Why Quiet TIme is Worth the Difficulty
It’s hard to have a quiet time in the morning—before school, before exercising, before work, before the kids, before the alarm, before my husband gets up…
It’s hard to have a quiet time at night—after studying late, after exercising, after long hours at work, after eating a big meal, after putting the kids to bed…
It’s hard to have a quiet time during the day with all the distractions—my phone, my roommates, my coworkers, my appointments, other commuters, my kids, my spouse, my phone…
It’s hard to have a quiet time in this season of life—college, working full-time, child-raising, homeschooling, grieving, sickness, caregiving…
Having a consistent quiet time with the Lord (praying and reading the Bible) is hard. In every season of life, there are challenges, obstacles, and distractions that make spending time with the Lord difficult. Every example above is one I’ve struggled with. In the past, I felt defeated and guilty for failing to have consistent quiet times.
Having quiet times can be hard, but I’ve found there is a greater reward in overcoming the more difficult challenges. Consider the marathon runner or the Olympic athlete—they face tremendous obstacles, yet they persevere because they consider the cost and find the prize beyond compare. They keep their focus on the goal!
But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Philippians 3:7-8 (CSB)
Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize. Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we, an imperishable crown. 2 Corinthians 9:24-25 (CSB)
Our goal is the surpassing value of knowing Jesus Christ. Our prize is an unperishable crown of glory which we will lay at the feet of our God. We overcome the obstacles in the way of quiet times with the Lord because we value knowing him. It is not out of obligation we seek to know the Lord, it’s out of necessity.
Jesus said the kingdom of God was like a treasure hidden in a field or a pearl so precious we would sell all we have to purchase it (Matthew 13:44-46).
As we grow in our knowledge of God; as our relationship with him deepens; as we depend on the Lord for our lives; we will find we cannot live without him and the time we spend with him will become indispensable. We cannot live a life worthy of our calling—in humility, patience, gentleness, and love—without drawing near to Jesus, trusting his word, and calling out to him in prayer.
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you, and you know that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:14-17 (CSB)
Is it still hard?
Yes. The distractions don’t disappear. Challenges arise in every season which will compete for your time and energy. But seeking the Lord first, making your quiet times a priority, will enable you to prioritize the rest of your life in a way that honors God and equips you for every good work. Although it may seem counterintuitive but making the sacrifices necessary to have a quiet time every day actually lessens my stress and brings me contentment and peace.
Not that I have already reached the goal or am already perfect, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14 (CSB)
How do you overcome the obstacles, deal with the distractions, and have consistent quiet times?
Here are some very practical suggestions I’ve found helpful from Naomi Vacaro’s book, Quiet: Creating Grace-Based Rhythms for Spending Time with Jesus:
Start Small—Many people make the mistake of getting too ambitious and complicated with their quiet time…five or ten minutes in the Lord’s presence is better than none at all…focus on simply reading the Bible…after that, spend a few minutes praying.
Pick a Time Every Day—Mornings and evenings tend to stand out most in our minds, especially since these times are often associated with other routines. It’s easier to have a consistent quiet time when we can tag it onto the end or the beginning of another routine that’s already established, such as morning coffee or bedtime.
Keep Your Bible in View—If you keep your Bible in view, it keeps your quiet time at the forefront of your mind…Do whatever it takes to make your quiet time as easy as possible—as much a normal part of your day as possible.
Decide on a Bible Reading Plan—One of the biggest drains on our energy is decision making…Having a reading plan will help you travel through Scripture in its full context. (You can visit biblegateway.com or navigators.org/resource/bible-reading-plans or use the Bible Reading Plan in your Quiet Time Companion!)
Create a Prayer List—Just like Bible reading, it helps to have a plan to guide your prayers…I recommend including something you’re grateful for, something you love about God, a need or want that someone else has, and a need or want that you have.
Choose a Spot—Choose a specific place to have it every day…The more consistent we are with the details surrounding our quiet times, the more habitual the routine will become and the easier it will be to maintain.
- Make It Something to Look Forward To—If the routine is tied to something we find enjoyable and rewarding, a habit will form more quickly…The goal is to create an enjoyable system that will enable us to turn the routine of having a quiet time into a lasting habit.
VACARO, NAOMI. Quiet Creating Grace-Based Rhythms for Spending Time with Jesus. TYNDALE MOMENTUM, 2022.
Retired homeschool mother who loves to travel, bake bread, read, and spend time with her kids and grandkids.