3 Things to Remember When Choosing a Quiet-Time Space
By Erica Hunt
One of the attributes of God that sets him apart from his creation is his omnipresence, or the ability to be all places at once. We find a beautiful illustration of this attribute in Psalm 139.
“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast”.
(Psalm 139:7-8 NIV)
Because God is everywhere, finding a place to meet with Him for a time of Scripture reading and prayer is not dependent on the location. But creating a consistent and secluded place to meet with him can enrich your own quiet time experience.
In Matthew, we read some advice Jesus gives to His disciples about prayer.
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Mathew 6:6)
Though Jesus is speaking about prayer, these practices can be applied to our quiet time, as the two are often linked. Here are three things to keep in mind when finding space to meet with God:
Avoid Public Places
Jesus reminds His disciples that our motive in prayer is not to impress or show others our spirituality. It is a personal meeting with you and God. A private area will help minimize distractions and help keep your heart free from the pressures of trying to impress the surrounding crowd. This does not mean that you cannot have a public quiet time, sometimes that’s the only space available and the background noise can even help one focus best. Just make sure that you are not conveniently placing your quiet time amid a crowded place to demonstrate to others your dedication to Christ. The only person you need to impress is Christ, and He already completely knows and fully loves you. So, check your heart before choosing a public place.
Your meeting with God is ideally a time when those in your household know not to interrupt you. Susanna Wesley, the mother of John and Charles Wesley, was said to place her apron over her head when she needed some time alone. It is ok to ask people to respect these moments you have set aside to be with God. Phones, tv, to-do lists, and other obligations can be put aside and given your attention later. Hold to these boundaries as an act of worship and your quiet time will be far more beneficial and refreshing.
Find a Space You Enjoy
Jesus took the time to steal away from the crowds to pray and be alone with his father. To ensure this, he would often go out of the city, which would have taken some time and effort. Today’s obligations or responsibilities may limit your range of motion, but with some creativity, you can create a meeting place that is special and personalized. God delights in us when we delight in the things he has made us for us to do. Incorporating things we enjoy into our quiet times (such as a dark, cozy corner, a comfortable chair, pretty paintings, or a picture window) can prepare our minds and hearts to spend time with the Lord. If you are able, leave your Bible and study materials out on your desk or table, with ready access. Throughout the day the sight of “our spot” beckons us to come to Him.
My goal in laying out these ideas is to encourage you. These are not ideals to be discouraged by or try to live up to! We know that God will meet us in any physical location that we find ourselves. Distractions in your circumstances or your own heart are often unavoidable, and such distractions can easily steal the joy of spending time with Jesus and even keep you from giving time to Him at all. Thankfully, these distractions can easily be dealt with by a change in location. So, use your location and every other tool available, to make your quiet time as enjoyable, sustainable, and easy to remember as possible.
- Choose a place in your home and create a space where you desire to meet with the Lord.
- Is it time to refresh your meeting space? A new chair, wall-hanging, or lamp? Maybe you need to invite someone to enjoy the space with you and share with them what God has been doing in your life.
- Pray over your space and ask God to meet you there, as you set aside time in your day to meet with him.
Lives with her husband, Justin, in South Dakota. She teaches middle school and loves traveling, collecting quotes, learning fun facts and historical information, drinking coffee, eating ice cream and enjoying good conversation with friends.