You can call it quiet time, prayer time, Bible time, devotional time, or any other term you want to come up with — it’s all the same thing: time spent with Jesus.
I don’t have a weekly or daily schedule for my time with the Lord. I don’t have a fancy method or even a simple method. I’ve tried so many strategies in the past and they’ve all worked for a week or two and then failed. My life and my days are so very fluid.
I’ve tried to wake up early and have 20 minutes to sit and read the Bible and pray. It didn’t work well for me. First of all, I’m not a morning person and it takes me a cup of coffee and good long while to wake up. I kept falling asleep in my chair or on the couch when I tried “Jesus time” first thing. I’ve sat in many a Bible Study and women’s group while someone told me that this is the only right way to do it. I’ve felt like a failure and a “less-than” Christian.
I tried evenings and mid-day times. I’ve tried to sit and meditate on God’s word for at least 20 minutes a day. I’ve tried praying alone in my room for a set amount of time each day. I’ve even tried setting a timer because one Bible Study told me to. So when these things didn’t work out for me I felt like I wasn’t as close to or connected with the Lord as my fellow sisters in Christ.
But then I tried something that you won’t read about in Bible Studies — I threw out all the “strategies” and methods I had been told are the best or most biblical way to do it. I sat down and asked God to show me what he wanted from me. The answer was simple and freeing…
God wants all of me all day. God wants my thoughts, my conversations, my friendships, my marriage, my motherhood, my ministry, my blog, my facebook account, my rest, my meals, my dreams, and all the moments in between. God doesn’t just want my time — He wants me.
My relationship with Him isn’t about carving out 20 minutes for “quiet time.” It’s about praying for grace in the midst of dealing with a tantrum. It’s about thanking him (and really and truly meaning it) when I sit down for a meal. It’s about enjoying the friends he’s given me and encouraging them to live for him. It’s about loving my husband in a way that shows God I honor him and appreciate the man he’s given me. It’s about thinking pure and Godly thoughts. It’s about honoring him through my writing, my voice, and my interactions online. It’s about loving my children. It’s about looking for ways to show Jesus to a hurting and lost world.
My relationship with Christ is not meant to be reserved for 20-30 minutes in the morning. I don’t simply start my day with Jesus and then go on and live the rest of it totally self-sufficient. Rather, I try to spend each moment relying on him. I try to actively involve him in the one thousand tiny decisions I must make each day. I’m learning to make prayer a lifestyle and an ongoing conversation rather than a few quiet moments to start and end the day.
So how do I do my quiet time? I don’t. I wake up each morning and stumble out to get a cup of coffee. I try to be thankful for a new day even if it takes me 30 minutes and one hot shower to get there. I talk to him all day long and when I can find time when my husband and children don’t need me I sit and work on a Bible Study, or read a devotional, or think about a passage of scripture and how I can practically apply it to my life. Every day looks different and that’s okay because one thing remains the same: Jesus and I do each day together… every moment.
This isn’t to say that I don’t think it’s important to try to find focused time in each day to read scripture or do a devotional and pray. I just wonder if constantly being on the quest to find the perfect “quiet time” method is really what we ought to spend so much of our time time worrying about. Maybe rather than asking ourselves how we can do our time with Jesus we should ask ourselves how we can be with Jesus… and if you’re his child you already are.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31