When I first committed to prayer and Bible reading as a young mom I was pretty consistent in my quiet time. However, it was only because I fully embraced legalism. My personality makes me prone to it. I love to check the boxes and feel that sense of accomplishment.
Although I did gain some head knowledge, I can’t honestly say I fostered a closer relationship with God or grew to be more like Jesus. In fact, I probably even developed a little pride and self-righteousness.
Then something happened and I missed a few days. Then a few days turned into a few weeks and a few weeks turned into six months. Six months without not only consistency in my quiet time, but six months without a quiet time. (If you struggle to find the time because you’re a mom to small children see “8 Tips for Moving Quiet Time from “Want To” to “Get To.”)
I felt guilty and overwhelmed at the thought of starting again.
A Turning Point
But then God began to whisper to my heart. I missed Him. I grew hungry for His Word. So, I began again. The first day was the hardest because I had broken the habit and filled that daily space with other things. But I took it one day at a time.
That was more than twenty years ago. And “yes,” I’ve been consistent ever since. But, “no” that doesn’t mean I don’t miss a day. Or two or even on the rare occasion three. The difference is now I don’t feel guilty. I give myself grace. And because I’ve been consistent, I love the time with God enough that the relationship always pulls me back.
So, what about you? Do you struggle with consistency? Maybe it’s been a really long time since you spent focused time with God in prayer and His Word. It is never too late to start again. And there is no limit to how many times you can start again. (See also “11 Tips for Spending Quality Quiet Time with God.”)
I did learn a few things through my own experience. Maybe the following tips will help you. First and foremost, I had to make my time with God a priority. I had to understand the necessity of it. Everyone has the same amount of hours in a day. The way we spend it reveals what is really important to us, not what we say is important.
Once that’s settled in your heart and mind, try the following tips to help with consistency.
8 Tips to Help You Find Consistency in Your Quiet Time
- Give yourself grace – Life WILL interrupt. Acknowledging that will cut down on guilt. Simply pick up where you left off.
- Stay prepared – Establish a regular time, designate a specific spot, and keep your “tools” (Bible, reading plan, journal, pen) together. This builds the habit. If a quiet time is new for you, start small, commit to it and God will grow it.
- Have a plan – I’ve found having a reading plan greatly increases my consistency. Without a plan, reading stays haphazard at best. Plus, a plan – whether it’s through a Bible book or a specific topical plan helps keep things in context. (You may find one of my Deep Rooted devotionals helpful. Check out the most recent, “Deep Rooted: Growing through the Book of Romans.”)
- Build in margin – My reading plan is just 5 days a week. I’ve got 2 grace days! Those weeks I do get 6 or 7 days with God I often turn to the Psalms or one of my favorite books like Philippians.
- Establish a routine – I focus best in the morning routine. But, you set a time when you’re most likely to find consistency in your quiet time. Make it part of your daily routine like making coffee or brushing your teeth. Your mind will begin to expect it!
- Set a pace for relationship – Depending on your daily schedule, you may not want to try to read the Bible through in a year. You’ll have little time to process and pray. Pick a reading plan that gives you time to mediate on the passage and talk to God about it.
- Find an accountability partner – Find a friend who wants to grow in consistency in their quiet time. Keep each other moving forward.
- Start over as many times as it takes – Spending time with God is a lifetime endeavor. We’re practicing for heaven! So don’t give up!
What about you? What are your biggest obstacles to a consistent quiet time?