How is your time with God going in this new year? If you’d like to give it a boost, I have added onto last week’s blog and given you five more ways to reignite your quiet time.
- Sing the Psalms
The Psalms literally mean “songs” and each of them was written to a score of music. With that in mind, consider singing them during your quiet time with God. Make up a tune or you may find some psalms that sound familiar because someone has already recorded them to music as contemporary worship songs or choruses.
Scripture is full of admonition to “sing.” It’s the most reiterated command in Scripture. So, do it…with God’s “hymn book.” Some great songs to start singing are Psalm 5 (Give ear to my words, O Lord), Psalm 25 (Unto Thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul…) and Psalm 32:7 (You are my hiding place… all of those are from the King James Version if a tune happened to come to your mind).
Either use your device in your quiet time (through a Bible app or to play worship music to enhance your quiet time) or turn it off. I’ve found eliminating the distractions of notifications on my phone (or better yet, turning it off) helps me stay focused on what God wants to say, instead of putting Him on hold to read a text, respond to an alert, or keep checking for a message or email I’m hoping to receive.
What did we do before we brought our mobile phones with us to our quiet time with God? We let the answer machine take the calls or we unplugged the ringer altogether. When the Almighty is waiting to get up close and personal with you, the rest of the world with its demands on your time or attention, can surely wait in line.
3. Praise Him Through the Alphabet
Psalm 100:4 tells us to “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.” When we heed that Scriptural command, it keeps us coming into His presence reverently, by praising Him for Who He is, rather than immediately demanding His attention to our concerns.
Enter your devotional time by praising Him, alphabetically. Simply recite the ABCs with an attribute of His (or as many as you can think of) for each letter of the alphabet. For example:
A – God, you are amazing, awesome and above all.
B – You are bountiful in all your blessings and beholding of glory.
C – Lord, you are capable, credible, consistent and comforting.
D – You are dependable, my deliverer, and deserving of praise.
Say as many attributes of His that you can think of for each letter and you may find if you start doing this daily, you can even come up with new ones each time. I guarantee you can cover every letter of the alphabet many times over when praising the attributes of God, even if you have to use “x” as a second letter – as in “extraordinary” or “extra-loving.”
4. Hide the Word in Your Heart
In Psalm 119:11 David said, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (NIV). Scripture also tells us to meditate on God’s Word day and night so we will be careful to do all that is written in it and so we may be prosperous and have success (Joshua 1:8).
In short, we are commanded to memorize God’s Word, but we tend to make excuses for doing so, mostly blaming our failing memory. Anything we read or hear or recite continuously will eventually become etched on our minds and hearts and will roll off our tongues. Find some favorite, helpful, or comforting verses to read or recite over and over, not just in your quiet time, but throughout the day so you can be one who hides God’s Word in your heart. Another way to do this is to read through the Proverbs – one chapter for every day of the month, beginning with the first day of the month – and by the end of six months or more, you should have several Proverbs hidden in your heart and wisdom rolling off your tongue.
5. Switch It Up
If you’ve grown accustomed to a certain translation of the Bible, I encourage you to switch the translation you prefer to read, in order to get fresh eyes on verses that may hit your heart in a whole new way. All Scripture – regardless of the translation – is not only inspired by God and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16), but it is also “living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12). One of the ways God’s Word is active is the way it can pierce your heart anew when you’re reading a familiar verse in an unfamiliar translation. Verses you may have passed over before (or applied to a certain situation in your past) can impact you in a whole new context when read in slightly different wording.
Have you ever witnessed new believers come alive with a passion for God and His Word — a passion that you wish you still had? After years of discipling new believers I’ve noticed two primary reasons for that: 1) they were reading God’s Word for the very first time and found it amazing that it applied to them; and 2) they were, in every case, reading a more contemporary, easy-to-understand translation that spoke to them powerfully. Let the Word come alive, once again, during your quiet time by switching to a different translation temporarily for the sake of variety.