How to Create a Thriving Quiet Time Routine
Can we be totally honest about your quiet time routine? (And mine, too!) Have you ever felt unsure where to start reading the Bible or how to have a vibrant prayer life? Or, do you long to make spiritual growth a priority, but aren’t sure where to start?
If so, you’re not alone! I know so many women who are hesitant about having a daily date with God or are clueless how to make it a reality.
Honestly, I was held back by insecurity and my own imperfections for years. These obstacles kept me from an abundant relationship with the Lord and hindered my spiritual growth.
While I grew up in a strong, Bible-teaching church, they taught that Bible study should be at least 30 minutes or be super in depth.
That was overwhelming to a Bible study beginner like me! In fact, that notion kept me stuck, afraid, to try, and immature as a believer for years.
I was also held back by lack of knowledge on how to study the Bible and how to make sense of my time in the Scripture. I simply didn’t get it!
Yet I was making it waaayyy harder than it needed to be (you probably are, too!). Once I became hungry for the Word of God, I had the courage to show up each day despite my imperfections and limitations.
Deciding to open my Bible and just start was one of the best decisions I ever made! Now, this special time of day is an essential part of my life.
And I want the same for you! A healthy relationship with God IS possible!
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How to create a thriving quiet time routine
Let go of expectations
PSA: Your daily date with God doesn’t have to be perfect or even Instagram worthy! Instead, let go of expectations and embrace your own way of doing things.
Once I did this, I found freedom and joy in this sacred time with God. It was liberating to unshackle my preconceived notions about what a Bible study time should be or look like.
I let go of the expectations that it needed to be:
- a certain time limit (I’ve had meaningful time in God’s Word that lasted 10 minutes)
- surrounded by beautiful furnishings (you DON’T have to have an Instagram worthy date with God!)
- a certain way or follow a certain regimen
Instead, I discovered that God wanted me to worship Him the way He created me to do. He doesn’t have a rigid format or a certain outline we need to follow to “get it right”.
In fact, some of my best quiet times are when I listen carefully for His voice and follow where He leads.
Sometimes I find myself flat on the ground in a state of deep prayer or hands held high in glorious adoration.
If you’ve been held complacent by rigid rules or expectations, let them go! May you discover the freedom in a personal relationship with the Lord and let God’s grace meets you where you are.
Find a time and place that works for you
When I got started meeting with Jesus, I tried a lot of things that didn’t work well for me.
First, I tried having a Bible study after the kids were in bed. But I soon found I was too tired and that was short lived.
Then I tried during nap time, but I was always pulled in a million directions with household responsibilities. (The dishes would glare at me and beckoned to be cleaned.)
Finally, I found it beneficial to carve out time to meet with Him before my kids got up. While sacrificing a few extra minutes of sleep was a struggle at first, the benefits quickly outweighed the sacrifice.
It was in the still, stolen moments of dawn where I could sit at the feet of Jesus with an uninterrupted heart. That’s where my connection with the Lord began to flourish.
Truthfully, on the days that I decide to snooze in forgo it, my spirit is always grouchy and unsettled.
Yet I’ve learned that meeting with God sets the tone of my heart and invites God to journey with me throughout the day. (Yes, Jesus is even with me as I mop the floor!)
But please, find a routine that works for you and your life.
These questions to help you process what works best for you:
- When in my day can I make a quiet time with God happen?
- Where can I go to be alone with God without (many) interruptions?
- How long can I realistically spend in the Word each day?
- Is there anything I can sacrifice (social media, TV, etc…) to make this sacred time a reality?
- What obstacles stand in my way to making this happen (and how can I move past them?)
Often we come into our Bible study expecting it to be hard, take too long, or something that’s just not right for us because of _____ (fill in the blank with your excuses!). Yet GRACE WINS every time! You CAN start fresh and are free from your hesitations of the past.
It may be helpful to pencil in this time in your planner or set a reminder on your phone that it’s time for you to meet with God.
Also, don’t be afraid to switch your routine around if it’s not working or when seasons of life change. Once you establish this special time of day, your soul will be anticipating Truth and satisfaction.
One of my biggest stumbling blocks was knowing how to study and what to study in the Bible. If you’re brand new to Scripture study, start at the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They will help you explore the life and ministry of Jesus and grasp His ultimate sacrifice at the cross.
Or, use a free Bible reading plan to help you read Scripture in bite-sized pieces. These Bible study guides will help you explore a topic and are usually short enough for either a beginner or Bible study veteran to use with ease.
Then, determine the Bible study method you’ll use and how you’ll process what you read in the Word. Knowing HOW to study the Bible is a huge hang up for so many women. (It certainly was for me!)
There’s a proven correlation between remembering what you read and writing it out, so make sure regular Scripture writing is at least a part of your Bible study routine.
Gather ideas for how to study the Bible here and choose one of these methods to implement immediately. I promise, you CAN do this! Plus, below I share the details of a basic Bible study that will guide your way.
PRO TIP: If you plan to have a quiet time in the morning, set your Bible and supplies out the night before. When I wake up and see my Bible waiting for me, it’s a lot harder to put it off until later. Plus, open to the passage you’re going to read to put it on auto-pilot! (Or use BibleGateway.com if you’re on the go and never miss your time with God!)
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How to structure your quiet time
Remember how I told you there is no formula for the perfect Bible study time? While that’s SO incredibly freeing, I do want to share a practical way to structure your time to take the guess work out of it for you.
Consider this acronym as you create a routine and find your own rhythm.
Start with prayer and invite God to be present in your life and in this sacred time.
Consider prayers of:
- Confession and repentance– ask God for forgiveness for any unconfessed sin and areas of your life you’re struggling
- Wisdom and guidance– ask God to guide your path and grant you wisdom in all areas of your life
- Hope and trust– ask God to help you live confidently that He is in control and trust Him in all seasons of life
A- Adoration and Affirmations
In this section of your time, lavish prayer and praise for God’s flawless character and faithful provision. Focus your heart on giving thanks and praise to the Lord.
As you praise the Lord, ponder biblical affirmations as a celebration of God’s faithfulness. A biblical affirmation is repeating a truth from Scripture that points you to God’s truth instead of the lies of this world.
A few of my favorite biblical affirmations include:
- Even on my darkest day, God is still great and worthy to be praised
- God has a plan for my life and will lead me with His strength.
- I am never alone because God is always with me.
S- Scripture Study
This is where SO many women stumble, but they don’t have to!
A basic Scripture study should include:
- Reading the verse or passage at least two times (you simply can’t fully grasp on just one read through)
- Writing the verse, passage, or key take-away
- Searching the text for what God is asking us to do and His promises
- Thinking through how you can apply it to your life
- Meditating on the key “take away” throughout the day- Personally, I have written Scripture on a sticky note, put it in my planner, and reflected on the verse as I went about my daily routine and loved the reminder of truth.
Or use a Bible study template to take the guess work out of how to study the Bible. These templates act as a road map to your time in Scripture and help you process what you read at maximum capacity!
S- Still and Silence
Finally, allow a few minutes to be still before the Lord and listen for His whisperings. While this may not be something you audibly hear, God can (and still does!) reveal Himself to His children.
Simply carve out time to listen and you’ll start to know when He speaks!
There will never be the perfect time to start meeting with God or to grow in faith. Just have the courage to start and trust that God will fill in the gaps of your own imperfections!
He is waiting to for you to seek Him and He will faithfully meet you there. You CAN do it!