that it wanders less and less. If you are in a quiet place, singing, praying and reading out loud will give a sense of dialogue. Your mind will wander less when you write things down, like making an outline for prayer or study notes while reading the Bible.

I miss too many quiet times. Solution: Ask the Lord to strengthen your desire and to give you power to discipline your use of time. Share with another Christian friend your desire to have a daily quiet time and allow your friend to hold you accountable for it. Don't let an overactive conscience or the accusations of the devil play on your guilt. Confess that you have failed to keep your appointment with Jesus, ask his forgiveness and renew your relationship.

My daily quiet time is a drag. Solution: Pray that the joy of the Lord would be restored to your private meeting with Christ (Psalm 51:12). Put some variety into your approach. Sing a hymn for a change, or try a different form of Bible study.

There are two major reasons it is so difficult to develop the discipline of a daily quiet time.

First is the influence of the flesh. Keep in mind that your old nature is opposed to daily quiet time (and to every other discipline that would please Christ; see Galatians 5:16-17). Pray that the Holy Spirit will enable your new nature to overcome your old nature in this battle.

The second reason is resistance by Satan. The devil opposes your every effort to please Christ. His strategy is to rob you of daily quiet time joy, to complicate your time schedule by keeping you up late at night and making it hard for you to get up in the morning, to make you drowsy during your time with the Lord, to make your mind wander, and otherwise to disrupt your meeting with Christ. Ask the Holy Spirit to restrain the devil.

Do It Now! - Plan now for your daily quiet time tomorrow—and every tomorrow. If you miss a morning, do not quit. Deny the devil the pleasure of defeating you. Ask the Lord to forgive you for missing the meeting and to help you make it next time. You will doubtless miss several times, and it will take repeated beginnings before you succeed in developing this discipline. Indeed, it takes some people months to mature to the point where they develop the habit of a daily quiet time. For some it is a lifelong battle. In any case, don't quit when you miss. With God's help determine that you will grow to be a committed disciple who meets Christ regularly in meaningful daily quiet times. (Discipleship Essentials A Guide to Building Your Life in Christ by Greg Ogden - Highly Recommended read!)

Robert Coleman in his classic Master Plan of Evangelism, ...offers these thoughts on how to institute a Quiet Time...

Here are some suggestions as to "How to have a quiet time." Share them with those with whom you have been working.

a. Have a definite time. Choose the most appropriate time for you.

b. Have a definite place. A place secluded from noise or interruptions is best. Be alone with God.

c. Have a definite plan in mind. First, make a list of requests for which to pray. Then, spend some of the time studying the Bible.

In an article entitled Teaching Your Children About Quiet Time in Discipleship Journal, Rebecca Livermore has this advice...

Early one morning, I heard my daughter ask my son, "Is Dad up?" My son replied, "Yes, but he’s having quiet time, so you’d better watch out!" How do you respond when your kids get up before you have a chance to finish your quiet time? You can view the children waking up early as an interruption or an opportunity. Here are some ways to use these opportunities to teach your children how to walk with God.

•Have a special "quiet time corner" for the kids. This could include a table and chairs, Bible coloring books, crayons and other art supplies, Bible story books, tapes, puzzles, etc. They can have their own quiet time while you finish yours.

•If your children are older, they can read the Bible or a devotional book and then either draw a picture or write something about what they read.

•Memorize scripture with them.

•Pray about concerns with them.

•Sing hymns or choruses together.

Occasionally, share with them what you learned from your quiet time. This can create a spirit of expectation in your children—they will go to the Word expecting to hear from God. Just don’t demand that they "get something" from every quiet time. This can create stress and make quiet time mechanical. (Discipleship Journal, Issue 88 July/August 1995)

Anne Ortlund's testimony on the value of a Quiet Time...

Ten months after Ray and I were married we had baby Sherry. Eleven and a half months later we had Margie. Seventeen months later we had Buddy. And immediately after that, Ray had a shrew for a wife. My problem wasn't Ray or the babies; all four were adorable! My problem was no quiet time, no focus. My eyes weren't fixed on Jesus, they were fixed on what I had to do. A work-centered life gets complex, and it leads to burnout. A Christ-centered life -- even in the midst of work -- stays basically simple, nourished and rested....

