How do you find quiet time with God in the midst of a busy day?
Hearing God for others, or for your own life, requires quiet time with him. But how do you find quiet time when there is no time in your day?
I’m rubbish at quiet times. There, I said it.
I’ve never been any good at them. And at one stage of my life, I was actively against having quiet times, altogether.
These days, I’ve adopted an attitude somewhere in the middle ground. I have some scheduled quiet time during the week, but if I don’t manage one day, I don’t sweat it.
Of course, some people love quiet time. If quiet times work for you, then that’s great.
What concerns me most about the concept of quiet times, is that it’s easy to “do your God slot” … and then forget about God for the rest of the day.
You see, one thing I have got reasonably good at, is relating to God throughout the day – not just as a one off, traditional quiet time.
Not that I’ve got it all sorted: I still want to spend more time in his presence. I want to seek God and cultivate such a desire for intimacy, that relating to him becomes as natural as breathing.
But how is that even possible? How can you or I spend more time in God’s presence, when we have so much to do, at work, at home, and with our families?
Some people want time to somehow wrap around them, to flex and stretch, according to their needs. Others want to live their whole lives at warp speed. Some people just want more “space in their head”.
Whatever it is, there’s an almost indefinable word that describes the places and the spaces in between all the little moments in our lives.
The argument goes something like this:
“If I could add up all those wasted moments in my day, and put them together in a line, then I would suddenly find all the time I would ever need. I could do anything.”
Michael Hyatt calls it margin. He teaches productivity obsessives (like me), ways and means to become more efficient with their time.
Whatever you call it, we all have this problem, in some way or another. And the same issue affects our spiritual lives. It permeates through our work, our homes and all our relationships, especially our relationship with God.
Believe it or not, many of the same techniques that productivity gurus like Michael teach us in the practical realm, also work for the supernatural.
It is possible to find more time for God, whether or not it looks like the quiet time you’re used to thinking of.
Here are 3 examples:
The idea of finding time seems obvious to most, but as we all know, it’s easier said than done.
Most people envisage quiet times as a concentrated period of time, for at least 10 minutes, preferably more.
If you can find a space like that in your calendar, I would encourage you to do so.
However, for many people, even taking 10 minutes out of their schedule is too much, in their minds. So panic sets in.
If that’s you, start small. Take 30 seconds instead. Try it now:
Stop reading for 30 seconds and focus your mind on God. Think about one of his characteristics. Thank him for his goodness, holiness, or his loving kindness towards you. Then come back here.
There, that was easy wasn’t it?
Try doing that 2 or 3 times in a day. Set a reminder on your phone to help remember, and you’ll be well on your way.
Specific places can be a great help when associated with one of these quiet times.
The trick is to find the best places where you can pray and acknowledge the Lord’s presence.
It’s much easier to find time for God when you’re alone in the car, than when you’re running around with small children, on the school run.
So why not drop the kids at school …and then take a breather for a minute, instead of rushing off into the rest of your day?
If you have the opportunity to take a lunch break at work, why not walk to a secluded spot where you can spend some time with God?
You can also use activities that don’t require much brain power, to direct your thoughts heavenward. Taking a shower, washing up and toilet/restroom breaks are all good examples.
Worship is one of the best ways to get into God’s presence. More than that, it helps you focus on the right things.
Worship is a key to:
So, worship is always worthwhile, whether we’re in an “official” quiet time, or in one of those in-between moments.
When we worship first and ask questions later, we’re much more likely to ask the right questions when we pray.
And to be clear: worship doesn’t always mean singing songs. Thanking the Lord for who he is and what he has done, is just as much an act of worship, as sung worship.
One of the most important concepts in productivity, is the power of incremental change. It’s much easier to get a big project done, if you break it down into smaller tasks.
And it’s the same with our spiritual lives: if I want to make a change in how I live, the best way to do that is to install a new habit.
I talk a lot about a lifestyle of listening to God. But a lifestyle is really just a set of behaviours, a collection of habits.
If you’re at the beginning of your journey into a deeper relationship with the Lord, then you may feel daunted by the prospect. Or if you’re further on, you may be looking for inspiration on how you can do this.
Start with one thing you want to improve: the one time, the one place, or the one method of worship that most fits with your personality and situation.
Then stick with it. Get a habit tracking app on your phone, to help you push through the natural barriers you’ll hit along the way (HabitBull is a good one – affiliate link).
By selecting one habit and consciously choosing to install it in your life, you’ll be making a real impact. It will take time (modern research shows that most habits take about 80 days to stick), but it will be worth it. Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying a deeper relationship with your heavenly father.
If you’d like more ideas about finding space and time for God, then my book How To Hear God’s Voice has plenty to inspire you.
And I’m pleased to announce that it’s out now in paperback and available from your local Amazon store. If you’d like to find out more, including what others have been saying about it, have a look here.
For a limited time, I’m offering Hints To Hear God’s Voice, a special summary “cheat sheet” of the main ideas and concepts from part 2 of How To Hear God’s Voice.
It’ll help to remind you of all the possibilities on how to get closer to God, and serves as a simple prompt of times, places and ways to meet with him.
It’s FREE to download for all purchasers of the paperback or eBook and it even comes with a short email series to help you get the most out of it (offer ends 30th March 2018, Good Friday).
To get Hints To Hear God’s Voice:
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