“I just want you to speak to me about it. I want us to speak about what it will imply and how we will make it operate. I want us to speak like we’re going to figure it out collectively. I want us to speak . . . due to the fact I like the sound of your voice.” —Danny to C.J. in The West Wing
Jennifer Huerta-Ball, Divisional Director of Higher Los Angeles in InterVarsity, applied this clip from The West Wing in her final exhortation to us right after a two-year battle with cancer.
This was Jen’s partnership with God. She talked to him, about all the things and something at any moment of the day. And this was the final word from one particular of the most influential and prophetic leaders InterVarsity has ever recognized: Just speak to Jesus . . . due to the fact he loves the sound of your voice.
When my husband and I have been dating, what I looked forward to the most just about every day was the half-hour just before bed when we would FaceTime every other. We would text all day and get in a telephone get in touch with right after operate, but our FaceTime was when I had his undivided consideration and we’d have our most intimate conversations. When we have been married, even although we have been living below the identical roof, we had to set a new rhythm for “FaceTime.” It didn’t just automatically occur. No matter how unpredictable our days may perhaps be, I nonetheless normally appear forward to that final half-hour just before bed that is devoted to no one but us, and we just speak.
This is what is meant by “quiet time.” There is no formula for carrying out it ideal. It is not some thing that tends to make you far more holy if you do it just about every day, or a further religious formality to add to your agenda. It is that sacred space reserved just for you and God exactly where you get to connect. It is that time when you get to gaze upon your Creator and let him gaze upon you. It is a space free of charge of distraction and the noisiness of the day. The space exactly where you keep in mind you are loved basically for your presence.
Regardless of whether you are new to discovering this sacred space, or you have grown up becoming taught that a excellent Christian ought to have a “daily quiet time,” it can often be tough to know what to do in these spaces. How do you discover time that is free of charge of distraction? How do you connect to somebody who feels invisible and not normally straightforward to hear?
Right here are some concepts to support you have far more vibrant “FaceTimes” with God. Do not really feel the require to do all the things on this list all at after, but choose one particular factor that appears intriguing to you and attempt it. Alternatively, choose one particular factor from every category to present some structure to your time to get you began.
1. Reflect on what’s worked currently.
Have there been approaches you have currently enjoyed connecting to God? Possibly issues you applied to do but a transform in your schedule has created far more difficult? Are there approaches you can bring back some comparable rhythms in new approaches? Appear for vibrant spots and make upon these.
two. Build the atmosphere.
One particular of the keys to obtaining constant “FaceTime” with God is discovering a frequent space and time so you are not possessing to choose something to make it occur and you can just show up. Choose when and exactly where this will be and develop an atmosphere that will support you concentrate. Come across a distinct chair in the cleanest area in the residence. Go on a stroll. Light a candle. Acquire an artistic journal that feels entertaining to create in. Play some instrumental worship music. Turn all technologies off and leave it in a separate area. Set the mood that will support you keep in mind that it is just you and Jesus.
three. Engage the Scriptures.
The Bible is the most basic way that we concentrate our minds on the truths of God and keep in mind who it is we are worshiping. Choose one particular way to engage the Scriptures and attempt it for a handful of months:
four. Increase your longing for God.
One particular of the most highly effective approaches we can connect to God is by expressing how considerably we lengthy for him. But this longing normally requires some time to find out. Right here are some approaches to boost need and desperation for God:
- Listen to or play a worship song that has a handful of very simple lines on repeat. As you listen, let the desires of your heart arise. Some examples are “Wrap Me in Your Arms” or “All Who Are Thirsty”. I play the line, “Come, Lord Jesus, come” on my ukulele more than and more than once more as I pray for the issues I’m longing for in my personal life and for other people.
- Use index cards thematically to create your prayer requests. I have a card for every of these big subjects: self, household, mates, campus, city, globe. And I jot down tiny notes on every index card with the issues I’m longing for. As prayers get answered I place tiny verify marks by them. (See A Praying Life by Paul Miller.) As I play “Come, Lord Jesus,” I appear at the cards and keep in mind my longings.