Fix your eyes on Jesus! Like Mary, focus; that's what I had to learn. Become a "one-thing" person (Luke 10:42).  How do you do this? First, begin to develop the habit of continual fellowship with Him (see chapter 18) in the midst of it all. Second, determine to give Him the sacrifice of a regular "quiet time". Yes, it will be a true sacrifice. ("You will never find time for anything," says Charles Bixton. "If you want time you must make it.")

Cartoon seen recently: A fellow is listening uncertainly as a recorded voice says out of his telephone receiver, "Your number cannot be completed as dialed. Please check the number you are calling and dial again. Or ask yourself if talking to another person is what you really need at this moment!"  Sometimes your need is just to be quiet.  At least once a day, you need to back off from all the other voices and hear only His. It needs to be a long enough time to be meaningful -- to express your love, confess your sins, receive guidance, delight in Him, listen. I have an electric toothbrush, and I don't take it with me to conferences because it needs frequent plugging into the socket to get re-juiced. And you and I can't go anywhere for very long without the sacrifice of times of quiet with God to get restored again. I said sacrifice. A thirty-ish woman said to me at a conference two days ago, "There's no way I can have a daily quiet time. I have five small children who take everything I've got, and then I work every day from four to midnight." As I questioned her, I discovered she has a working husband and almost no debts. She stood there, weepy, overweight, defeated. It would mean true sacrifice for her to add time with the Lord to her exhausting days. But until she does, she may not hear His solutions and so she'll spiral ever farther downward. Whatever your circumstances -- if you'd lived in Old Testament times you would have regularly given God a male animal or bird -- whatever you could afford -- that had no defects: something you'd humanly want or even "need" for yourself. If you're stressed out from a tight schedule, offer God the sacrifice of your time. If you love to be with people, give Him the sacrifice of your solitude. If you're not very excited yet about Bible reading and prayer, lift up to Him the sacrifice of your surrendered will. And when you sit down or kneel to be with Him, what do you do? No two people will have quiet times just alike, but first decide on a time, a place, and a plan -- and stick to it. Since the children were in school, except when I'm conference speaking, I've chosen mid-mornings -- my high-energy time. I have with me my Bible, my notebook, and a pen (To continue reading click the following link).  (Fix Your Eyes On Jesus — Anne Ortlund)

J. Wilbur Chapman American evangelist wrote this about the core components of his quiet time:

• Study it through: Never begin a day without mastering a Bible verse. Ask God to help you focus on a specific verse within the passage you are reading.

• Pray it in: Never lay aside your Bible until the verse or passage you have studied has become a part of your being. Meditate.

• Put it down: Record any thoughts that God gives you in the margin of your Bible or in your notebook or journal. Writing is key!

• Work it out: Live out the truth you receive in the morning through each hour of the day. Don’t let your day end without applying Scripture. (Learn to Study the Bible: Forty Different Step-by-Step Methods to Help You Discover, Apply, and Enjoy God’s Word)

Related Resource: J. Wilbur Chapman's Book The Secret of a Happy Day - Christian Biography Resources


Pastor Rob Morgan (I Need Help With My Quiet Time) offers us a practical plan for our Quiet Time "How do we do it?"...

(1) First, remember the purpose of the Quiet Time.

It is essentially a conversation, a time of fellowship, a daily meeting or appointment with the Lord. It isn’t a complicated thing, and the simpler we can keep it the better. It isn’t even always necessary to have a Bible. Sometimes it’s nice just to go for a walk and spend some time meditating on some verse of Scripture and thinking it through, and then talking to the Lord about it and praying over the things that concern you. Usually, however, it’s very helpful to have a Bible, preferably a new translation. And remember that you aren’t reading your Bible to get through a certain amount of Scripture or to prepare a sermon or to develop a Sunday School or Bible Study lesson. You’re going to the Bible in order to find nourishment for your soul. Psalm 37:3-4 puts it very well when it says: “Feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord.” That’s a good definition of the Quiet Time.

(2) Second, have a procedure for your Quiet Time.

I like to follow a two-step plan. First, I open God’s Word and, after a brief prayer asking for His blessing, I start reading where I left off the day before. I don’t try to read a certain number of verses or chapters; I just read until I find a verse that speaks to me. Right now I’m reading through the Gospel of John. It may take me a couple of weeks or a couple of months, but I’m in no hurry. I just begin reading today where I left off yesterday, and I look for that verse to underline as my verse for the day. Then I begin praying at the point of that verse, and move into a time of prayer. For example, my verse this morning was John 1:43: “Follow Me.” I began praying at that point and I said, “Lord, help me follow You more closely,” and then I prayed for my loved ones that they would follow the Lord, and from there I went into a time of prayer. So that’s the essence of it—a time of Bible reading and meditation followed by a time of prayer. It’s a conversation. The Lord speaks to me through His Word, then I speak to Him in prayer. And it’s through this sort of daily conversation that we get to know Him better.

