A Complete Guide to Creating a Quiet Time Routine
Do you have a desire to know God more but you don’t really know where to start or how to commit?
This was me a few years ago. I was hungry for more of God’s presence but every time I sat down to read my Bible or pray, I would get distracted and end up frustrated. I was no better off than when I started!
Since that time, I’ve learned that the best way to get to know God is simply by spending time with Him. What really helped me get to know God’s heart on a personal level was establishing a quiet time routine.
So, friend, for today’s post we’re going to dive into what a quiet time routine is, why it’s important, and how you can establish a quiet time routine that works for you.
- What is a quiet time routine?
- Why is quiet time important?
- How to create a quiet time routine
- God longs to spend time with you
What is a quiet time routine?
Quiet time is a term that many, myself included, use to describe personal, allotted time spent with the Lord.
It’s meant to be uninterrupted, distraction-free, alone time spent in God’s presence as you seek to know Him on a personal level. Everyone’s quiet time is going to look different based on their current season of life, but the bottom line is the same.
Quiet time is how we intimately connect with our Creator.
I believe that we were intricately created to spend time alone with God, and we see Jesus Himself prioritize this in Mark 1:35,
“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.”
Why is quiet time important?
Quiet time is how we get to know God
It’s difficult to trust someone — God included — when you don’t know them. So, just as we would go grab coffee with that new friend from church to get to know them better, quiet time with God allows us to truly know His heart. And as we begin to spend time with Him, we become familiar with His voice and let that voice guide our lives.
John 10:27-28 illustrates beautifully what happens when we choose to know God on a relational level,
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.”
Quiet time is where we find who we are
As we familiarize ourselves with God’s voice, we begin to receive our identity as Christ’s Beloved. We are given the tools to operate as one loved richly and deeply by God and thwart the lies of who the world tells us we should be.
Insecurity, fear, doubt, self-hatred fall to the wayside as we learn to stand in the light of God’s presence. And we only learn to receive our identity as Christ’s Beloved if we spend quiet time alone with Him.
As Ephesians 2:10 explains, we find who we are and what our purpose is by knowing God,
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Quiet time is where we find truth
God is the ultimate source of truth, wisdom, and knowledge. By spending time with God, we learn what’s most important to Him and how to mirror His heart in our own lives and to those around us. The world can be a tricky, lonely, and fearsome place to navigate. When we have a difficult decision to make, a circumstance that seems too big to handle, or a stronghold we’re trying to break, God provides loving guidance and the tools we need to move forward.
This is what Jeremiah 17:7-8 has to say about those who seek God’s truth,
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Quiet time is where we find rest and refreshment
Did you know that God promises the gift of rest to those who will receive it?
That means each time you have your quiet time with God, you are given the blessing of soul-level rest and refreshment. This doesn’t mean that your circumstances will change or that everything will go how you want it to. But it means that you have a place to lay down your burdens and walk in the way of freedom and light.
God promises to be a place for you to run to and be rejuvenated. He is a safe place that you can dwell in away from the world in order to be renewed.
I love how Jesus puts it in Matthew 11:28 in The Message version,
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
How to create a quiet time routine
Now that the what and why of a quiet time routine has been established, let’s get into how to establish one for yourself!
A little disclaimer before we jump right in, friend! Establishing a quiet time routine is all about finding a way to spend time with God that works for you. I am going to be sharing my own personal experience and what has worked for me in the hopes that you will glean some inspiration and direction to be able to create a quiet time routine that fits your lifestyle.
1. Pick a time and place
I’m a morning person, so my quiet time begins at 6:30 am before the rest of my house is awake. I find that mornings (most mornings, that is) are when I’m at my best! I crawl out of bed, go downstairs, make a cup of chai tea, and take a seat in my favorite comfy chair with my coziest blanket.
Having a designated place to meet with God every morning makes it special. It’s kind of like when you’re young and you and your friends have a secret hideaway where you spend hours laughing, playing games, and imagining how your lives will play out. There’s an air of magic and secrecy that only you and your friends know because it’s your place! In my mind, it’s the same with God.
So, friend, when do you have free time throughout the day where you can enter into God’s presence distraction-free? Is it like me, in the early morning hours? On your lunch break? After the kids go to bed in the evenings?
How long do you have? An hour? 30 minutes?
And where would you like to meet with God? In your living room? On an outdoor walk? Where do you feel God’s presence the most?
Ponder those questions and then make your decision from there! There are no right or wrong answers.
Once you establish a time and place that only belongs to you and God, you begin to yearn for that time together. It becomes a safe space, a shelter of refuge that you take ownership of.
2. Make a commitment
Once you’ve established the time and place of your quiet time with God, it’s time to commit!
We all have busy lives, but we prioritize time with those who are most important to us. My dear friend and fellow writer, Mariel, said it to me this way recently,
“We keep our doctor’s appointments, we keep our dentist appointments, we don’t cancel dinner with friends. So why would we cancel our quiet time with God?”
You have to admit, she has a point. You must make the daily commitment to have quiet time with the Lord and continually show up.
I would recommend putting a reminder on your calendar or in your phone, somewhere you can physically see it until quiet time becomes a daily habit.
But also, grace.
Give yourself grace on the days you truly don’t have time or your body really needs that extra hour of sleep. God goes with you wherever you are, friend, and you can’t outrun His presence. Having quiet time on the go — like praying in the car or talking to Him in the office — is still you spending time with God!
