Soul Trainingcreate strong spiritual habits for 2021
Here are a few reading plans that we've selected for this next year.
There are many other great options online as well, we've provided links to a few of these resources as well.
What is a 'quiet time' with God?
A 'Quiet Time' is spiritual discipline that has been observed by followers of Christ in some form since the church first began. This time is a regular unhurried time with God that includes prayer and reading the Bible. In our hurried culture, where 'being busy' is often conflated with 'being important', it's more important than ever to take time to become unhurried and quiet before God.
Here are a few suggestions for your quiet time:
Make space for it in your schedule.
- What will you need to take out of their schedule to make space for a regular quiet time with God.
- Many people have found that first thing in the morning often works the best (and yes, you may need to go to sleep earlier in the evening to be able schedule a quiet time in the morning).
Expect to do it imperfectly.
- Developing a new habit is hard work, that's why it's called a 'discipline'. If you approach it knowing that you're probably going to miss days here and there, it will be a lot less likely for you to feel discouraged and give up.
- Don't allow yourself to miss two days in a row, if you miss one just jump right back in on the next day.
- Set a reminder alarm on your phone, this will at least let you know that you're missing it and keeping it in front of you.
Decide on a routine and put it into writing.
- Where will you have your quiet time? Decide on a space that is reasonably quiet and free from other distractions (PRO-TIP: Read from a physical Bible so that you're not tempted to get distracted by your phone or tablet).
- How long will your quiet time be? Most quiet times range from 15 minutes to an hour.
- What elements will your quiet time include? Prayer, silence, reading the Bible, memorizing a Bible verse, journaling, singing or listening to worship songs... it's up to you. We think every quiet time should include prayer and reading the Bible.
Example Quiet Time Structure:
1) Silence/Stillness (2 minutes)
- Rest in the love of God.
- Release tensions and distractions (if you find you can't release something, writing it down for later might help).
- Give your cares, burdens, anxiety, and worries to God.
- End this time by asking God to direct and guide the rest of your time with him.
2) Scripture (5 minutes)
- Read something specific, methodically work through a portion of the Bible or reading plan.
- Less is more, keep daily passages short.
- Read slowly, go at the pace God directs.
3) Journal (3 minutes)
- What did God show you in his scripture today?
- What are going to do with it in your life?
- What else is God 'speaking' to you about? (Sin? Reasons to be thankful? Worries you might have?)
- Write a prayer expressing all of this to God.
4) Prayer (5 minutes)
- Writing at least a part of this down is incredibly helpful for remembering what you've prayed for and how God is moving.
- Spend more time listening than speaking.
- What things in your life do you need to confess to God? Ask for forgiveness.
- What things in your life are you thankful for? Express those to God.
- What things do you need for God to help with? Humbly and earnestly ask God for help, healing, or transformation.
- Consider adding the Lord's Prayer at the end.