(3) Third, use a pen.

As I said earlier, I like to keep a little notebook. It’s divided into two parts. The first part is my journal. Every morning I come to my desk fairly early. I have a cup of coffee and my Bible, and I open my journal and put down the date. Then I might or might not write something about my day or how I’m feeling. Usually I make a little entry of some kind. But then I just put down the Scripture reference that I’m reading, and as I read through the passage I make notes. I find this an enormous help.

For example, one day this week I came to the passage in John 1 in which John the Baptist introduced Jesus to the crowds at the River Jordan. I read the paragraph several times, but it just didn’t seem to register with me. I felt I was brain-dead. I just didn’t get much out of it. So I decided to make a little list of everything that John said on that occasion about Jesus, and, putting pen to paper, I developed a list of five things about Jesus that John articulated in introducing the Messiah to the world. I thought, “Wow, this is pretty neat!” One day I might convert that into a little five-point sermon (for I often find that my messages are best when they’re the overflow of my own devotions).

The last half of my notebook is for my prayer lists. I have a daily list, for there are some things I want to pray about every day. Then I have a list for every day of the week. For example, if I want to pray for a particular missionary family on a weekly basis, I just take their prayer card, punch holes in it, and insert it under the Monday tab, or the Tuesday, or whatever.

(Ed: The godly pastor Charles Simeon said that "It is scarcely ever that we can intercede with fervor unless we enjoy habitual nearness to God.")

So I find a little notebook to be an incredible aid. However, a notebook isn’t necessary, and I’d like to give you a simpler alternative. Try using the margin of your Bible. Suppose, for example, you are reading through the Gospel of John. Beside John 1:1, put today’s day—11/7/04, for example. Then start there and read through the passage, marking anything that is of interest until you find just the verse that speaks to your soul for that day. Let’s say that it is Jn 1:16: “From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another” (NIV). Circle that verse and end your reading there. The next day, put the new date—11/08/04—beside John 1:17 and read on until you find that day’s verse, then circle it. And so forth.

For a prayer list, you can use the flyleaf of your Bible or a slip of paper in the back cover. Or you can just use a mental list. I’m not sure that our Lord took a paper list with Him when He rose early on that morning in Capernaum and retreated to the nearby mountains. Perhaps it would work better for you just to say, “Lord, guide me today to those things You want me to pray about.”

Again, simplicity is the rule. The Word of God and prayer. Going into the closet and meeting with the Father in secret. A notebook works for me, but don’t feel like you have to do it the way I do. Find the method that works best for you.

(4) Fourth, have a place and a regular time.

As I read through the Gospels, it seems to me that Jesus had two places that He used for His closet. When He was in the north of Israel, He would retreat into the mountains to be alone. We saw that in Mark 1, and we also see it later when He sent His disciples by boat to the other side of the lake while He Himself went up into the mountains to pray. But where would He go when He was in Jerusalem? It was much more difficult to be alone there. John 18:2 says that He would often go out of the city, across the Kidron Valley, and into an olive orchard which was apparently owned by a friend who gave Him access to it. I suppose the friend said, “Jesus, here’s the key to the gate. Feel free to relax there whenever you’d like. The place was called Gethsemane and Judas led the soldiers there to arrest Jesus, for He knew that Christ often went there late at night or perhaps early in the morning for His Quiet Time.

For you it might be the kitchen table, or the front seat of your car, or your bedside at night. And that brings up another question. Does it have to be in the morning? No. If the evening is better for you, or the midnight hour, or the noon hour during your lunch break, that’s fine. We each need to find the routine that works for us. My suggestion is just that you have a regular time or place in order to make it habitual and regular and a part of the normal routine of your day.

Some people say, “Can I have my Quiet Time at night?” Absolutely. In fact, in the Hebrew culture, the day began the night before. Here in our society, we think of the day beginning with sunrise; but the Jewish people thought of the day beginning at sunset. The Jewish Sabbath, for example, begins at sunset on Saturday night and extends into the next day. Genesis chapter 1 says, “The evening and the morning were the first day,” etc.

