Having a quiet time with the Lord every day is absolutely essential if you expect to grow spiritually. But you have to plan it. It won’t “just happen.” We’re all much too busy. Early morning is best, and there are plenty of scriptural precedents for that (Jesus rose “a great while before day”; the psalmist said, “In the morning shalt Thou hear my voice”). If you meet the Lord before you meet anybody else, you’ll be “pointed in the right direction” for whatever comes. God knows how difficult it is for some to do this, and if you have a reason you can offer Him why early morning won’t work, I’m sure He’ll help you to find another time. Sometimes the children’s afternoon nap time can be quiet time for a mother. At any rate, plan the time. Make up your mind to stick with it. Make it short to begin with—fifteen minutes or so, perhaps. You’ll be surprised at how soon you’ll be wanting more.
Take a single book of the Bible. If you’re new at this start with the Gospel of Mark. Pray, first, for the Holy Spirit’s teaching. Read a few verses, a paragraph, or a chapter. Then ask, What does this passage teach me about: (1) God; (2) Jesus Christ; (3) the Holy Spirit; (4) myself; (5) sins to confess or avoid; (6) commands to obey; (7) what Christian love is?
Keep a notebook. Write down some of your special prayer requests with the date. Record the answer when it comes. Note, also, some of the answers you’ve found to the above questions,or anything else you’ve learned. Tell your children, your spouse, your friends some of these things. That will help you remember them. You’ll be amazed at what a difference a quiet time will make in your life.
This excerpt was originally published in the January/February 1985 Elisabeth Elliot Newsletter.