Calming the Storm: 5 Steps to Meaningful Devotional Time aka Quiet Time
• Have you ever wondered why your day spirals out of control?
• Have you disconnected God from your work?
• Do you ask yourself “Where is God at 3 O’clock in the afternoon”?
• Do you go to bed wondering why God seems so far away?
God wants our best. His grace provides for our fallen humanity (sin) but, He wants our first fruits. It is about giving our best to Him in order to receive His best every day. Just like you, I fall short of God’s perfect will. We should start off the day acknowledging our imperfection and dealing with it via God’s grace, so that we can swing for the fences. Do you know people who are constantly in a state of crisis? Are you one of these people? I was for most of my life. Would you like to bring peace to your every day existence? Jesus calmed the storm for his disciples on the Sea of Galilee. He can do the same for you, if you let him.
A few years ago, I decided to wake up 30 minutes before my usual time to pray and read my Bible. I did not have a guide; I just jumped in by praying and picking a section of the Bible at random. Over time, I have researched and experimented with several Daily Devotionals and Quiet Time plans. I found that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ strategy out there. God created each of us as unique beings. Therefore, what works for me, may not work for you. However, it is a noble endeavor to begin our day in communion with God before the day begins. Below are 5 steps that can help you establish meaningful and effective devotional time. We live in God’s presence.
He is never distant. It is our awareness of His presence that needs to be cultivated.
1. Wake up early, make some coffee. Find a Quiet and Comfortable place.
2. Use the ACTS prayer model
3. Spend time focusing on Christ’s atoning sacrifice by contemplating the Cross and searching “the mystery of His wounds (C. Spurgeon)” (Resource: Humility: True Greatness – Mahaney)
4. Read Your Bible and Ask God to show you how to apply it to your life (Life Application Study Bible)
5. Keep a daily prayer journal. You can refer to it in the future to see how God answers ALL prayers.
For an added layer of awareness visualize yourself “Putting on the Full Armor of God” as you finish your devotional time. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
These are steps that work for me. I hope they work for you as well. You would not attempt to drive your car to work with an empty tank. Why would you start off your day without acknowledging and praising the one who created you and gave His life so that you may live?
What does your daily prayer time or devotional look like?
This is right in line with what I’ve been looking for! Please keep me in the loop on future posts!
Shane C. Howard
Technical Recruiter & Consultant
Qualitec Technical Services
I know this is an older blog post, but wanted to comment on it regardless of the date to share my personal experience.
So glad you mentioned ‘first fruits’ and not the left overs. Only God knows what I give and I try to stick to a Biblical approach to that. Needless to say the more I gave those first fruits, even when it was not ‘logical’ God always managed to provide me with my needs, even when it seemed IMPOSSIBLE. Well for Him, nothing is impossible.
Due to being unaware, or even taught about fiscal responsibility from either my parents or school I had a very hard struggle.
It wasn’t until I started to understand how when we tithe and give with a whole heart THEN he can use the Holy Spirit to teach us to bless us even more.
Needless to say I have completely whipped out my bad debt, and have a goal to be completely debt free within the next 12 months.
Again this all started with a simple act of spending time with Him, and giving my first fruits. Not sending $20 to some church in Africa when you make six figures, but giving generously here on the community level at the church God has me give into.
Spending time with God, and only Him allows us to hear His voice and what he wants for us in our life. I think with the chaos of day to day living might start creating a habit of separation, and that’s when we get into trouble.
Without those quality times, and humbling private moments in prayer, I would have never heard the voice on how to remove the financial hardships that have plagued me due to ignorance.
Hosea 4:6 KJV
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
Seek Him above all else, and He will grant you Wisdom to put your self in a place to be blessed.
Thank you and well said my friend. “Seek first HIS kingdom”… Not our own kingdom. It’s a counter-cultural idea.