They understood the fact that whatever you are thinking about when you go to sleep is what will reside on your subconscious mind all through the night hours and will determine our mental mood and makeup for the next day. So if it works for you to have your devotions at night, that’s perfectly all right.

Now, whenever I speak on this subject, the question comes up—what about those times in life when our schedules are out of our control. Sometimes, despite our very best efforts, we go through periods of life in which we have a difficult time maintaining a habit such as I’ve described. This is especially true of mothers of preschoolers.

In my reading, I was intrigued with the testimony of Rosalind Goforth, who was a mother and a busy missionary in China. She was very eager to maintain her Quiet Time habit, but she was greatly frustrated by the fact that no matter how early she got up and how quiet she tried to be, one or more of her children woke up, and the daily circus just started that much earlier. So she finally just kept a small Bible or testament with her all the time, and she learned to take those odd moments all through the day to memorize Scripture. That way, she had it available for meditation all day long, and she just turned each day into one long 24-hour Quiet Time.

I’ve read several magazine articles by mothers who have done that very thing. One had five children between the ages of ten months and ten years, and finally she went out and bought a handful of small Bibles which she kept open at various places in the house. One was by the ironing board, one was by the bathroom vanity. One was by the kitchen sink. And all day she would catch a snitch of Scripture here and there. And when she bathed the baby, she would pray for that child. When she folded clothes, she prayed for the one to whom they belonged. She kept the radio on a Christian station so that day was filled with Christian music and Bible teaching. She just turned each day into an extended Quiet Time.

My wife, Katrina, however, has a different idea about it. She was a stay-at-home mother with three small children; but she sat them down one day and had a talk with them and said something to this effect: “Now, girls, I want to be a good mother, and to be a good mother who is kind and patient, I need to spend time with the Lord each day. So every afternoon I’m going to have my quiet time, and that’s going to be your alone time in your rooms. You can sleep or nap or read or play quietly by yourselves, but you are not to come and interrupt me—and if you do I’ll break your necks.” I’m really not sure she said that last part, but whatever she said worked, and she was able to maintain her quiet time even during that phase of her life.

So there’s more than one way to skin a cat, and there’s more than one way to have your Quiet Time; but all things being equal, I still think a few minutes early in the morning with a Bible, notebook, and a cup of strong, hot coffee is the best way to start the day.

(5) Finally, exercise perseverance. Paderewski, one of the world’s greatest pianists, said:

When I miss a day of practice, I can always tell it. If I miss two days, the critics will pick it up. If I miss three days, the audience will notice it.

I feel the same way about my Quiet Time. Harriet Beecher Stowe, the famous 19th century novelist and author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was a dedicated Christian and a hymnist. She regularly rose early in the morning for her time with the Lord. One of her most famous poems speaks to this when she writes:

Still, still with Thee, when purple morning breaketh,
When the bird waketh, and the shadows flee;
Fairer than morning, lovelier than daylight,
Dawns the sweet consciousness, I am with Thee.



(1) Missionary and author Isobel Kuhn, in her book In the Arena, wrote about a time when she was a student at Moody Bible Institute and found herself so busy with school and work demands that she was in danger of quenching her devotional life. Other students were facing similar problems. So they met together and Isobel suggested they sign a covenant—not a vow, but a statement of intention—to this effect:


“I suggested our making a covenant with the Lord to spend an hour a day (for about a year) in the Lord’s presence, in prayer or reading the Word. The purpose was to form the habit of putting God in the centre of our day and fitting the work of life around Him, rather than letting the day’s business occupy the central place and trying to fix a quiet time with the Lord somewhere shoved into the odd corner or leisure moment.”


