Drawing Nearer to God in the Stillness {Part 1}

Drawing Nearer to God in the Stillness--Part 1 Feature Image

Every once in awhile, seemingly at random, I begin to feel distanced from God…maybe only slightly, but it’s there. A prayer that feels like it’s left hanging in the atmosphere, never quite reaching the heavens. A rushed-through devotional because I just don’t have the time today to let the message sink in and truly resonate with my soul. A solemn, bummed out feeling that I can’t quite seem to place. A general lack of connection

James 4:8a Country Wife Chronicles

Whenever I feel this disconnect…discouraged and distant, without a guiding light, treading water and not really going anywhere…it’s time. Time to recommit. Time to draw nearer to the Lord with discipline and intentionality.

Time to be quiet.

Time to sit in the stillness.

Time to Be Still & Know…

Creating Quiet Time

If the idea of starting your day with some quiet time in the Lord’s presence is a new one to you, you are probably asking yourself, “Where do I even begin?”

So, let’s start with the basics: What is it? What do people do in their quiet time? How can I create quiet time for myself?

Put simply, quiet time is an intentional effort to have a conversation with God each and every day. Just you and Him.

Talk it out. Pray it out.

Read the Word. Learn. Digest. Apply.

Grow. Trust. Depend.

Seek. Ask. Forgive.

Thank. Worship.

It’s taking a moment to set the tone for the day, to go from chaos to calm, flustered to joyful. It’s starting the day with a focus on things above, getting a heavenly perspective before attempting any earthly duties.

And it’s absolutely customizable to you and your current circumstances. The idea is to grow in your personal relationship with Jesus, and that means everyone will have his or her own approach. You need to feel comfortable. This should be an enjoyable, fulfilling time; not a forced, rushed, or awkward experience.

It is a time for prayer, for learning through Christian devotions, and for getting into the Word.

Hebrews 4:12 Country Wife Chronicles

It is a time for worship, being thankful, and meditation.

And while I prefer to spend my quiet time in the mornings, it really is about the quiet more than the time of day in which you spend it. If your only available time for quiet connections with the Father are right before bed, then make that your time.

However, I do want to share with you my reasons for choosing to find my stillness in the morning. For one, I love the idea of waking with the sunrise as a visual promise of God’s wondrous creation and starting anew. And I like to get started on the right foot in the morning; taking a moment to get in check before I go about my day sends me out on a positive note. And lastly, for me, if I save something for the end of the day it tends to get bumped when things come up. If my quiet time is the first task of any given day it rarely gets the boot to something else that is pressing for my time.

And, here’s a thought…if we are to follow the example Jesus has set before us, then we can take these instructions straight from the Bible.

Mark 1:35 Country Wife Chronicles

Do you remember those WWJD bracelets that used to be so popular? Yeah, I was a huge fan; in fact I still have my collection and will bust one out every once in awhile just cuz I can.

Those bracelets became popular when I was a young teenager…and a young Christian. Having the visual reminder to put myself in Jesus’ shoes really helped strengthen my faith and embolden me to make good decisions, even when it wasn’t the popular thing to do.

So What Would Jesus Do?

Well, as Mark 1:35 states, Jesus prayed in solitude in the early hours of the morning.

Hmmm. If Jesus did it, I’m thinking I can probably handle it or, at the very least, give it a try and see what comes of it.

Structuring Quiet Time

Jeremiah 33:3 Country Wife Chronicles

Ok, so now that you know what quiet time is, what exactly does it look like for someone?

Now, I can’t speak for everyone, so I’m hoping I’ll get some readers to share their ideas in the comments below…but I can tell you what my quiet time looks like.

Most recently, my quiet time consists of a morning sunrise walk followed by some front porch reading while sipping on my coffee as the world around me comes to life.

It is important for me to set the scene for my morning time with God. I’ve always felt closest to God when in nature and that is why I so enjoy starting my day outside. I like the atmosphere to feel cozy and quiet for my devotions, so if the outdoors aren’t doing it for me on a particular morning, then I’ll move inside and cozy up on the couch.

Once I’m comfortable, I take a moment to relish in the stillness and prepare my heart for the lessons I’m about to embark on.

Next, I open up my prayer journal and start by listing out my gratitudes. Typically I’ll write three to five things in my prayer journal that I’m thankful for. Sometimes they are big things, other times they are pretty minor. I just take a moment and write the first blessings down that come to mind. Then I practice eucharisteo by thanking God for these specific blessings.

I have come to learn that it’s really hard to be negative when you start the day with gratitude. (Though I’d be lying if I said it was impossible. Sorry, I’m human.)

After thanking God for my blessings, I move on to learning from and about Him. This varies, but it can be working through a devotional, listening to a podcast, reading a Christian book, or just following a Scripture reading plan. This part of my quiet time can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or two, it just depends on the day and how involved I am in the subject.

While working through the material I am constantly thinking about how I can apply the lessons learned to my current circumstances. I’m making connections to Scripture as I read and writing notes in my journal as I go.

After reading, I’ll make some specific additions to my prayer journal. I will pinpoint particular life applications that are relevant to me from the material I am studying. Sometimes I’ll write out a daily intention I am hoping to achieve for the day (which is often focused on my marriage and being intentional in my efforts to love my husband by being a Wife on Fire). I may also request discernment in any decisions we are currently faced with. And finally, I write out my asks for the day.

Matthew 7:7 Country Wife Chronicles I am a believer that God wants the best for us and He places the desires on our hearts that He has promised to us and intends to fulfill. And if only we ask; He will provide. So I always end my quiet time with my asks.

I sense whom God is placing on my heart for prayer and list them by name and need if I know it. Then I list out the things my heart is yearning for, the things I’m praying for God to fulfill, the promises I’m awaiting.

Once I have all these notes in my journal, I pray. Not a superficial, extra-eloquent prayer. But a real prayer. A guided conversation between my God and I. I just talk to Him. I use my prayer journal to keep me on track, but I really, truly, just have a good ole long talk with my Father about what’s on my mind and in my heart that morning.

I ask for guidance in working to apply the lessons I’ve just learned, I ask for help and opportunity in meeting my daily intention, and I ask for my prayers to be heard and answered in His time and will. And then I pray for patience and trust in the waiting.

And I start my day.

Some quiet times are shorter than others, but every day has some time set aside for prayer if I can help it. Even if I can only spare five minutes, I set aside that time to start my day with God. But to be honest, five minutes every day just isn’t enough to fulfill my need for God in my life. It happens once in awhile, but for the most part, I’m committed to spend a chunk of my morning in quiet and stillness waiting upon the Lord.

It takes discipline, but it is absolutely worth it.

He is worth it.

He is worth my time.

Psalm 46:10 Country Wife Chronicles

The Bible tells us to Be Still & Know… It is in this stillness that we will know He is our God. Deepening our relationship with Jesus takes commitment and discipline, just as any relationship does.

So make time. Close the gap of distance you may be feeling by spending time alone with God on a daily basis.

Take the next step in designing your very own quiet time…check out “Drawing Nearer to God in the Stillness {Part 2}.”

If you are needing some ideas for how to slow down in order to experience stillness in your life, check out the following posts on Country Wife Chronicles:

Join the conversation below:

      • Do you do quiet time? If so, what does your quiet time look like?
      • If the idea of quiet time is new to you, what is appealing to you about it? How can you begin to make time for it in your life?
      • What are you making time for in your life that you could trade out for quiet time with the Lord?

Be Still & Know…

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