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5 Ways to Boost Your Quiet Time with God this Year + Free Downloads + Giveaway

Boost Your Quiet Time with God

Maybe your quiet time with God is exactly as you like (yay!), but if you could use a little boost before this new year rolls out, this post is for you.

To be clear, God and His Word never need a boost. The fact that we’re invited to meet with the same God who created man from dust, split open the Red Sea, and wrote words on a tablet with His finger out of love for His people, still stuns me to this day.

Many of us, however, sometimes require a boost. Human nature, changes in the schedule, health issues, and other circumstances can discourage and deflate us. And if we’re not careful, this discouragement can lead to avoidance thanks to the nagging whisper that says if you can’t do your quiet time “right” today, wait until you can. The first idea for boosting our quiet time below is fine-tuned for those kinds of days. After all, the word “boost” means to push upward and to encourage. So, onward and upward we go!

 

1. Focus on pivoting, not planning.

This general but oh-so-timely advice to focus on learning to pivot instead of planning came from Kendra Adachi, The Lazy Genius. It was a game-changer for this planner at heart. After all, lists are my love language. Most nights I plan out my next day…down to the hour. (Vertical calendar to the rescue!) It’s weird, I know, but structure is my friend. Having said that, my plans rarely all fall into place but doing so helps me use my time as wisely as possible. Even that, though, can be a trap if I’m not careful. And it’s probably why Kendra’s advice stopped me in my tracks.

Adopting the pivoting mindset is Biblical (holding everything loosely and remaining alert and willing to help others at a moment’s notice). It also boosts my quiet time with God by reminding me, especially on those mornings when we don’t meet, that all is not lost. Our time, instead, pivots because God is not limited by time or space, or anything else. Embracing this truth frees us from the self-inflicted guilt that can leave us spiritually paralyzed.

 

2. Take Meditation for a Walk

A quiet time with God is our life source because of two main components: prayer and reading God’s living and active Word (Hebrews 4:12). Adding time for meditating on the Word provides time for the Word to settle deeply in the soul like the snow that slowly absorbs into the ground. This can be done in a number of ways and one of those is to take a walk after our quiet time.

While reading scripture, pay attention to a word, verse, or verses you sense God is “highlighting” and jot it down on an index card or small piece of paper. Tuck it in your jacket, put on your walking shoes, and head outdoors (or if you’re like me, your indoor treadmill). There’s no right or wrong way, but here’s something I’ve tried:

  • Begin by acknowledging who God is — His characteristics, thanking Him for what comes to mind.
  • Read the word, verse, or verses you wrote down aloud.
  • Ask God what He wants to teach you through them as you continue walking, while also observing your surroundings.
  • Consider each word written down, one at a time, for a period of time.
  • Read the word, verse, or verses aloud again, asking God how to apply His truth.
  • Finish the walk thanking God for His Word and whatever else the Holy Spirit leads you to pray.

Keep the piece of paper with you throughout the day, speaking, reading, and praying over God’s words, blanketing the beauty of God’s Word over your soul.

[Download the above-suggested walk meditation.]

 

3. Sing!

If singing isn’t currently a part of your quiet time with God, it’s worth a try. Maybe it’s an entire song, or perhaps only a line or two. Whatever bubbles up from your soul before, during, and/or after, is a beautiful sacrifice to the One who sings over us. Zechariah 3:17 says, “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”

If a song doesn’t come to mind, make a quiet time playlist to sing along with, or lend your own melody to a psalm.

[Download a psalm to sing.]

 

 

4. Meet with God in a New Setting

Changing up the scenery of our quiet time with God from time to time is good for the soul.

  • What about a local cafe? If yours isn’t quiet, pack the earbuds and read the Word on your phone. A nice addition is reading the daily devotion from the Dawn app. Throw in something to take notes, confident God has something to say during your time together.
  • Pack a picnic and head to a park where you feel safe to sit alone. It can be as simple as packing a canteen, fruit, and crackers. Follow the same steps as mentioned in the walk.
  • In your car. Pour a cup of coffee and head to a favorite spot in town. Maybe it’s a beautiful mountain range, or the perfect setting to see the sun climb or set.
  • In a garden. Depending on where you live, it might be difficult to find anything in bloom but even a sleeping garden can remind us of the life that brims just below the surface.
  • Hear me out on this one. A graveyard. My article on Christianity.com, “What Does the Bible Say about Visiting Graveyards” continues to hit top lists and was recently included in the “All-Time Questions Christians Asked in 2022” for a reason.

 

5. Invite a Friend to Join You

This is something I plan to try this year. Inviting another sister in Christ to join in a quiet time with God can’t help but give us both a spiritual boost. Hebrews 10:24 says, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds…”, and we all know and love the familiar verse in Matthew 18:20 where Jesus says that where two or more are gathered in His name, He is there with them.