Only about nine people signed the covenant to begin with, but the news spread and others began to join. For Isobel, the major problem became finding a quiet place. She wrote,


“The only place I could find where I would disturb no one was the cleaning closet! So each morning I stole down the hall, entered the closet, turned the scrubbing pail upside down, sat on it, and with mops and dust rags hanging around my head, I spent a precious half-hour with the Master. The other half-hour had to be found at the end of the day.”[Isobel Kuhn, In the Arena (Singapore: OMF Books, 1995), pp. 30-32]


(2) Another missionary to China, Bertha Smith, wrote an absolutely fascinating story of her life. It was bitterly cold in her part of China. During the day she wore thirty pounds of clothing, and at night she slept under heavy bedding and with a hot water bottle. But her challenge came in the early morning hour when she wanted to rise before others so she could have her quiet time before the scores of interruptions that each day brought. She would struggle in the darkness to put on her thirty pounds of clothing, then break the ice to wash her face in the cold water, and then she would slip out to a particular haystack where she should rake aside the frosted part of the hay, kneel down, and spend time with the Lord before the sun came up. [Bertha Smith, Go Home and Tell (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995), p. 76]

(3) the great Puritan, Thomas Watson, wrote:


“The best time to converse with God is before worldly occasions stand knocking at the door to be let in: The morning is, as it were, the cream of the day, let the cream be taken off, and let God have it. Wind up thy heart towards heaven at the beginning of the day, and it will go the better all the day after. He that loseth his heart in the morning in the world will hardly find it again all the day. O! Christians, let God have your morning meditations.”[Thomas Watson, Gleanings from Thomas Watson (Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1995, first published in London in 1915), p. 107]


(4) Here is what one of his biographers said about William Carey, the “Father of Modern Missions” who served many years in the land of Burma:


“On Carey, as the director of the whole enterprise, the heaviest burden of responsibility fell. He was still a gardener at heart. He found God specially near among the flowers and shrubs of a garden. In the walled garden of the mission house at Serampore, he built an arbor which he called his ‘bower.’ There at sunrise, before tea, and at the time of full moon when there was the least danger from snakes, he meditated and prayed, and the Book which he ceaselessly translated for others was his own source of strength and refreshment.” [Iris Clinton, Young Man in a Hurry: The Story of William Carey (Fort Washington, PA: Christian Literature Crusade, 1961, pp. 55-56]


(5) A well-known British statesman, the late Earl Cairns, Lord Chancellor of England, was an extremely busy man, but no matter what time he reached home in the evening, he always arose at the same hour to have his quiet time the next morning. His wife said,


“We would sometimes get home from Parliament at two o’clock in the morning, but Lord Cairns would always arise at the same hour to pray and study the Bible.” He later attributed his success in life to this practice. [R. A. Torrey, How to Succeed in the Christian Life (Chicago: Moody Press, u.d.), p. 50]


(6) This is what a biographer wrote about evangelist D. L. Moody:


“He was an early riser. He generally rose about daybreak in summer, devoting the early hours to Bible study and communion with God. He used to say that one who followed this plan could not get more than twenty-four hours away from God.” [A. P. Fitt, The Life of D. L. Moody (Chicago: Moody Press, u.d.), p. 114]


(7) This is what I read in the biography of the well-known 19th century Bible teacher, G. Campbell Morgan:


“Here was a man who coveted for himself a constant withdrawal from the pressing demands of his busy life, and kept inviolate the sanctity of the early morning vigil of prayer and meditation. Here he breathed the atmosphere of heaven, and daily recharged his spirit with the power that in turn poured out in extravagant measure in the preaching and proclamation of the Word.”[Jill Morgan, A Man of the Word: Life of G. Campbell Morgan (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1972), p. 342]


(8) In the biography of missionary physician, L. Nelson Bell, John Pollock writes:


“Most important of all was Nelson Bell’s discipline of devotional life. Early every morning he had a cup of coffee and went to his desk for about an hour of Bible study and prayer. He set himself to master the content and meaning of the Bible, devising such study schemes as looking up every Old Testament reference which occurs in the New Testament and typing it out. Then he turned to prayer, for friends, colleagues, and patients, praying especially for every patient listed for operation that day… This cycle of reading and prayer did not strike Nelson as formidable but vital.” [John C. Pollock, A Foreign Devil in China (Minneapolis, Minnesota: World Wide Publications, 1971), p. 52]


(9) In the biography of the famous Christian philanthropist, George Muller of Bristol, there’s a very interesting story. Muller was having health problems, and the doctors advised more sleep. So he began sleeping later each day, and he grew worse and worse. He finally determined that his late rising was interrupting his Quiet Time, and that was affecting him spiritually. His spiritual decline was simply worsening his physical health. So he resumed his habit of rising early for prayer and Bible study. His biographer wrote,


“This resumption of early rising secured long seasons of uninterrupted interviews with God, in prayer and meditation on the Scriptures, before breakfast and the various inevitable interruptions that followed. He found himself not worse but better, physically, and became convinced that to have lain longer in bed as before would have kept his nerves weak; and, as to spiritual life, such new vitality and vigor accrued from thus waiting upon God while others slept, that it continued to be the habit of his (later years).” [A. T. Pierson, George Muller of Bristol (Old Tappen, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Co., u.d.), pp. 163-164.] (Robert Morgan's sermon - I Need Help With My Quiet Time)




Illustration of Quiet Time - One of Rabbi Ben Jochai’s pupils once asked him, “Why did not the Lord furnish enough manna to Israel for a year, all at one time?”

