“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 NIV)
Over the past few days we’ve been talking about your quiet times. The time you spend with God is the most important part of your day. That’s why when and where you meet him is so crucial. Consistency matters in both cases.
Meet God at the same time every day. Mark 1:35 says that “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” (NIV). Just because Jesus got up early to pray doesn’t mean you have to. The key is this: Give God the best part of your day. Give God whatever time of day you’re the freshest. For some of you, that’s the morning. You jump out of bed and hit the ground running. Others of you don’t believe in God until 11 a.m.! But you’re still rolling at midnight.
Most importantly, give God the best part of your day and schedule your quiet time into your day like you would any appointment.
Start slowly. If you’ve never had a quiet time before, start with five minutes. Start small and let it grow gradually. If you start out trying to have an hour-long quiet time each day, you won’t do it consistently. Eventually, shoot for no less than 15 minutes each day. Who doesn’t have 15 minutes?
Find a special place to meet with God. Jesus had a special place to meet with the Father. Luke 22:39 says, “Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him” (NIV). It was Jesus’ usual habit to go to the Mount of Olives. He had a regular place where he went and prayed. What kind of place should you look for as your “regular place”? It should be:
- Secluded: Look for a kind of place where you can be alone, where it’s quiet, and where you won’t be interrupted. It should be a place where you can pray aloud.
- Consistent: Make it the same place every day.
Talk About It
- Take time now to identify your “when” and “where” for your quiet time. You can even share it with a close friend who will hold you accountable.
- What are the parts of your day to which you give great attention, are never late, and look forward the most? Put your quiet time at the top of that list.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.