When I began to walk with the Lord as a student, my Quiet Times were spent at the start of prep times in a boarding house. I would bow my head, close my eyes, and pray a short prayer in my heart before I begin to read and meditate on the word of God. Over the years, I have set aside a reasonably regular time to fulfil my Quiet Time with the Lord, and have enjoyed a fair share of elation basking in the light of God’s word and experiencing the touch of His Spirit as He who moves me into tears and jubilant praise, at times.
Admittedly, there were low points, too, where it felt like an obligation to do Quiet Time. But, I would still do it; the guilt of not doing it is worse! Whenever I have gone a day or two on without reading His word, it becomes harder to do Quiet Time, until I hit bottom (e.g. falling sick, watching television for hours listlessly, or going on an eating binge) and turn towards Him again. Relief and restoration would then come swiftly.
Nowadays, my Quiet Time is more consistent and delightful owing to certain discoveries which I would like to share with you and (hopefully) benefit you. Firstly, I discover that singing a praise or worship song helps me to draw close and focus on the Lord. I would make use my church’s song sheets and sing out the songs. Many of the songs are fresh (written in 2005) and have impacted my spirit man tremendously. Getting started is the only hurdle. Once I start singing, the inner man rises and soars with eagle’s wings. This has been the biggest breakthrough for me where Quiet Time is concerned. For years I had been doing Quiet Time sans singing. Man, I didn’t know what I had been missing!
After the singing, I would begin to pray in tongues for several minutes. It has been said that this is our perfect prayer as it is by the Spirit of God. Indeed, the Spirit of God helps us to pray when ‘we do not know what we should pray for as we ought’ and ‘He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God’. (Romans 8: 26, 27) Then, when I feel strong enough, I would pray audibly with my mind. For years my Quiet Time was literally quiet. I was praying (conversing) to God with my mind the things which are endorsed in my heart of hearts.
For sure, God can ‘hear’ our thoughts and the agreement of our inner man. But, there is power in speaking forth with our tongue. In the beginning of Creation, God spoke forth what He has conceived in His mind. Jesus, in Mark 11:23 (NKJV), said: “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says … and does not doubt in his heart , but believes that those things he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says.” In Matthew 7:7, Jesus said: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” We cannot help but speak up when we have to do the asking, seeking and knocking.
Thirdly, I find that it is helpful to keep myself pumped up with the word of God even before I begin my Quiet Time. I read on the train to and fro work and during lunch-break By the time I start having Quiet Time, I am already prepared to receive the word of God by revelation which comes from the Holy Spirit. He teaches me and helps me review Scripture verses, and disperses ideas and inspirations to my mind. For example, He shows me how to focus my prayer and actions on aspects of a matter which I need to tackle and overcome; and gives me ideas for new articles to write. As I have learnt during bible study in church: we do not love, obey and honour God more than we love, obey and honour His word. This way, we can listen to the heartbeat of God, pray according to His will, and be fruitful, which I would say is best seen in how we relate to one another. As Jesus said in John 15:7,8 (NKJV), “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”
Quiet Time is a time when we can be alone with God; be still and know that He (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is God. But, it is far from quiet. We can read the word of God aloud so that we can hear it at the same time (multi-tasking) besides studying, memorising and meditating on it. And, being doers of God’s word! Also, as mentioned earlier, sing and pray aloud. Henceforth, your Quiet Time may never be the same again.