A personal devotion or quiet time is just that; personal. There are many ways to structure a quiet time. However, there are a few elements that are indigenous to all forms or structures of quiet times. The main thing to remember is that it takes effort to keep your quiet time from becoming a mechanical performance. You must guard against thinking the program will benefit you. It is not the program but the person which makes the necessary changes in your life. God, through Christ utilizes the Scriptures to further your spiritual development.
Having said that allow me to make some suggestions for a beneficial and profitable quiet time. Please feel free to modify these suggestions as you tailor these elements by making them personal to you.
Step 1 Planning
Determine the amount of time that you desire to “devote” to your quiet time. Always be realistic. Carve out the amount of time you can afford and desire rather than being unrealistic. I suggest at least thirty (30) minutes if not shooting for an hour. Your goal is develop a spiritual habit through consistency.
This sounds so obvious, select a place that is quiet and free of distractions. You need a place where you can achieve and maintain privacy. You need a place where you can read out loud, laugh, cry, sing, and pray. Don’t attempt to have your quiet time in your bed.
Step 2 Process
Use a simple format for your quiet time. If it is too complicated or cluttered you will become discouraged and quit. This process is not “cut into stone” so mix it up now and then. Do not let your quiet time “go stale” or become mechanical.
Commence with Prayer
Spend a few minutes in thanksgiving:
For the blood of Christ
Seek cleansing and forgiveness
Solicit help & guidance from Holy Spirit (Use Piper’s IOU’s)
Continue with Praise
Sing a hymn
Read a Psalm
Recite a Poem
Connect with Passage
Restrict selection to 8-10 verses
Read passage through normally
Re-read passage slowly, focusing on content
Re-read passage while underlining and praying over words, phrases, or ideas
Refrain from speed reading, reading notes first
Review passage for following:
What is the main idea of the passage?
What spiritual principles are present?
What can I learn from this portion?
What attitudes or actions do I need to pursue?
Revisit the passage and look for: (SPEECH)
Sin to Confess
Promise to Claim
Error to Consider
Example to Copy
Command to Complete
Hypothesis (Spiritual Principle) to Commence (Begin or live by)
Conclude with Prayer (ACTS)
Adoration – character trait of God
Confession – Sin illuminated by the passage
Thanksgiving – spirit and attitude of thankfulness
Supplication – prayer requests for others and self
Mon - Missionaries
Tue - Friends
Wed - Church worldwide
Thur - Government & Government Officials
Fri - Family
Sat - Sinners (Lost)
Sun - Services & Servants (Local church)
Spouse & Children
Self – Application from lesson, Spiritual Growth, Material needs
Advance thanks for guidance during quiet time
Ask for deliverance from sin and temptation during the day
Ask for strength and wisdom for the day and the duties of the day
Step 3 Probing
Take a couple of minutes and record what you have learned. Lean to journal your thoughts. Write your thoughts down along with prayers and requests. You will be able to go back and see the progress you are making. Journaling is a good way to see how God is at work in your life, the prayers that have been answered, and the direction of God in your life.
Jot down a comment or two about what God has taught you. Take notes on the passage you have meditated over.
Happy 17th birthday to our oldest Granddaughter, Madilynn Nichole Metcalf of Vancouver, WA. Happy Birthday Precious!