The teacher said, “I will answer you with a parable. Once there was a king who had a son to whom he gave a yearly allowance, paying him the entire sum on the fixed date. It soon happened that the day on which the allowance was due was the only day of the year when the father ever saw his son. So the king changed his plan and gave his son day by day that which was sufficient for the day; and then the son visited his father every morning. How he needed his father’s unbroken love, companionship, wisdom, and giving!”

Thus God dealt with Israel and deals with us in our daily walk. (Illustrations for Biblical Preaching - Green, Michael P)




Illustration of Need for Quiet Time - It is said that a piano can go out of tune by hard use. The constant striking of the strings may loosen them, and they need to be adjusted if they are to continue producing harmonious sounds. Someone has written, “In like manner all common experiences have an exhausting effect upon us, even when we serve the Lord … As we minister to others, as we strive and struggle, duty drains our life-fountain. We then need to come into God’s presence for spiritual renewal … In the quietness of that fellowship He tunes our lives and strengthens us for further service. - H. G. Bosch, Our Daily Bread




Time Together Hard to Schedule - A recently married man loved his young bride intensely. He wanted to provide her with the best home, nicest clothes, and everything else she might want. Though he had to hold down two jobs to do so, he did not mind, because they enabled him to provide for her many good things. Time together was hard to schedule, but he figured that later on, once they were set financially, there would be plenty. Yet, as so often happens, within a few years his wife left him, not for more money or material things, but for a man who would spend time with her. We often serve God and obey Him, expending much time and energy in doing things that we believe will please Him. But this is not enough. God wants us to know Him intimately, to develop a relationship through the time we spend with Him. (Illustrations for Biblical Preaching - Green, Michael P)



Planned neglect - Devotional on Daniel 6:10 - In her book A Practical Guide to Prayer, Dorothy Haskins tells about a noted concert violinist who was asked the secret of her mastery of the instrument. The woman answered the question with two words: "Planned neglect." Then she explained,


"There were many things that used to demand my time. When I went to my room after breakfast, I made my bed, straightened the room, dusted, and did whatever seemed necessary. When I finished my work, I turned to my violin practice. That system prevented me from accomplishing what I should on the violin. So I reversed things. I deliberately planned to neglect everything else until my practice period was complete. And that program of planned neglect is the secret of my success."


This same principle can be helpful as we plan a daily quiet time with the Lord. Unless we discipline ourselves and make a deliberate effort, trivial things will keep us from establishing a consistent devotional life. Let's give our time with the Lord top priority by "planned neglect" of things of lesser value. He deserves first place in our lives. —R. W. De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)


To walk with God,
We must make it a practice
To talk with God.




Devotional on Ps 143:10 - For the last three years an architectural firm in Denver Colorado, has had a "quiet time" for its employees. Sixty minutes of silence are set aside each day at mid-morning for thinking and planning. It has proven to be an essential feature for the staff of twenty-five who work together in one large open room. One employee said that at first the idea didn't sound very good to them. But now, having discovered its benefits, they have become very protective of their quiet time. They have found it to be an important aid in realizing one of the firm's goals, which is to have an atmosphere of "integrity and calmness."
What about us? Do we have enough of the right kind of quiet time? Let's not use the excuse that we really can't afford the time to get alone with God and be quiet. The truth is, we really can't afford to be without it. —M. R. De Haan. II


If you want strength to meet the day,
Take time alone to pray.




Quiet Time: A group of British miners in Australia heard the sweet song of a thrush one evening as they worked. The lovely sound hushed these hardened men into absolute silence. In the stillness their hearts became tender as memories of their boyhood days in their beloved England swept over them. Similarly, when we are quiet, God speaks to us most clearly and effectively.
Stepping into the stillness of a cold winter morning and gazing upon fields and buildings coated with dazzling frost or covered with sparkling snow have been unforgettable experiences. During the night, the silvery frost had come silently, its unseen fingers deftly touching the landscape. Or feathery snowflakes had descended with-out awakening a single soul. The silence of such a moment brings to mind the words of Psalm 46:10:


Be still, and know that I am God.


