When I say devotion time or quiet time, what comes to mind? Does the term create anxiety, feel like another thing to check off your to do list or does it sound like an invitation to coffee with a friend?
If it is the former, I’m sorry for whatever created those feelings, if it is the latter I am thrilled for you because I believe your hidden time with God should be a pleasure and not a chore.
I asked several people about the ingredients of their quiet time and found a common core of three element, prayer, bible study, worship but I found a core element missing, responding or action.
I would like to reintroduce these core four with some fresh perspective and, maybe, I can turn your dogmatic to do list into a divine coffee date.
What is a devotional time?
Devotional time, as the term implies, is time you devote to the Lord. The term is also a bit of misnomer because isn’t all our time devoted to God?
Part of what makes hypocrites hypocrites is there time is divided into two parts, my time and God’s time.
They say things like,
“God’s time is when I go to church, read my bible and pray over dinner. My time is, all the other time.”
How long should a devotional or quiet time be?
There is no right answer because no matter the amount of time, it will be too long for some an too short for others with more weight on the too short end.
The extended time you spend with the Lord is between you and the Lord wether you commit 30 solid minutes or six five minute segments during your day.
Don’t judge yourself either way and don’t allow guilt to ruin the time you do spend with God.
What elements should I include in a devotional time?
Jesus models prayer
And in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed. (Mark 1:35)
prayed- (pros-yoo’-khom-ahee) properly, to exchange wishes; pray – literally, to interact with the Lord by switching human wishes (ideas) for His wishes as He imparts faith (“divine persuasion“)
We make a big deal over Jesus saying,”Not my will, but your will be done” as if this was the first time he had done that, or this was the resignation of long battle between wills, but Jesus prayed this way from the very beginning.
Before teaching the Our Father—Luke 11:1: He was praying in a certain place, and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”
Jesus teaches them what we call The Model Prayer, and included what he has been doing all along,
“Your Kingdom come, your will be done”
Prayer is not just something we do leading up to a big event, or decision it’s something we do to restore our souls and reflect on what has done.
Prayer is ongoing. Amen means “So be it” not “I’m done for the day”
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I Thessalonians 5:16-18
Praying the Scriptures
The 23rd Psalm
The Lord’s Prayer (Unity)
Model Prayer- Our Father
Praying The Creeds
St. Patricks Shield Prayer
The Apostles Creed
Bible Study vs Bible Reading
“Anchoring yourself in God’s word is close to impossible if, in our hearts, we are unsure if God and His word are good.” – Alicia Britt Chole
Should you read the Bible or Study the Bible? Yes.
The Benefits of READING the Bible
You are focused on your relationship to the scripture
You are digesting a few verses and it’s meaning
You limit any noise between you and God.
Cross referencing is like watching marvel movies
Benefits of STUDYING the Bible
Understanding versus surface learning
Increases resilience as you go deeper
Increases your confidence I sharing it with others
Discovering what the verse/passage means vs what do I think it means
Note: You can receive something from the Lord without full understanding
Is more about recognition than activity. You can choose to recognize God with any practice be it
Worship, like prayer, is not limited to concentrated moments. Both are meant to be perpetual.
From the rising of the sun to its setting, The name of the Lord is to be praised. Psalm 113:3
Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 2 Corinthians 9:13 NIV
As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. 2 Corinthians 9:13 NLT
Obedience is a witnessing tool.
There are also times where no action is required, but action is noted.
Obedience may involve
- establishing new boundaries
- canceling a streaming service
- read more books about a particular subject
Your action may also include a new practice such as journaling and writing down the things you hear or perceive the Holy Spirt saying to you.
Don’t grade your devotion time.
Obedience can simply be enjoyment.
God wants to spend time with you because He enjoys you.
We, too often, want to spend time with God, to make sure the box is checked.
Just breath. It’s ok to enjoy your time with God.
Practice: Praying The Scriptures
Model Prayer- Our Father
Pray the prayer slowly, one line at a time and pause.
Pray whatever is on your heart or whatever the verse evokes.