This is a “surprisingly” honest content and my heart has this burden to let this out, to encourage others and to remind myself of the spiritual discipline I tend to forget, sometimes on purpose.
Quiet time is important for every believer because we need to set aside proper and enough time to talk directly to our Father God. We need to always check if our hearts are still aligned with God’s heart and Will in our lives. It is being still and trusting that He is indeed, our God. Jesus never missed a quiet time with His Father God – what’s our excuse then? If you wish to read more about what ‘quiet time’ is, you can read it here. 🙂
Prayer is the way we communicate with God while reading His words through the Bible, is the way God is speaking to us. Communication is a 2-way street and yes, even for a God. Back when I was an unbeliever, I pray as needed. Meaning, I pray in repetition the prayers taught as I was growing up at times needed like praying in unison with a group. I also pray from the heart but only at three specific events – when I feel thankful, sorrowful, and needy. Oftentimes, my prayers are shorter when I am thankful than when I’m at sorrow. I just heave a “thank you, Lord” out in the air and that’s it! At times of sorrow, I tend to doubt His Will and ask His sovereignty over my life with matching tears and dramatic acting if I felt unguided. At times of need, I tend to become goody-goody and looking cute, asking cute, and doing good things so that I can ask for something I need through prayer. In a nutshell, prayer was like a magic ticket for me to communicate with God for my needs and I am obviously not doing it right. I expect too high from God it’s as if He has to prove something for me to believe; If God won’t pull something to make my “prayer” work then He has no power at all. I expect high but think lowly of my God. Thinking how foolish my prayers made me ashamed, now that I know how to pray the right way.
18 “O my God, lean down and listen to me. Open your eyes and see our despair. See how your city—the city that bears your name—lies in ruins. We make this plea, not because we deserve help, but because of your mercy. Daniel 9:18 NLT
When I started attending B1GFridays, there was a session that gave an overview on the right manner of praying in reference to the Bible’s teachings but I did not fully understand it that well not until I attended the True Life Retreat. I was taught to pray from the heart and with a guide so that I will be praying as Jesus has taught to His disciples. I was taught not just to pray but to persevere through prayer.
I wanted to have a heart like Daniel and how he prays to God. His prayers are is as if God is right just beside him and as if God knows every inch of his pleading heart. Well, guess what? God really knows everything and He is indeed, right by the side and heart of those who believe. I thought doing the right manner of praying would be easy for me but it was difficult than it may sound. I am comfortable in speaking spontaneously, thanks to my school teachers who encouraged our free-flowing thoughts with those impromptu recitations, however, the funny thing is, when it comes to praying, I stutter.
“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” Joshua 1:8 NLT
I have three Bibles all in New Living Translation (NLT) version but with different purposes. One is the Study Bible that I got for my recent birthday – which by the way, helps me a lot in doing my quiet time, the other is a gift from my DGroup Leader last Christmas which I can write and draw scribbles on it, and my very first Bible which I bought the night before my very first True Life Retreat and I never write anything on it – only highlight the verses which struck me most. I carry my very first Bible with me every day technically because it is small and it has zippered sleeves wherein I can also keep my highlighters.
I also have a notebook wherein I write my learnings and prayers. I do share them here on my blog but I still need something to physically scribble on. If you have known me way back in school, you would definitely know that I love notebooks and I love doing scribbles and random notes on them. I am still thinking of keeping a daily devo up here in the site as well but I guess that will be part of a long-term plan as of now. I also love having multi-colored pens so that I can identify well my thoughts while I was writing that specific note. It helps in my memory retention. I do follow the S.O.A.P. pattern and I pray that God may change my stubborn heart and endure the tedious notes writing on my prayer journal.
There is actually no specific time and duration in doing your quiet time. I learned that it depends on how much time you wanted to spend for Him. I tried to do it by night-time before I sleep but I realized that after all the day’s work, I couldn’t give my exhausted self to Jesus and eventually find myself waking up the next morning without accomplishing the quiet time. I have tried to do it while on break time but I realized that I cannot give my distracted mind to Jesus and not really learning anything. I was left with no other choice but to do it in the morning. I shared here that I am in a struggle of keeping my eyes open and actually being on my feet to sit in front of my study table. Recently, I found an interesting way to wake me up to do my morning quiet time and at the same time won’t lose track of the time for me to prepare and get to work.
My alarm sequence is funny but I know I have to practice to make it a habit. So far, everything is going well with my quiet time and I hope and pray that I encouraged someone reading this into persevering in his/her quiet time with the Lord. I am enjoying the quality time I am having with my Father God and I am experiencing the rest in my heart as I depend on Him with everything.
Do you want to encourage me and my quiet time? Send your prayer requests on how I can pray for you. I love to practice more in praying at the same time, intentional to you, my dear readers. ♥