Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. - Mark 1:35 (NIV)
If you read the gospels, you will see that Jesus lived a very busy life. Crowds flocked to him, to hear him speak or to be healed. Even when he was not surrounded by throngs of people, the twelve disciples were with him 24/7. It tells us a lot that Jesus, needed time alone. But for Jesus, alone time was not simply a time for being alone – far from it. His time alone served a purpose – he prayed. In these quiet moments, he was able to connect with the Father – for strength, for comfort, for direction.
If Jesus needed times of quite, how much more do we need it? A great deal more, I would think.
The two primary challenges of finding quiet times are:
1. Establishing an appropriate time and place.
2. Learning what to do with our quiet time.
It can be frustrating to simply find an appropriate time and place for quiet. We’re surrounded by distractions and noise from every direction – TVs, computers, ipods, cell-phones, car radios, even other people – the list goes on and on. It takes discipline to set these things aside, even for a short time. Equally challenging is finding time for quiet time.
So, if you come to the conclusion that you need time during the day for quiet communion with God, you will need to find the time that best suits you. Some people are early risers while others are night people, find the time that is best for you.
A consistent place is helpful as well. If at all possible, try to avoid a place with too many distractions or temptations. If weather permits, going outside might help. Remember that Jesus had to leave where he was staying and walk a bit to find quiet.
Let’s assume you’ve established a time and an appropriate place of quiet. Now what? To be honest, the first time you really enter the quiet zone may seem strange. We’re so programmed to hearing back-ground noise that quiet may be disturbing. I would simply say, talk to God as you would talk to a friend, listen and meditate on His Word.
Be still, and know that I am God. – Psalm 46-10a
Quiet time allows us to focus and hear from God – through our prayers, through reading and pondering upon scripture, and by simply listening and waiting upon Him. You will find your quiet place to be a refuge – a place of peace where you can not only hear from God, but you will get to know Him better. The effort to find and maintain your quiet place is well worth the effort.
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