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How’s your quiet time?

How's Your Quiet Time

June 1st, 2023

We ask this question like it’s expected that we all have a quiet time in our lives, but as men in the world today, making and taking the time to get quiet can feel almost impossible. There’s a lot of cultural noise to contend with, coming at us from every direction. Layer on top of that the challenges and expectations that can come with being a leader at work, and getting quiet becomes even more difficult. Add being a husband and a dad, and the noise can become deafening.

Finding the mute button can feel futile and even impractical. We’ve been conditioned to prefer the noise, almost like we need it to feel productive. For some, myself included, the noise can sometimes become a badge of honor, and stillness can be elusive.

The younger version of myself was always intrigued by the old men who talked about getting up at 5:00 AM for quiet time. “I get up before the sun, make my coffee, and spend an hour or so in my Bible with the Lord to start my day.” Their devotion and discipline were almost mythical. It was like listening to old warriors talk about the battlefields of their youth, and I always felt like they knew something I didn’t or had something I lacked.

Over time, I learned what they had already figured out. I came across the scriptures that point to our best example of having a quiet time… Jesus. Who better to learn from than the Son of God when it comes to spending time with the Father? In scripture, Jesus left us some profound yet simple clues on how to get still with God…

“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

“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” – Luke 5:16

“One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.” – Luke 6:12

I picked up three things from Jesus’ example.

Jesus made time to get quiet.

Whether it was “very early in the morning” or late at night, Jesus set aside time to get still. This can feel futile for us today with overloaded schedules and packed calendars. “I’m too busy” can be an easy excuse. That said, we can assume that Jesus was also busy. He had a ministry to grow, a team of twelve to lead, and a full travel schedule. Amid all that, he was surrounded by individuals who wanted his time and attention. Sound familiar? Remember, despite all this, Jesus made time to get still. You can too.

Jesus withdrew from the noise.

One of the consistent elements of Jesus’ quiet times revolved around stepping away from the noise. Scripture tells us he withdrew, went to the mountains, and left for the lonely places. What this is really telling us is that Jesus departed from the distractions, which were many. He made time to get quiet and space to get still. This meant finding spots in his world where there was no noise – where he could find rest and hear from the Father. This means finding our own place to connect with God… a space in our home, out in the woods, walking through our neighborhood, or in our car during the commute. Jesus created space. You can too.

When Jesus got quiet, He prayed.

Jesus’ example for us is clear. Prayer and communicating directly with the Father are essential to our quiet time. I was reminded the other day that prayer is an open conversation that we enter into and not a challenge to use flowery words or Christian slang. It’s an opportunity to worship God, confess our sins, and bring Him our needs and challenges. It’s our chance to talk to Him… and to listen to Him. Don’t know what to say when you pray? Start with another of the examples Jesus left us with…

This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come, your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

– Matthew 6:9-13

Start there, and get quiet with the Lord. When you’re intentional about taking the time, making the space, and communicating with Him, He will meet you right where you’re at.

-John Gamades, Author of WAR: A Tactical Guide for Christian Men