For Christ committed followers, having a quiet time is one of basic spiritual disciplines to grow more in our faith. Quiet time is a part of the day when we devote ourselves in studying the Bible and pray. But like any other forms of discipline, our quiet time can grow cold.
I asked my dgroupmates “What usually causes them to waver from doing it consistently?” well most of their response was “when they are busy and physically tired” (that’s my answer too). Sometimes it’s when there’s disobedience too. When this happens, our Bible reading becomes dull and sometimes it will feel like God’s words are mere ink on paper, and our tendency is just to throw it out of the window completely (as Satan tries to whisper that in our head). But hold up! God’s word is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12) and God promises that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to God (James 4:8). The best thing to do when we feel cold in our quiet time is ask the Holy Spirit to guide us.
When we are feeling cold, do not stop reading the Bible, in fact, the more you feel less doing it, the more you have to do it. Our relationship with God is very personal, imagine feeling distant to your husband or in my case maybe my mom and then just completely stop talking to whoever that person is, I believe that relationship will not survive. So like in any relationship here are some things I learned (from experience and through my dgroupmates) to spice up our quiet time:
1. Pray F.E.LE.
I learned this from my mentor and shared it with other people. It helped me a lot – in fact it helped a lot of the ladies in our small group. FELE stands for an outlined prayer:
F- Fill me with Your Holy Spirit from the top of my head to the tip of my toe.
E- Empower me to overcome my top 3 weaknesses: (example: pride, unforgiveness, envy, jealousy, etc )
L- Lead me to someone I can share the Gospel or encourage with my high passion and high gift
E-Enable me to experience Your joy inexpressible and full of glory.
FELE somehow sets the tone right, focusing on what the Holy Spirit can do and not on ourselves.
2. When reading the Bible, use S.O.A.P:
S.O.A.P, stands for Scripture Observation Application Prayer.
I read the scripture, write down my observation (in my journal, or email it to my “only devotions” e-mail) and list down my application on God’s word and Pray.
*Application requires obedience so..it is necessary to obey the word of God**
3. Use Study and Life Application Bible.
Contrary to my childish belief (obviously when I was young :p) that study Bibles are for pastors only, the truth is, it’s for for everyone who wants to get serious with God. It helps us understand what a verse or a chapter means. It tells us the who the author is, why is it written, the setting, cultural background, – believe me reading the Bible can really be exciting!! It can give us that “AHA!!l” moment. There are pictures included too which can make us understand much better.
(below is a screen capture of the NIV Life Application Bible: The book of Jeremiah)
4. Intensify your prayer time.
As part of the “P” in SOAP: Pray for anything and pray specifically, pray as the spirit leads and pray with a prayer list.
Ask your people for their prayer concerns, pray for the people that comes into your mind. Pray for your work, your company, your country, your leaders, your heart’s desire.
5. Learn from other believers.
As a growing Christ follower, it is important to surround ourselves with spiritually mature people. Where do we find them? Join a dgroup (physical or online) Small group discuss how we can apply Bible truths in our lives and encourage one another to follow and obey Christ. In our Christian walk, there are times that we want to give up and we’ll be confused. If you are in a healthy discipleship group, dgroupmates will keep you aligned, anchored and focused on God.
They will check your quiet time and will keep you wanting to have a prayer time because each of you will carry one another’s burden as you exchange. You’ll be inspired as you see how the Lord answer prayers, life questions and transform characters.
6. Spice up verses with creativity.
Draw, paint verses like an artwork.
Found this link from facebook (https://www.facebook.com/maryesther.elam/media_set?set=a.10101539448005916.1073741835.26506364&type=3&pnref=story) and it inspired me to up the ante. I was doing this a few years ago but not this creative. I think this helps me memorize verses. Do it to please the Lord as if you’re a child showing His dad your artwork. **If this takes too much time to do and compromise our quiet time with the Lord, then this maybe last on your list. 🙂 **
•I guess for the musically gifted, some can write songs for Jesus :). Some sing and dance to Christian Music too :).
Enjoy God’s presence.