One idea is to take turns reading verses in a particular scripture passage. Another might be to write out a prayer to God and read it aloud to each other, or bring a list of people you’re praying for and exchange it. There’s something powerful about hearing another Christ-follower praying over those who matter most to us.

[Download a scripture passage to share.]

 

Have you tried any of the above ideas in your own quiet time with God? If so, we’d love to know about it. Share in the comments below and you’ll be entered for this sweet New Year giveaway:

A set of lovely tiny notebooks, perfect for taking your verse(s) for a walk!

 

(Psst…know someone who would find these ideas for boosting our quiet time with God helpful?)

 

 

 

Susan Stilwell: A Glimpse Into Her Quiet Time

by Cathy Baker @cathysbaker

Welcome to the first Saturday of the month when we join a fellow follower on the bench of life to learn from their experience.

Today, I’m delighted to introduce Susan Stilwell to you.

Susan and I actually “met” via Vonda Skelton’s site in the comment section. {Who says leaving comments isn’t beneficial?} In our case, we became eternal friends and I thank God for her often. Since our initial meeting on Vonda’s site, we’ve had the opportunity to meet at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. It feels like a family reunion every time I see her sweet smile! And it doesn’t hurt that she’s a Hokie friend. 🙂

Susan is a prayer warrior to the very core of her being and much wisdom flows from her as a result.

Please
remember, these glimpses of quiet times are shared to simply show that our quiet times can look very different. My heart is to invite
you into the freedom that awaits when we meet with our heavenly Father
{Thank You, Jesus!} in a variety of ways.

So, welcome, Susan.

If we were to join you during your time with God, what might we observe? 
 

I’ve always been an early riser, so I look forward to my
one-on-one times with the Lord around 5:45 A.M. I love those quiet dark moments
when I have the fewest distractions. I have a cozy stuffed chair in my office
and snuggle in with a creamy cup of hot coffee.

I start by praying the Lord’s Prayer, and then I read from a
devotional guide. I also try to review any text I’m teaching, and I journal
thoughts from those two sources. I keep a list of prayer requests, and I close
by praying a collection of scripture verses I’ve memorized over the years. 

Other than the Bible, what is your one go-to “tool” you
use during your time with the Lord?
I can’t pick a single go-to resource, so let’s call it a
tie: my journal, which is actually a day planner, and a good devotional book.

 

Andrew Murray’s, Humility

I lean toward classic writers like Spurgeon, Chambers, and
Andrew Murray. A.W. Tozer is a favorite contemporary writer, although he’s not
so contemporary compared to the others! A short devotional that slays me every
time I read it is Murray’s Humility.
I try to read it at least once a year. 

Is there a particular experience you’ve had during your one-on-one time with God that you would like to share?

I consider every day to be a unique experience with the
Lord! For Yahweh—the all-sufficient, all-powerful, all-knowing and all-wise
Creator and Sustainer of the universe—to condescend to me—an all-needy, all-dopey, all-failing spec of nothingness? I’m
awestruck by that every single day of my life. (Can you tell I’m reading Humility this month?) 

Is there anything else you would like to add about your
one-on-one time with the Lord?
I do my best to be consistent, but I also allow myself to
bathe in grace on the days I get sidetracked. I strive for authenticity and
fluidness with my devotional times. I don’t ever want it to be a checklist
item, which is an easy trap for Type-A personalities like me. God forbid I
become a Pharisee who honors Him with my lips but my heart is far from Him. 

Two closing thoughts:

 

  • Don’t do what I do! Not only are we are fearfully and wonderfully
    made, but we’re also unique. Sit in His presence, bask in His word and let Him
    direct your intimate times.

 

  • A devotional time is an excellent discipline, but it’s
    not what sustains me throughout the day. I’ve developed a habit of spending “simple
    seconds” with Him as often as possible. I turn my attention away from my
    activities and acknowledge that the God of the universe is present with me. I
    thank Him for the privilege of living for Him and ask Him to empower me for
    whatever is ahead. I hope it blesses Him because it certainly blesses me. 

Thank you, Susan. The one truth that stood out to me the most? How, every time we sit in the presence of a holy God we are having a unique experience. Amen! As we approach Easter, it’s yet another reminder of the costly sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf, ushering in the very possibility of having a relationship with our heavenly Father. 

Is there a particular thing that Susan shared today that stands out to you? Please share in the comment section. 


 Susan Stilwell consults, writes and speaks on a
variety of topics. Her clients appreciate her technical expertise and attention
to detail on their websites, projects, and social media strategies. Technical
“how-tos” are Susan’s favorite articles. You can find her working as a blog
designer and contributing writer at Fistbump Media.

Susan also serves as a hospital chaplain
associate and is a voracious scripture memorizer. She’s a conference speaker
and passionate expositor of God’s Word, and she’s active on TwitterFacebook,
and SusanStilwell.com.

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