Tuesday, August 17, 2010

7 Tips For Developing The Habit of A Quiet Time With God Each Day

We say, God is important. Yes, I believe in God! Yes, I'm a Christian! Yes, I love the Lord! Yet, do our actions back that up? I say all those things; however, when I compare the amount of time I spend talking to God or letting Him speak to me through His Word versus the amount of time I spend talking to people or doing other things, it seems God gets very little time. Let's not let busyness of life crowd Him out of our daily lives.

Daily devotions has been on my heart lately because this summer I’ve been trying to get my Sunday School class of 5th grade boys to begin taking some responsibility for their spiritual growth by spending some one-on-one time with God through the week by reading the Bible and praying. It has kick started my quiet times as a result and so I thought I’d share some things I’ve learned that helped me get back into that habit instead of just reading a verse here or there through the day.

1. Pick a quiet place with few distractions. Gerard uses the basement, his “man cave.” I like the upstairs den, away from the computer. My cats join me, but I can pet them and pray or read my Bible at the same time, so I do not consider them a distraction.

2. Choose a specific time each day and look on it as your appointment time with God. Yes, I know we can pray anytime, but this is our special one-on-one standard appointment time. Ideally, it should be the same time every day (even on weekends) or at least following the same routine. For example, I have found that since I clean the litter boxes upstairs every day (even on weekends), I will spend some quiet one-on-one time with God in the den when I’m on the litter box run.

I recommend meeting with God to start your day. Choose a time right before or after a task you already do such as getting dressed, eating breakfast, exercising, or feeding the pets. It sets the tone for the rest of the day. If for some reason, I’m running late in the morning, I still have the evening run left to catch up. Look on it as a regular appointment—you wouldn’t skip other appointments with people that you have on your calendar.



3. Mark off the days you have your God time on a calendar. This is especially helpful to do when you are first trying to develop the habit of prayer and Bible reading each day. Circle the dates on the calendar that you do it and see how many days you can do it in a row. I know this sounds silly, but you will be surprised how busy you will get when you decide to start spending time reading God’s Word every day. This will give you a measurable, visual look and how you are doing. See how many days in a row you can go without missing. Then, start a new string and try to beat your record. The key is not to skip more than a day or two in between streaks.

4. Pick out a special verse each day. As you read the Bible, look for a special verse that stands out to you. Underline it (I even like to put the month and year next to it that I found it).

5. Keep track of what you have read and work towards reading the entire Bible. I recommend using a chart with all the books of the Bible and each chapter listed. As you read a chapter, circle it on your chart. Don’t feel as though you have to read the Bible in order. It’s fun to hop around and mix it up between the Old Testament books and the New Testament books. Nothing says you even have to read a whole book before going on to something else. Face it, some books are more boring than others, so if you are in a boring book, move on to something else and come back to it later to read a little more.

6. Share your special findings. It really helps to have a small group that is also involved in reading the Bible with which to share something of interest you read during the week. If not a group, at least another person or two would be beneficial. This was the thing I most liked about the early morning navigators Bible study I was in—hearing what others found in the Bible reading for that week. It helps to have someone hold you accountable. I’m sharing mine with my blog readers. I’ve gone through all my favorites so now I will pick verses that stand out to me in my daily Bible reading.

7. Participate in a Bible Study group. Lots of churches have Bible studies. Pick one! There are also things online that are available.  On Twitter (#B90Days) the 90-Day Challenge participants check in and encourage each other or check-in Mondays at Mom's Toolbox.   

For any parents, the best way to teach kids as you probably know is to model the behavior you want to teach. As a Sunday School teacher, if I want the kids to memorize the verses, so do I. I never ask them to do anything that I am not willing to do too. If you want your children to see God is important to you, let them see you reading His Word and hear you praying for your family. What behavior are you modeling for your children?

Do you have any other suggestions that would help someone develop the habit of reading their Bible and praying to God every day? Where do you find is the best place and time for you?  Which book are you currently reading?  Feel free to share a a verse you read this past week in the comments.


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2 comments:

Mountain Woman said...

Karen,

What you have written is so very important. You can't have a relationship with God unless you set aside the time and make it a priority. Thanks for sharing these tips and I hope everyone reads them and starts using them.

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

t seems I get way more comments on silly posts than on serious ones like this. I still haven't quite figured out if people even read longer posts. I try to break them up and make the main points stand out so they can be at least skimmed easily. Thanks for your words of encouragement. I'm really trying to add some "anchor" posts to my blog that other bloggers may actually link to. I don't know why I care, but I do.

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