By Paddy Elkins
Valley Bugler Columnist
Quiet Time! (QT, for short…)
Recently, our Pastor, John Leffler, has been challenging our congregation to “get back to the basics” of Christianity by doing certain things that we may have never gotten into the habit of doing – or may have drifted away from doing if we ever did do them. First of all, John gave us a 90-Day Challenge to tithe, stating that the church was prepared to pay anyone back after 90 days of tithing, if the congregant did not feel they had been blessed by God during that 90 days.
I resumed tithing that very day and have definitely noticed many financial miracles happening since. I won’t be asking for any refund, that’s for sure!
Secondly, John gave us a 35-Day Challenge to re-commit to our church’s mission of five things: 1) Scripture; 2) Fellowship; 3) Worship; 4) Prayer & 5) Outreach, promising us renewed joy, energy and purpose, if we would. I took that challenge, too, and am pleased to say he was, of course, right again!
Then, he gave us some tips for re-committing to having a daily Quiet Time with the Lord, and I want to share those tips with you, because they have been extremely helpful to me. (John gave me permission to share!) I’m also adding a few insights of my own to his list:
1) Set the appointment for a definite time and put it in your planner. It’s an important appointment. Show up. Be prompt. Shower and get fully dressed before the appointment so you’re not tempted to crawl back under the covers.
2) Choose a location that is quiet and conducive to hearing God’s “still small Voice”. Do not bring your cell-phone, clock or anything distracting. Set a timer for 45 minutes. Bring your Bible, a journal and a pen. (Quiet background music may be helpful).
3) Start & end with prayer. Just sitting quietly before God’s throne. Thanking Him for His Presence. Asking Him to help you understand and apply His Word to your life.
4) Read through the four Gospels. A few chapters each day. Journal any insights or a Memory Verse that “jumps out at you”.
5) Read the Proverbs chapter that correlates with the calendar date. (There are 31 chapters of Proverbs, so one for each day of the month).
6) Read something from Psalms. Journal any insights or observations.
7) End the session with prayer and thanksgiving.
I promise, if you develop this habit, you will NOT want to ever miss a QT appointment. And 45 minutes will seem way too short a time – you’ll want MORE!