I would also think of Habakkuk 2:20,


The LORD is in His holy temple.
Let all the earth keep silence before Him.


God speaks to us during other times of silence as well. Sooner or later we lie sleepless as a result of illness, grief, or anxiety. These can be precious moments of quiet solitude when we tell the Lord we love Him and want Him to speak to us. In the stillness we can learn lessons we'd learn in no other way. We experience a new peace—a fresh sense of His presence. But we need not wait for a sleepless night! —H. V. Lugt


The quiet hour
is the power hour.

by Robert D. Foster




It was in 1882 on the campus of Cambridge University that the world was first given the slogan: Remember the morning watch.

Students like Hooper and Thornton found their days "loaded" with studies, lectures, games and bull sessions. Enthusiasm and activity were the order of the day.  These dedicated men soon discovered a flaw in their spiritual armor -- a small crack which if not soon closed, would bring disaster.


They sought an answer and came up with a scheme they called the morning watch -- a plan to spend the first minutes of a new day alone with God, praying and reading the Bible. The morning watch sealed the crack.  It enshrined a truth so often obscured by the pressure of ceaseless activity that it needs daily rediscovery:  To know God, it is necessary to spend consistent time with Him.


The idea caught fire.  "A remarkable period of religious blessing"  followed, and culminated in the departure of the Cambridge Seven, a band of prominent athletes and men of wealth and education, for missionary service.  They gave up everything to go out to China for Christ.


But these men found that getting out of bed in time for the morning watch was as difficult as it was vital. Thornton was determined to turn indolence into discipline. He invented an automatic, foolproof cure for laziness.  It was a contraption set up by his bed: 


"The vibration of an alarm clock set fishing tackle in motion, and the sheets, clipped to the line, moved swiftly into the air off the sleeper's body."


Thornton wanted to get up to meet his God!




The intimacy of communion with Christ must be recaptured in the morning quiet time.  Call it what you want -- the quiet time, personal devotions, the morning watch, or individual worship -- these holy minutes at the start of each day explain the inner secret of Christianity. It's the golden thread that ties every great man of God together -- from Moses of David Livingstone, the prophet Amos to Billy Graham -- rich and poor, businessmen and military personnel.  Every man who ever became somebody for God has this at the core of his priorities:  time alone with God!

David says in (Ps 57:7 - Spurgeon's note)....


My heart is fixed, O God. My heart is fixed: I will sing & give praise (KJV)


Prepared is my heart, O God. Prepared is my heart. I sing & praise (Young's Literal)


A fixed and established heart produces stability in life.  Few men in the Christian community have this heart and life.  One of the missing links has been a workable plan on how to begin and maintain a morning watch.

I want to suggest that in order to get under way, you start with seven minutes.  Perhaps you could call it a daily "Seven-Up."  Five minutes may be too short, and ten minutes for some is a little too long at first.

Are you willing to take seven minutes every morning? Not five mornings out of seven, not six days out of seven -- but seven days out of seven!  Ask God to help you:


"Lord, I want to meet You the first thing in the morning for at least seven minutes.  Tomorrow when the alarm clock goes off at 6:15 a.m., I have an appointment with You."


Your prayer might be,

"Morning by morning, O Lord,
You hear my voice; morning by morning
 I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation" 
Psalm 5:3 - Spurgeon's note).

How do you spend these seven minutes?  After getting out of bed and taking care of your personal needs, you will want to find a quiet place and there with your Bible enjoy the solitude of seven minutes with God.


Invest the first 30 seconds preparing your heart. Thank Him for the good night of sleep and the opportunities of this new day. 


"Lord, cleanse my heart so You can speak to me through the Scriptures.  Open my heart.  Fill my heart.  Make my mind alert, my soul active, and my heart responsive.  Lord, surround me with Your presence during this time.  Amen."


Now take four minutes to read the Bible.  Your greatest need is to hear some word from God.  Allow the Word to strike fire in your heart (See book - Fire in Your Heart if your "spiritual coals" need stirring).  Meet the Author!


