I have this habit of going into my quiet time with God with only half of my heart, as my mind is distracted by other things.
This is not on purpose, I just always find that my mind is full of things I have to do, so being fully present in my reflection and prayer time with God is harder when I have a to-do list running through my head.
Ok, I have ten minutes and then I have to be at spin class.
Laundry needs done today, and the dishes are piling up.
I also can’t forget to go to the grocery store and plan what I want to make for dinner.
Perhaps you can relate.
How many times have you had to battle with every distraction imaginable during your own quiet time with God?
The days I feel the most overwhelmed are the days where I was the least present in my quiet time.
When we plug-in our phone incorrectly or not completely, our phones charge at a slower rate (and sometimes they don’t even charge at all).
This is how I feel after my quiet time sometimes, especially when I start thinking about all of the things I need to get done and try to hurry my time with God.
My quiet time becomes just another task.
So how do we stop from being interrupted by thoughts of laundry and errands? How do we still ourselves to properly make the most out of our quiet time?
There are three ways that we can stop checking off our lists and start listening to our hearts during this sacred time with God.
P- Pause. Take a time out. Take a deep breath. Science shows that changing your breathing changes your feelings and thoughts. So slow down and take a couple of deep breaths, you wouldn’t run a race without warming up first, so why should you dive in without settling yourself.
R- Reflect on relationships. One thing we know for certain is the value that Jesus placed on relationships with others in our lives. When you find your mind wandering, come back to thinking about all of your close relationships, your spouse, your kids, your parents, your teachers, your friends, etc. Reflect on each area of each relationship, the strengths and weaknesses and ask God to show you how to bear fruit (or initiate) in that relationship.
A- Attitude in action. We can come to God with our hearts right. We can come to God with our mind right, but we know that it takes more than just a positive posture of heart to be able to give God glory.
“Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 2:17
Ask for the attitude that matches your words, and the words that match your actions. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you and reveal to you what your to-do list should really be today.
Y- Yearning. To YEARN means ,“have an intense feeling of longing for something, typically something that one has lost or been separated from.”
How perfect is it then, that during our quiet time with God we yearn for him. We yearn for our intimacy with God and to have a personal relationship with Him. We long for Him and the security we have in knowing Him. We yearn to read more of His word, knowing that each verse we read gets us one step closer to the relationship with Him we are meant to have.
To not be half charged is to have a yearning heart towards God. Not only wanting more, but actively seeking more.
When we P.R.A.Y. consistently we grow spiritually. Quiet time is reflection and deep connection with God.
The enemy wants us to give every excuse in the book as to why we don’t have time to do something.He wants to interrupt our time reading the Word and prayer and reflection time to remind us that other things need to be done.
Don’t let him.
As ambassadors of Christ, we can’t afford to only be half charged, we need to plug into our intimate connection with God and dive into scripture with intensity and intent. We must charge our batteries by our quiet time with Christ so that we will be ready to serve and love others.
Quiet time isn’t about us in the sense that it’s something we need to do in order to feel better about ourselves, it is about us in the sense that it is the only way that we fill ourselves up so we can fulfill the law of Christ.
This is best illustrated in the vine and branches analogy Jesus gives.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
Therefore, let us remain in Him by having fully charged quiet times so that we will have the energy needed to advance the Kingdom of God.