“Surely I have stilled myself, just as a small child is quiet with its mother. Yes, like a small child is my soul within me.” (Psalm 131:2)
Years ago, I suffered with severe headaches. After a series of tests, the doctor said, “There is nothing physically wrong with you. You have headaches because you are stressed out.” I knew stress was ruining my life, but I didn’t know what to do.
When I asked the Lord for help, He told me I needed time with Him every day. I told him, “I have tried, but I don’t know how to have a quiet time.”
The Lord said He would teach me. I was surprised when His instructions didn’t begin with time requirements. He didn’t say that He closes at 7 A.M. so we could only meet together from 4 to 6 A.M. He also didn’t demand I spend three hours or write long, scripture-like entries in my journal. He showed me that we have an ongoing relationship and “quiet time” was my opportunity to cast all my cares upon Him.
Stress is like a snowball going down a hill. It gets bigger and bigger, gaining size and weight with the momentum. Jesus told us, “Each day has enough trouble of its own,” (Matthew 6:34b) so our burdens must be unloaded on Him each day or they get carried over to the next day until the weight is too much for us.
The minute I sat down with God to unload those burdens, a mental battle began. Don’t forget to pick up the cleaning. Don’t forget your appointment and the bills that need to be paid.
David wrote, “My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him.” (Psalm 62:5) To get to that peaceful state of mind, I had to tell the distracting thoughts to leave in the power and authority of Jesus to make that part of my soul be quiet. Then I sat there for a few minutes until I could feel my heart rate and breathing slow down.
Once my mind was still before the Lord, He asked me to focus my mind by singing to Him. I reminded Him that I had a frog in my throat, and He assured me that He listens to my heart. When I asked what I should sing, He said, “The song you woke up with.” I never thought about it, but usually within the first few minutes of the day, a song will come to me. I have also learned that God will give me a song if I ask and listen for it. Often that song will stay in my heart all day. God showed me that special song is a key to entering the Holy Place where I commune with Him.
I learned that I must pray what is on my heart and mind in my fifteen minute breakthrough. I don’t have to pray about world peace unless world peace is on my heart. I don’t have to pray for the government or the economy unless I feel burdened. I also learned it is not selfish to pray about our weaknesses and temptations. God wants us to have an honest conversation about what concerns us the most.
Philippians 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing.” How can you be anxious for nothing? The next phrase explains. “In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
The last part of my quiet time is used renewing my mind with the Word of God.
>“I beseech you, therefore, brethren by the mercies of God that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And don’t be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2) >
>“For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow and is the discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) >
The Word of God divides between the soul and the spirit — between what we think and what God thinks. God’s word helps me to get His perspective daily.
Going to a new level in your relationship with God only takes 15 minutes. Quiet your mind and sing to Him. Then focus your mind and pray what is on your heart. Lastly, renew your mind with His Word. You will never know the breakthrough He is waiting to give you until you decide that it is worth your time to come to Him, get to know Him and let Him work in your life. There are days I spend more time in every phase of my quiet time, but this is the starting place to move into more intimate levels of relationship with the Lord.
(c) 2009 April Lorier