OUR NEED FOR QUIET TIME
Our wristwatches and clocks are very indispensable items! We spend a large portion of our daily time chasing the hands of the clock.
A multitude of things clamor for our attention. There are the mundane irritations of livingâ€”getting to work, household chores, parental and social obligationsâ€”all of which have become our "constants in life."
Time is always at a premiumâ€”there are never enough hours to a day.
While we cannot deny or shirk our daily responsibilities, we must not forget to maintain a balance in our spiritual relationship with God. This is "Godâ€™s Time." No matter how immersed we are in our daily pursuits, God should not be relegated to the back of our minds.
As Christians, we should spend some quiet time with God everyday; it is a time of peaceful silence whereby we can feel so much closer to Him.
Spending quiet time with Him offers the much-needed diversion from the secular rhythms of worldly thoughts and physical needs. It can be our guide to spiritual renewal and enable us to put all matters in the right perspective.
"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" (Jas 4:8). It is imperative to "draw near to God" and seek Him. Spending personal time with Him is an important conduit for Christians to stay connected to Him: "The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth" (Ps 145:18).
The Right Time, the Right Place
It is for us to decide on the right time and the right place to devote some peaceful and quiet moments to communicate with God. Choosing the best time and place may be the easy part, but keeping this appointment faithfully and consistently may be more difficult!
Spending time with God should be a regular habit rather than a sporadic occurrence. We should be committed to our decision, and this requires discipline and perseverance. "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart" (Gal 6:9).
You may choose to have a quiet time in the silence of the morning by starting the day with God, making Him your first priority. David began his days with a morning prayer: "My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up" (Ps 5:3).
For some, the morning time may not be the right time, so choosing a quiet time in the evening or at night may be more appropriate. In the silence of the night, you can review the dayâ€™s events and communicate with God undisturbed.
Isaac went out to meditate in the fields in the evening (Gen 24:63), and psalmists meditated on Godâ€™s promises and prayed fervently throughout the night for deliverance (Ps 119:148).
"Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice" (Ps 55:17).
JESUSâ€™ NEED FOR QUIET TIME
So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed. (Lk 5:16)
When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himselfâ€¦(Mt 14:13)
Because of His great healing powers and compassionate nature, Jesus was often mobbed by huge crowds of people who followed Him wherever He went. He was a much sought-after physician. The crowd often pursued Him on foot to have Him heal their sicknesses.
To escape the crowd, Christ withdrew to a lonely place to seek Godâ€™s counsel. During His ministry on earth, He, too, felt the need for quiet timeâ€”a time He could have communion and fellowship with God and to ask for strength and wisdom from the heavenly father.
"Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed" (Mk 1:35). In the quiet of the morning, as the dark sky lightened the dawn, Jesus sought a quiet time and place for morning devotion.
He has set us an inspiring example.
I like to begin with a morning prayer of thanksgiving to God for allowing me to witness the dawn of a new day and for His guidance and blessings of the previous day. I pray for my thoughts to remain optimistic, positive, and focused, which sets the tone to a new day for me.
Spending quiet time in prayer will restore our wavering confidence in our hectic and often chaotic lives. We should be able to attain motivation and endurance from prayers so that we can regain our fragile confidence.
Prayer is communication between God and man (1 Jn 1:3), and it is the key to our strength, as well as the dynamic force of our spiritual renewal (Rom 8:26-27).
But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (Mt 6:6)
Jesusâ€™ emphasis is on private and personal prayers. He encourages us to pray in a private and quiet place with perseverance and discipline. He abhors prayers that are outward shows of piety (Mt 6:5). Jesus further warns us that we should "not use vain repetitions as the heathen do" (Mt 6:7). These are His instructions on ineffective prayers.
Our intimate prayers should progress beyond the stage of meaningless repetitions and endless monologues. If we reflect sufficiently on our prayers, it should be a prayer that is inspired, earnest, and fervent.
We must make provision for a quiet time to pray assiduously because the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (Jas 5:16). Remember, prayer is the special and intimate union between God and usâ€”it is a manifestation of our belief and faith.
Should we be lacking in prayers, do not feel the need for prayers, or canâ€™t get ourselves to pray to God, we need to take these as warning signs to pay more attention to our spirituality. What is keeping us from drawing close to God?
MEDITATION IS MORE THAN SKIN DEEP
This book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. (Josh 1:8)
To "meditate" means to take time to ponder, reflect, and focus on a matter. This word is rooted in the Bible, which instructs us to meditate on Godâ€™s word because it pleases Him.
"But His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law He meditates day and night" (Ps 1:2). This psalm inspires us to ruminate and meditate on Godâ€™s word. In return, we will receive blessings and happiness, just like a tree planted by the river that has blossomed to full maturity.
Many of us do read the Bible occasionally. But because we are constrained by time, we may read it hastily and without much thought. Sometimes, we compel ourselves to read the Bible. After all, is it not our duty to do so? We need to be careful that we do not read the Bible out of obligation.
Can we gain much or improve our Bible knowledge if we read it in this manner and neglect to think deeper into the words of God?
"Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day" (Ps 119:97). David considered meditating on Godâ€™s word a joy. He did not consider it a burden, an obligation, or responsibility, but rather an expression of devotion and delight.
When we meditate on Godâ€™s word in our quiet time, we should take time to focus and project our thoughts further and deeperâ€”to meditate, familiarize, and reflect on His precepts, mightiness, and holiness. We need to digest and assimilate His words in our hearts.
Then, we need to take it a step furtherâ€”to do what it says (Jas 1:22): practice what we have meditated, allow Godâ€™s word to purify our hearts and dominate our lives.
We must examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith (2 Cor 3:5). On an individual level, we need these quiet moments for self-examination, to chart the direction we are heading in our life of faith.
Furthermore, meditating on Godâ€™s word will enable us to attain a growing relationship with Him. Reading and understanding His word will ensure that we familiarize ourselves with His teachings.
It is a means to grace and spiritual growth, for His word enlightens and molds us into His image so that we may grow in the stature of Christ (2 Cor 3:18).
He Will Meet Us There
Apart from attending church services diligently and actively participating in church work, spending quiet time alone with our Lord Jesus yields an immeasurable sense of fulfillment.
The tranquil and quiet moments will prove to be comforting and reassuring. If you have not set aside some quiet time yet, make one, and you will definitely find it worthwhile and rewarding. Put aside some time daily so that your Christian life will be enriched and not grow stagnant.
A quiet time is all I need,
A quiet time of prayer.
A quiet time alone with Jesus,
He will meet me there.
A tranquil and peaceful atmosphere closes around me whenever I sing the inspiring lyrics to this song, "The Apostles." The opening verse expresses a yearning to keep a quiet time with Jesus. There is a desire to acquire inner calm, unmarred by outward restlessness and worries, and free from distractions and intrusion.
Therefore, it is good to put aside some time for God, conversing with Him through prayer, and allowing Him to answer through our meditation of His words.
A daily quiet time allows us to stay connected with Him, receive nourishment, draw inspiration, and put things in the right perspective.