3. Decide what tools you’ll use
Here are the tools I use in my own quiet time with God:
1. A Bible
God’s Word is the most important tool, in my opinion, that you can use in your quiet time. It’s God’s Word, about God, poured into pages for God’s people! It’s filled with that truth, wisdom, and clarity that we talked about earlier. It’s where God’s heart is literally spelled out on paper for you to read and grow deeper in your relationship with Him.
Hebrews 4:12 shows us how powerful a tool God’s Word is
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
I personally use The Woman’s Study Bible NIV from Thomas Nelson Publishers but you can find a similar one here.
It doesn’t matter what type of Bible you use as long as it’s a type of translation you love and understand!
2. A Bible reading plan
I know that Bible reading, especially if you’re just starting out, can be difficult. The Bible can be hard to understand and confusing! That’s why it can be helpful to use a Bible reading plan.
This is what I did when I decided I wanted to learn more about God through His Word and I purchased Knowing God Through the Word: A Guided Scripture Journal by Mariel Davenport and Eva Kubasiak.
This guided scripture journal gives you a one-year reading plan so you can read the Bible in chronological order! Each day, there’s a reading assignment and a space to write down what verse stood out the most to you.
Mariel and Eva also offer a virtual experience for reading through the Bible in a year along with a Bible reading community. You can check it out here!
Here are some other Bible reading plans you can check out (disclaimer: I have not tried all of these! So proceed with caution):
- The TEND Method by Mariel Davenport (this one I have tried and use daily! It’s amazing!)
- Foundations Old Testament: a 260-day Bible reading plan for busy believers
- CEM Bible-in-a-year Reading Plan
- Ligonier Bible Reading Plans: this website had a bunch of different variations and looks promising!
- Bible Gateway Bible Reading Plans
3. A journal
Did you know that journaling has been proven to reduce stress, improve immune function, and boost your mood?
I always have a journal with me during my quiet time. I write down prayers to God when my out-loud voice is too tired and weary to speak. I record Bible verses, things I’m learning in my Bible reading, words of encouragement from others, among many other things!
You don’t have to be a writer to be a journaler. And it can serve as a wonderful reminder when looking back at how far you’ve come, how faithful God has been, and all the ways in which you noticed God moving in your life.
You can find journals everywhere; Amazon, Walmart, and TJ Maxx (they always have super cute and super cheap ones!) to name a few. But for those of you who like to get fancy with your journaling, my personal favorite is the LEUCHTTURM1917 Rising Colors Special Edition – Medium A5 Plain Hardcover Notebook (Stone Blue) and you can grab it on Amazon.
4. A devotional book
A devotional book can be a really useful tool to get you into the Word of God while also feeding you a tidbit of encouragement. These are perfect for those who have to fit in a shorter quiet time into their busy schedule.
Here are two of my personal favorites:
5. A fun coffee mug
Ok, so this one isn’t as serious and is definitely optional! But I always sip on a hot cup of tea when I have my quiet time. And having a pretty mug to sip it out of is always fun!
Here are a few of my favorites from Amazon to pair your quiet time with:
- Today I Will Choose Joy Positive Message Encouraging Cute Mug for Women Floral Design Blue/White Ceramic Cup for Coffee/Tea, Metallic Gold Accent, 12oz
6. A worship playlist
I typically have worship music playing softly in the background when I’m having my quiet time. It’s a great way to turn your heart towards the Lord as you listen to truth about God in the form of music! It’s very calming, powerful, and it can be life-giving to sit in a posture of worship as your playlist plays on.
Here are a few worship playlists on Spotify that I adore:
- Worship: this is my own personal playlist that I created, enjoy!
- Instrumental Worship 2021: for those who don’t like lyrics during their quiet time
4. Just… begin! And talk to God
Pastor Judah Smith said it best when he said, “if anyone tries to convince you that prayer is anything other than talking to God, they’re wrong.”
After you’ve established the time and place of your quiet time, committed, and gathered your chosen tools, it’s time to settle in and spend time with the Lord. Prayer is a word that describes how you communicate with God. During my quiet time, I typically talk out loud to Him as if He were sitting right next to me — because He is!
Lately, I’ve gotten into the habit of beginning my quiet time with five minutes of silence. I close my eyes, hold out open hands and sit in silence with God. I ask Him to lead our time together and that He would give me a listening heart.
After that, I’ll usually read my Bible — using my Bible reading plan — and journal a bit about what I’ve learned. But I always leave adequate time towards the end to simply talk to God!
I tell Him about my worries, dreams, what I had for supper the night before, how annoyed I am with my spouse or friend, the books I’m reading. I give thanks or pray for others.
Remember, friend, your quiet time doesn’t have to look like mine or your Pastor’s, or your friend’s. The whole point of quiet time is establishing a routine, a soul habit, of walking in constant relationship with God.
God longs to spend time with you
God is going to meet you right where you are, friend. And the point of this post is not to set rules or regulations around what quiet time is supposed to look like. The point of this post is to give you ideas and inspiration so you can create a quiet time routine that draws you into the heart of God.
God longs to spend time with you, and He’s after your heart more than anything else. Hosea 6:6 proves this,
“For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.”
In other words, God doesn’t just want you going through the motions and doing what looks good on the outside. He doesn’t want you doing something because you feel guilty or you feel like you have to.
He wants your heart.
He wants to spend time building a life with you. A real, authentic, messy, broken, joyful, life.
So, friend, what right next step will you take towards creating your own quiet time routine with God? Let me know in the comments and be sure to subscribe to my email list for more encouraging resources and how-to guides!