“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” (Mark 1:35).
We are in the first week of Advent. Advent comes from the Latin word meaning “coming.” The four weeks of Advent is used by Christians to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christ’s coming. This is a season of preparation: preparing ourselves to the reality of Christ’s coming. One of the best ways followers of Jesus Christ can do this is to commit to setting aside a daily regular time to spend with God.
Christians call this Quiet Time.
One of the questions I sometimes get is, “What am I supposed to do in quiet time?”
That’s a great question. There are several things to note about why this is such a needed practice for followers of Jesus.
- This was the regular practice of Jesus. Jesus made time to be with God, the Father, on a daily basis. If we are “followers” of Jesus, we follow what Jesus practiced.
- If Jesus time with God, it goes without saying, we need time with God to listen for God’s guidance and leading!
What does one do in Quiet Time? What is a Quiet Time?
- Notice that there was a specific time of the day that Jesus spent time with God. For Jesus, this was “very early in the morning.” For most people, this works best. Early morning. But not everyone is a morning person. The time of the day is not as important as setting aside a specific time of the day. You ought to stick to that time as much as you can.
- Notice the specific location – “Jesus left the house and went off to a solitary place.” Location matters. This ought to be a place where you can get alone with God. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to find an isolated place from all people. Before covid, my favorite place to do my quiet times was at Starbucks. Even though there were people around, I could get alone with God to read, reflect, pray, and journal. I miss my morning times with God at Starbucks!
- Notice what Jesus did – “Jesus went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Praying isn’t just saying things to God. Praying is a conversation. Praying has to do with listening as much as it does with requesting. The way Jesus listened was by talking with God. The way we primarily listen to God is through God’s word.
- Here is a quick outline of what a Quiet Time might look like.
- Open with prayer
- Thanking God for the day
- Thanking God for what God is about to reveal to you today
- Read God’s word
- http://www.youversion.com has fantastic Bible reading plans
- As you read, listen to what God might want to say to you through his word
- Close with prayer
- Open with prayer
- How much time should I set aside for quiet times with God? I would suggest you setting aside at least 10 to 15 minutes a day to read, reflect, and pray. The more you spend time with God, you will see your time with God increasing. But 10 to 15 minutes is a good start.
This is the season of Advent – the season where we celebrate the coming of Christ by preparing ourselves to live into the reality that Christ has come. One of the best ways you can do that is by setting aside a time and place every day to spend time with God. I challenge you to do it.