Where do you go when you need help, solace, or wisdom? What about when you have overwhelming feelings of despair, loneliness, or anxiety? Many of us had feelings like these as an unprecedented worldwide pandemic inserted itself into our lives this past year. When faced with difficult feelings some turn to exercise or entertainment, some throw themselves into their work, or even seek counseling (which is, of course, sometimes necessary for deeper issues). And some of us just stuff our feelings inside an already over-cluttered psyche. There is, however, a much better solution for difficult feelings. Did you know that the God of the universe is there for you to turn to for wisdom and comfort? He’s there at any time of the day or night—no further than a whispered prayer or a broken cry for help. We can call on God anywhere—our car, our kitchen, a mountaintop or a back alley–no question about it. But, for believers, it’s also important to set aside (prioritize) a specific time in our day to seek God.
Perhaps you hadn’t really thought about the fact that it’s possible to personally commune with God. In fact, spending time with God is a crucial discipline of the Christian life. We all need to find time in our day to sit in a quiet place, without distraction, seeking help and wisdom from the Lord. You see, just as you must plan to spend time with a friend in order to deepen the relationship, so must you also plan to spend time with the Lord to grow in relationship with Him!
My “quiet place” is at my little antique desk in our bedroom, facing our wooded back yard. I am, in fact, sitting at my desk right now as it is also the place where I write. My husband is at work and our children are grown and out of the house for the most part so finding quiet at our house is not hard. I know it can be a challenge for many of you out there who are in the throes of child-rearing or who work long hours outside the home, but if you can find a creative way to work it into your daily routine, it will bring a new dimension to your life and improve your spiritual and emotional well-being beyond measure.
What exactly are the components of a quiet time? Well, in my case, I begin by pouring out my heart to the Lord with praise and thanksgiving (even during this pandemic I have found numerous things for which to praise and thank Him!). I then ask for forgiveness of sins that I know I have committed and I seek help for those nagging sins that continue to plague me. Then, I simply talk to the Lord about my life. I pray for each member of my family specifically. I always pray that my young adult children, although they are all believers at this point, will develop a deep and abiding relationship with the Lord and continue to walk in His ways. I pray that the Lord will protect them from believing the humanistic and godless ideals of our day and that they will understand the importance of raising their children to love the Lord and His church. Next, I lift up other people on my prayer list or those who God has brought to mind, who need healing or comfort. In my quiet place I can pour out all of my fears, doubts and concerns with no worry of condemnation or judgement. God knows my heart and he knows how to calm and heal it. I also ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate the Word as I read and study it during my quiet time. I usually have a devotional book of some kind that I am reading so I read the entry and scripture for the day. Then I will open my Bible and read from a particular book. I am currently studying Genesis with some other women in a Bible study so that is where I read today.
An important part of communing with the Lord is listening. No, don’t expect to hear the Lord speak to you in an audible voice, but do expect that he will speak to you in your spirit— giving comfort, wisdom and sometimes, conviction! You will hear him loud and clear! I know I have.
If you are new to having a quiet time and don’t know where to start reading, pick one of the gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. You will get a beautiful telling of the life of Jesus and will learn about the incredible sacrifice he made for us. Or, you could start at the beginning and try to read the Bible through in a year! Also, maybe ask a pastor or Christian friend for a recommendation of a good devotional to use as a guide.
One more thing before I close: I love to listen to worship music while I clean or prepare dinner, and there are some wonderful, moving, uplifting worship songs out there. Listening to music can be a part of your quiet time but, always leave a block of actual quiet time so you can focus on hearing from God and can really tune-in to what you are reading in the Word.
“I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me.” Proverbs 8:17 (NKJV)
“Yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:3-5
“But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6
“And you will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
“The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.” Psalm 145:18
“O God, you are my God; Early will I seek you; My soul thirsts for you; My flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1