If I told you that you could experience miracles by doing something for 15 minutes a day, would you do it? I am talking about having a daily quiet time. You might cringe when you hear that phrase because so many of us have had bad experiences in this area. We have tried to have a quiet time, but it wasn’t very good. When we hear other people talking about their quiet times, it seems like Moses, Elijah and Jesus show up—but some of us simply don’t have quiet times like that. We might even fall asleep during our quiet times. And eventually, we just give up on the whole idea. We think, I’m a Christian. I love God. I serve God and come to church, but I’m just never going to have a quiet time like other people.
I used to feel that way too, so I want to help you by disproving three common myths about quiet times.
I used to travel and preach at crusades and revivals. Our services started at 7 p.m. every evening, and most nights I didn’t get to bed until midnight or later. For years, I was a late riser. But when I would get around my friends in ministry who were early risers, they always talked about how they met with God at 5 a.m. It sounded so spiritual, and it made me feel terrible because I didn’t get up early to have a quiet time.
I want you to understand this: If you show up later than 7 a.m., God isn’t going to say, “Sorry, we’re closed. You should have come earlier when the spiritual people were here.” You can have a quiet time whatever time of day you want. I suggest doing it at the start of your day, but it’s important to realize you can have it anytime.
There is nothing in the Bible about a one-hour minimum requirement for spending time with God. I know there are those who think that “spiritual” people need to spend at least an hour each day having a quiet time, but I’m a pastor, and I don’t do that. The reason why is I am a bottom-line kind of person. I’m not a long-winded preacher. I like to get to the bottom line, and my prayers are that way too.
Have you ever had someone read to you from their prayer journal, and it was unbelievably awesome? I was with a group of ministers once when one of the guys said, “I want to read something to you that the Lord spoke to me this past Tuesday.” As he read, I thought, “I have never heard anything like that in my life.” There was such poetry to it! Wondering what God spoke to me on that Tuesday, I looked in my journal, and this is what I had written: “Try not to be a jerk today.” That is what the Lord had spoken to me! It wasn’t eloquent or poetic. But it was real.
God doesn’t want to burden you with rules about quiet times that other people have set. He just wants to spend time with you. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to go down a checklist when we are trying to spend time with God?
Now that we have cleared the air, I want to show you four things that have helped me tremendously in my quiet time. I absolutely believe 15 minutes with the Lord each day can change your life.
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him (Psalm 62:5).
In this passage, David tells his soul to be quiet before God, and we need to do the same. A quiet time is not a time to be busy; it’s a time to slow down. In order to do that, you are going to have to quiet your mind and soul.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations (Psalm 100).
When I go to meet with the Lord and quiet my mind, God always puts a song in my heart. For the rest of the day, that song is my key into God’s presence. If you will just listen, He will give you a song too. You can sing it out loud if you want to, but you don’t have to. What is important is that you are focusing on Him. Singing to the Lord turns your focus toward God, and it can be your key into His presence.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Philippians 4:6).
Just talk to God like you talk to anyone else, and pray about whatever concerns you. You don’t have to pray for world peace unless that is on your heart. Pray about what is burdening you. You are never going to pray passionately until you pray about something you are burdened about. You can pray for your kids, your marriage, your job, or your finances. It doesn’t matter. Simply pray about whatever God has put on your heart and mind.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2).
Renewing your mind will transform every area of your life, and the process is simple: Read God’s Word every day. There have been so many times when something I read in the morning was exactly what I needed for that day. God’s Word gives me life, peace, and strength. It’s like lifting weights—sometimes it feels good, and sometimes it doesn’t. But if you persevere and do it consistently, you are going to see results over time. The more regularly you read the Bible, the stronger you will become spiritually. Reading God’s Word every day renews your mind, changes your thinking and transforms you into His image!
Taken from the Fresh Start Bible where Pastors Robert Morris, Jimmy Evans, Jack Hayford, and other key leaders answer common questions and provide the tools for building a strong spiritual foundation. With over 500 discipleship articles and studies blended alongside the scriptures, Fresh Start Bible will help you find God’s direction for every day. FreshStartBible.com
Robert Morris is the senior pastor of Gateway Church, a multicampus church based out of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Since it began in 2000, the church has grown to more than 100,000 active attendees. His television program airs in over 190 countries, and his radio program, Worship & the Word with Pastor Robert, airs in more than 1,800 radio markets across America. He serves as chancellor of The King’s University and is the bestselling author of numerous books, including The Blessed Life, Frequency, Beyond Blessed and Take the Day Off. Robert and his wife, Debbie, have been married 40 years and are blessed with one married daughter, two married sons and nine grandchildren.
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