Believer one. He is woken by the blaring sound of his alarm at 4am. With the sticky mucus still gluing his eyelids together, he fumbles around his bed in the dark for his phone. And there it was, right under his pillow. He snoozes the alarm, drops his head onto his pillow and off he goes, to the dream world. Another morning of no quiet time.
Believer two. She had purposed the night before to rise up by 5am and pray. She has a problem of sleeping too much. At bedtime, she begged the Holy Spirit to wake her up. Here she was, her eyes shining. She grabs her phone to check the time; 5am on the dot. “Thank you Lord!” she mutters. She slips out of bed unto the kneeing position. With her elbows on her bed, she began the choruses. Then some adoration prayers, and more choruses. Only five minutes had passed. She rests her head on the bed and switches to praying in tongues, “Ma sanda libra hoo shabarababa… ” which only lasted for two minutes, and off she goes, to the dream world. The next tongues she would speak in her consciousness was at 7:30am. Her knees were hurting. And she was already late for work.
Believer three. He wakes up at 3am. The plan was to study his Bible before praying. He dabs his face with water and brushes his teeth, all in a bid to drive away any aota of sleep. He sits behind his table and flips his Bible to the portion to be read for that day. He begins at verse one and reads to verse five. He pauses a while. He could hardly remember what the preceding verses had said. “I must have dozed off in between” he concluded. He starts all over again at the first verse. Thirty minutes after, he was still at verse five. He had been repeating the cycle. Sleep will not allow him make a head way. He closes his Bible and goes back to bed. Another morning of truncated quiet time.
Many believers have had issues maintaining a consistent quiet time. Some have concluded by rhetorically asking, “Must I set out time daily to study my Bible and pray? I’d pray whenever I’m able to make out time.” My response is this. Who are you copying? I’m sure it’s not our Lord Jesus.
Other Christians that know they should make out time on a daily basis have been plagued with several challenges. Consistency and quality time. What time of the day should my quiet time be? How long should I spend? Which should I do first? Praying or studying my Bible? Among other questions usually asked. I’d say we have a model in Christ.
Mark in his gospel about Christ comments in the very first chapter in verse thirty-five about the prayer habit, and indeed, the effort He puts in to maintain a regular quiet time. Mark puts it this way. “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” I’ve gleaned useful principles from this verse which have helped me personally with maintaining a regular quiet time.
If there’s one person who I know that was terribly busy while on earth, that person would be Jesus. He slept in the same place with His disciples and they began ministering the very moment they woke up. The crowd was already awaiting them, following Christ the whole day while He taught, healed the sick and ministered to the poor. He had to practically steal away from the crowd at night in other to rest. Yet I found Christ in the midst of His choking schedule, creating time for communion with the Father. What was His secret?
He rose up early. Christ got up early in the morning way before the others did, that He may enjoy serenity and seclusion. If there’s one time of the day you can place a handle on, it’s your morning. People can encroach into any other time of your day, but if you can rise up before them, you can enjoy your alone time. Any if there’s one thing you can spend this precious time doing, in which you’re the most refreshed, it is in communing with God.
Christ got up. You may be wondering, “Of course He rose up early. Why are you emphasizing that He got up?” Yeah! I’m actually making that emphasy because they are different. After Christ woke up, He got up from where He was lying – be it a bed or the floor. He wasn’t praying while in the recumbent position. If He was, He would most likely had fallen asleep. This is not to say one cannot choose whichever position one desires to take while praying. But you should pick a position that would help you stay alert throughout your prayer time. I usually recommend alternating between a sitting and standing position. With this postures, you can spend as long as you want communing.
Jesus left the house and went to a solitary place. Here is another principle. You must find your niche – your space where you can commune with God uninterrupted. A place where you won’t disburb others and where you won’t be disburbed – that’s why it’s called quiet time. It mustn’t necessarily be outside your house, but it can’t be a place conducive for sleep. To choose a place where you can see your bed, is to choose to truncate your quiet time.
God in no way intends us to be ‘religious’ about a time to study our Bible and pray, without enjoying genuine communion with Him. Rather, He intends for us to be consistent with setting out time to seek His face.
In most churches, quiet time seems to be a thing emphasized for the newly saved, and the so to speak matured Believers walk about in spiritual arrogance, doing a lot of church activities without making out time daily to commune with God. Please, please, be not be deceived. You can never outgrow quiet time because Christ never did.
Make it a culture. Set out time to seek God’s face, early and daily. And carry the aura of His presence through your entire day.