- Think about oneself to be a kid sitting in the lap of a parent and telling them all the things you want, unfiltered, without the need of caring about eloquence. Journal your desires to him.
- Create a lament for the issues you are seeing in the news and the issues that are breaking your heart. Lament the approaches you have ignored Jesus or neglected to like him and other people. Use the Psalms or Lamentations as examples.
five. Gaze upon God and his Character.
As you are worshiping or reading the Scripture, invest some time “gazing” at the one particular who loves you. Reflect on who he is and adore him and thank him.
- Play a song like “Great Is Your Mercy” on repeat and praise God for his mercy. Dance your praise just before him.
- Say or create down various attributes of God and meditate on his character.
- Make a list of issues you are thankful for and visualize God there with you as you thank him.
- Gaze upon artistic pictures of God or the Scriptures. I like the artist James He Qi. I will choose an image of his that sticks out to me and just gaze upon it for a when, letting God speak to me on the other hand he chooses.
six. Take in God’s like for you.
In a comparable way, ask God to remind you of his like for you. Ask him to support you in fact get it on a gut level.
- Appear at pictures of a father or mother’s like for their kid. Try to remember this is the way God feels toward you.
- Ask God to give you an image or symbol of how he thinks about you. Draw that image or create it down so you keep in mind it.
- Play a worship song that speaks of God’s like for you. Some examples are “La Nina de Tus Ojos” or “Amazed”.
- Journal a list of 30 issues God desires to affirm in you (that may perhaps really feel like a lot, but Scripture says God has far more thoughts toward you than there is sand on a seashore [Psalm 139]).
7. Take the space to listen.
Conversing with somebody goes two approaches. God desires to inform you how he loves you. He desires to be your guide. But finding out to listen requires practice. My dad applied to inform me, “If you listen to God just about every day for the rest of your life and only hear him after, it is worth it.” So do not give up if you do not hear something ideal away! Right here are some approaches to practice listening:
- Listening effectively starts with finding out how to ask excellent inquiries. Choose a excellent query and sit nonetheless for a minute to listen for an answer. Attempt to keep away from yes or no inquiries. Right here are a handful of to get started: God, how are you displaying me like or beauty now? What are your thoughts toward me? What present do you want to give me now?
- Create the letter S in your journal for “Spirit” and create down just about every time you hear some thing you assume was from God. (Verify it with the Scripture—if it aligns with the truth of the Scripture, and the tone is loving, then it is possibly from God. If you are nonetheless not certain you can ask a trusted mentor.)
- Take it a step additional and commence to create a dialogue utilizing the initially initial of your name. For instance:
S (Spirit): I am proud of you.
K (Kelly): I really feel like I messed up that compact group although . . .
S: Inform me what felt really hard.
K: I didn’t do this ideal . . .
S: You are my kid. Your worth is not in your functionality. What do you assume you discovered from that knowledge?
eight. Play and delight in.
God just desires to invest time with you. Your space with him does not normally have to be severe. (It does not have to be all speaking either.) Have entertaining! Get inventive! Be like a kid and delight in producing with your Creator.
- Paint some thing just for entertaining.
- Reduce out magazine scraps and make a collage.
- Make some thing to decorate your property.
- Get pleasure from nature go on a hike.
- Shoot some hoops or go on a jog.
- Study a book and keep in mind God is so inventive.
9. Ask Jesus what to do.
Lastly, but most importantly, ask Jesus what to do. He will show you. We do not normally require a list of a million concepts. We just require to keep in mind that we have access to the inventive God of the universe. Take a moment and ask him if there’s some thing new you can attempt to make your occasions collectively far more particular. Possibly there’s one particular category on this list or one particular thought that is grabbing your consideration. Ask God to preserve providing you concepts of how to develop in that one particular region.
There is no formula to a good quiet time. There is no great list. What matters is that you are taking the time to be intentional with the one particular who loves you the most. He just desires to speak to you. Since he loves the sound of your voice.