Let me start out by saying that you're not the only one.
Maybe you're reading this right now thinking that you're the only Christian who has let their quiet time slip for so long. But you're not.
I think one of the greatest struggles Christians have in their walk with Jesus is consistency in their quiet time. We live in such a busy, fast-paced society that the moment our eyes open our minds are racing with all of the things we have to do, and pressure is on, before our feet hit the floor, to get started.
One of the most profound quotes I've ever read on prayer is by Martin Luther, father of the Reformation. "I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer."
His keen understanding that the strength he needed to get through his day was in direct proportion to how much time he spent in prayer is something that is profoundly missing today.
What would our churches be like if Christians everywhere truly lived by this philosophy?
What would our places of business be like if the Christians who worked there first woke up and spent only one hour in prayer each morning in preparation for a busy workday, knowing that their ability to handle the pressure was directly linked to how much time they spent on their knees before they ever went about their day?
I, for one, am heavily convicted when reading this quote (which now hangs on the wall above my computer).
As I pondered my one word for 2018, the first thing that came to my mind was that I needed a revival in my quiet time. I don't know about you, but my quiet times have grown stale. They need an infusion of life, a freshness that is lacking.
7 Ways to Revive Your Quiet Time
1. Ask God to Grant You a Personal Revival
It's not a coincidence that I began my list with prayer. Everything we do should begin with prayer. If we try to accomplish the other six things on this list without prayer, two things will happen: 1. We will find our efforts short-lived and 2. We will be tempted to pat ourselves on the back for a job well done.
Revival can only happen as a work of the Holy Spirit. Any revival that doesn't originate with the Holy Spirit is fake and a simple conjuring up of emotion. And as women we know how fickle our emotions can be.
We may "feel" a revival today, or even this whole week, but soon our emotions will move in a different direction and we'll lose that feeling.
Revival isn't a feeling. Revival is a work of the Holy Spirit in our lives that is independent of our emotions. For that revival to happen, we must seek God's face and cry out for it.
2. Make a Plan
No one embarks on a journey without a map, without a destination in mind, without a goal. Our journey with Jesus should include a plan. It should involve goals.
If as believers, we live our Christian lives without having personal plans and goals for our spiritual walk—this week, this month, this year—then we should never be surprised if we see very little spiritual maturity take place.
Nothing significant happens when our life motto is que sera sera.
If we wouldn't set out on a family vacation without a destination and our journey mapped out, why would we set out on our spiritual journey without a plan and a goal? A journey of far greater significance than any family vacation.
This is precisely why I choose a word each year.
It serves as my goal for that year. And then I sit down and map out a journey for that year, as a way to map out how I plan to reach that goal.
3. Make a Change
Great things can happen when we change things up a bit: a new spot where we have our devotions, a new Bible or maybe even a new translation.
Don't be afraid to change things up a bit.
Sometimes change can be vital to our daily quiet times. If you find you're tempted to get online and check social media before having devotions, you need to make a change.
- Stop using an app to read your Bible.
- Stop having devotions at the desk where your laptop sits.
- Check into your online accountability group later in the day.
All of these things can have a profound effect on our quiet times.
4. Get Accountable
If you haven't joined an accountability group to help keep you consistent in your daily quiet times, I urge you strongly to do that. There is tremendous power in accountability.
While some may argue that our spiritual walk should be important enough to keep us consistent, the truth is that by ourselves we just aren't strong enough sometimes.
That's why God created us for community.
And one purpose for community is accountability. None of us is an island to ourselves and none of us has ever succeeded by our own strength alone.
If you don't know where to find an accountability group, I encourage you to check out Good Morning Girls, or even start your own. Read my post 10 Ways to Lead an Online Bible Study Group for ideas on places where you can create an accountability group.
5. Change Your Method of Bible Study
Have you been using the same Bible study method for years? Maybe you just need to try a new method.
Oftentimes we get into a rut, and then grow religious about our rut, thinking that our rut is the only place to be. And Bible study methods can very quickly become ruts.
There is no perfect Bible study method. There is no verse in the Bible that tells us we should only do Inductive Bible studies or that SOAP is the best way to study God's Word.
God has chosen to leave our method of Bible study to our personal discretion, and sometimes the simple choice of learning a new method is just what we need to breathe new life into our quiet times. Getting out of our rut will help us to move forward and deeper in our understanding of God's Word.
6. Choose a Book You've Been Wanting to Study
A lot of people start the new year with the goal of reading the Bible through from Genesis to Revelation.
That's not necessarily bad. Especially if you have already developed a strong consistency in reading God's Word each day. I know many very strong, mature believers who read through the entire Bible each year, and have for many years.
It's also not necessarily good. Especially if you have the tendency to get hung up in Numbers or the prophetic books and then lose interest and stop reading. The Bible isn't just one book.
It is a collection of books, and while some books build on the books around them, not all of them do. It is perfectly fine to jump around the Bible from book to book. You won't lose perspective that way.
There is no rule stating that you have to read the Bible in order of its books.
One great way to revive your quiet time is to pick a book you've been longing to study for a while, gather resources around you—study materials and YouTube videos by your favorite teachers—and make a fresh start with something exciting and new.
I offer a number of online Bibles studies to choose from: including Galatians, Ephesians and 1 Corinthians 13. In 2018, I will be adding Hebrews and Philippians.
7. Start Journaling
There is tremendous power in journaling. I think one of the most powerful aspects of journaling is that it forces us to slow down and examine our thoughts. So often we are tempted to rush through our quiet times, we see it as another task to tick off our long list of things to do each day.
But a relationship isn't a task to tick off. A relationship is something we invest in, and that investment takes time. It takes introspection and a back-and-forth exchange on a consistent basis.
There are many ways you can journal. Here are a few ideas I've had: writing, art journaling, recording videos or voice messages for your private use.
If your quiet time has grown stale or inconsistent, I hope this list helps you get started in reviving it and making it fresh and new for 2018!
Rosilind Jukic, a Pacific Northwest native, is a missionary living in Croatia and married to her hero. Together they live with their two little boys in the country, where she enjoys fruity candles and a hot cup of herbal tea on a blustery fall evening. She holds an associate degree in practical theology and is passionate about discipling and encouraging women. Her passion for writing led her to author a number of books. She is the author of "A Little R & R," where she encourages women to find contentment in what God created them to be. She can also be found at these other places on a regular basis. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +.
This article originally appeared at rosilindjukic.com.
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