One of the Gospels is a good place to begin reading. Start with the Book of Mark.  Read consecutively – verse after verse, chapter after chapter.  Don't race, but avoid stopping to do a Bible study on some word, thought, or theological problem which presents itself.  Read for the pure joy of reading and allowing God to speak -- perhaps just 20 verses, or maybe a complete chapter.  When you have finished Mark, start the Gospel of John.  Soon you'll want to go ahead and read the entire New Testament.


After God has spoken through His Book, then speak to Him -- in prayer.  You now have two and a half minutes left for fellowship with Him in four areas of prayer that you can remember by the word...




A -- ADORATION.  This is the purest kind of prayer because it's all for God -- there's nothing in it for you. You don't barge into the presence of royalty.  You begin with the proper salutation.  So worship Him.  Tell the Lord that you love Him.  Reflect on His greatness, His power, His majesty, and sovereignty!


C -- CONFESSION follows.  Having seen Him you now want to be sure every sin is cleansed and forsaken.  Confession comes from a root word meaning "to agree together with." Apply this to prayer.  It means to agree with God. Something happened yesterday you called a slight exaggeration -- God calls it a lie!  You call it strong language -- God calls it swearing.  You call it telling the truth about somebody in the church -- God calls it gossip.

"If I regard iniquity in my heart,
the Lord will not hear me" 

Ps 66:18- Spurgeon's note).

T -- THANKSGIVING.  Express your gratitude to God. Think of several specific things to thank Him for:  your family, your business, your church and ministry responsibilities -- even thank Him for hardships.  "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you"  (1Th 5:18-note).


S -- SUPPLICATION.  This means to "ask for, earnestly and humbly."  This is the part of your prayer life where you make your petitions known to Him.  Ask for others, then for yourself.  Why not include other people around the world, such as missionaries, students studying abroad, friends in distant places, and above all the people of many lands who have yet to hear about Jesus Christ.





Prayer for guidance (Ps 143:8-note)


Reading the Bible (Ps 119:18-note)


Prayer consisting of...


Adoration (1Chr 29:11)


Confession (1Jn 1:9-note)


Thanksgiving (Eph 5:20-note)


Supplication (Mt 7:7-note)

7 minutes



This is simply a guide.  Very soon you will discover that it is impossible to spend only seven minutes with the Lord.  An amazing thing happens -- seven minutes become 20, and it's not long before you're spending 30 precious minutes with Him. 


Do not become devoted to the habit,
but to the Savior.


Do it not because other men are doing it -- not as a spiritless duty every morning, nor merely as an end in itself, but because God has granted the priceless privilege of fellowship with Himself.  Covenant with Him now to guard, nourish, and maintain your morning watch of seven minutes.



illustrations, helps, devotionals, testimonials, etc on the value of memorizing God's Word


A short biography on the abundant life of Dawson Trotman founder of The Navigators. If you are not familiar with how God supernaturally used this man, you NEED TO READ his encouraging, motivating biography, because every saint is exhorted to

remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith (Hebrews 13:8) (see commentary note) but we cannot imitate one whom we do not know.

Quiet Time - Click here to listen to Gene Warr's (Navigator's) Message

The Navigators is an international, interdenominational Christian organization. Jesus Christ gave His followers a Great Commission in Matthew 28.19.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.

The primary aim of the Navigators is to help fulfill Christ's Great Commission by making disciples and developing disciple makers in every nation.

See Pastor Ray Stedman's Devotional  The Power of His Presence - Excellent Adjunct to your Morning Time in His Presence! Beloved, How goes your daily communion with Your Best Friend, the Living Lord, the King of kings?

See Bibleteacher.org (this does not signify I agree with all of the information in these books - be a Berean)

Simple Study on the Power of God's Word
A Primer on the Lost Art of Biblical Meditation

Memorizing God's Word - Why? How? Resource links...
How to Perform A Greek Word Study on the Web
Greek Tense, Voice, Mood Reference Guide
Greek Word Studies - in depth

Bible Interpretation - Figures of speech
Interpretation-Supernaturalistic, Naturalistic, Existentialistic, Dogmatic

Introduction to Inductive Bible Study

Observation - What does it say?

Interpretation - What does it mean?

Application - How do I respond?

Bible Commentaries - some comments and caveats
Bibliography recommended resources
RBC Discovery House Booklets: many Biblical topics


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Last Updated February 21, 2015