Prayer time, quiet time, prayer closets, alone time, whatever you want to call it, what people do in their prayer time with God is usually mysterious for those new to the idea.
You may have been faithful in your quiet time for a while but wondered, “Am I even doing this right?”
Because quiet times with God are so very personal, I find that people are often unwilling to share in fear that they may be judged. While this is understandable, there is a wrong way to do your prayer time and you must learn to be vulnerable and let the word of God instruct you.
So, in all the meekness I can muster, allow me to show you a few things that will be good for your soul.
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There are a lot of right ways to go about your quiet time with God, so I want to start off with what people often miss: If you do your quiet without a Bible, you are doing it wrong.
Now, I’m a firm believer that God wants to talk to you about things that the Bible doesn’t address, like if you should be looking for a new job. I don’t think there is any Biblical evidence that our relational God was finished speaking to His most precious creations when the New Testament was compiled.
But it is inerrant in its original translation (Hebrew for the Old Testament and Greek for the New Testament) and all of it is meant to help you live life to the fullest.
God speaks in a certain way, His mindset is not necessarily your mindset. Naturally, the way you think is fairly opposite from God’s thinking. This is why we are called to “renew our minds” to the word of God (Romans 12:2).
For example: When you read the words of Jesus in Matthew 19:26, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” You may think that this is nice or very cool, but do you believe it to the point that you live this way?
It is like when you sit on a chair. You pull it up and just sit on it, right? Normally, you wouldn’t evaluate a chair or test it to see if it will hold you when you sit on it. You just sit in it. That is living like you believe.
My point for explaining this is: if you don’t bring God’s word into your prayer time, you’re missing the wind in your sails.
God’s word is a source of inspiration, of life, and it is how you put on the mind of Christ; the wisdom of the Spirit is in scripture (1 Corinthians 2). These are a few of the reasons you have a quiet time with God: Your prayer time with Him is not to talk at Him but to listen to Him personally and through the Bible.
Did what I say discourage you? Is it because when you open the Bible, you don’t understand it? Let’s do a quick double check of two things:
- Are you saved? (I’m serious, you can’t understand God’s word without being saved. 1 Corinthians 2:14)
- Have you asked God to open the eyes of your understanding?
If your mouth has never confessed that Jesus is God and that He came as a man to die for you so you could have salvation and life in the Spirit, that you are a sinner and you need His free gift of salvation, and then asked Him to come into your heart and live in you, then you aren’t saved.
Going to church, having a Christian family, or reading the Bible is not what saves you.
It is ONLY by accepting Jesus.
If you are 100% you are saved, then ask God to help you. You have everything you need to understand His word, but there might be something that is blocking your understand. If I want to grab something but my hands are in cuffs behind my back, I can’t do it. I have the hands to grab it but I’m restrained for some reason.
Now that we have discussed the wrong way to start your prayer time with God, let me give you a flexible outline about how to do it the right way.
1. Get alone in a quiet, peaceful place (preferably in nature).
Jesus set the example for seeking the Father: He often went to the top of a mountain or to a garden (Matthew 14:23 & 26:36, Luke 6:12, etc). Now, you probably don’t have time to walk to the top of a mountain for your prayer time, so a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted is good too.
And when I say alone, I mean no phone or computer either.
2. Approach God with a grateful heart.
The Bible talks a lot about doing all things with a thankful heart and this is the way you should begin your prayer time with Him. (Philippians 4:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Colossians 3:17)
You could thank Him for this time or thank Him for your friends, your church, His word, the food in your fridge, that fact that you have running water, for heaven. Anything that helps you to gain the perspective that you are the recipient, God is the giver, and He has blessed you beyond what you can measure.
3. Be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10).
This may sound easy but it can be very difficult for some women. We are such natural multitaskers, it can be hard for us to SIT still. It can be even more challenging to still our minds.
I struggle with doing my quiet time at home. I seriously have a list of at least 50 things I could be doing. When I’m trying to be still, it is like an annoying knock from a solicitor on the door of my brain every 15 seconds. So, sometimes I actually start my quiet time by driving.
Also, because I talk out loud to God, I can’t really go to a public place for my quiet time, so I just do it in the car. There are times I come home and go to the bedroom. Other times, I listen to worship music. Sometimes, I speak in my prayer language (more on this another time).
Do what works for you. But make sure you incorporate the Bible! (and it goes along with the first two things on this checklist.)
Then, KNOW THAT HE IS GOD. He is in charge of this time. He has things you need to hear, assignments He needs to give you, verses He needs to remind you of.
Personally, there are times when this is as far as I get into my quiet time. Sometimes, God has so much He work to do in my heart that I don’t open His word.
What does this tell me? I’m probably not giving Him enough of these prayer times.
If God has to take the 15 minutes-1 hour that I give Him to tell me stuff that I need to change or do, it is a good sign that He needs my ear more often. Why? Because Him and I SHOULD get to step 4.
4. Open your Bible.
Here is where things can get creative or be pure study. Once you have given God the time to speak to your heart of hearts, you can use His word to Bible journal or study for emphasis on what He has told you.
Devouring large portions of scripture is amazing to get the big picture. However, meditating on one verse or a paragraph is equally as important.
- Write how a passage inspires you.
- Describe how you can apply a verse to your life.
- Hand-letter a verse to help you commit it to memory.
- Illustrate the verse in pictures.
- Get out your Strong’s Concordance or eSword and break down the scripture from the original language.
- Write a letter to a friend about how a verse reminded you of her or her situation.
- You can do so many things!
Yeah, there still is a whole lot more you can do in this time with God. The point is to first give God your ear and get into His word (you could reverse 3 & 4 if you want). All scripture is made to help guide you through life (2 Timothy 3:14). Because it is timeless, there is always something to learn from it for your situation.
This guide that I have outlined is flexible, like I said before. However, each part of it is important; you can’t remove one of the steps. Make sure to get quiet with God, thank Him, listen to Him, and get into His word!
And don’t forget to download your printable guide for free!
What was most helpful about this guide?