- Bible – In addition to my main NIV Study Bible, I keep other translations close at hand. I use the NIV for study and memorization, as well as much of my Bible reading. I also read familiar passages in other translations. And I like to use the New Living Translation for devotional reading.
- Bible Reading Plan – I usually use a year-long reading plan. It keeps me purposeful and on track. Late in the fall I will research and pray about a reading plan for 2011. (If you need a plan I have several on my site that are free to download.)
- Journal – I record specific things God teaches or shows me from His Word. Then I can go back and review them. I also write down things He tells me to do. Writing them down makes me feel more accountable! And writing prayers or the main points of what I’m praying about helps keep my mind from wandering.
- Scripture Memory Cards – I keep the new verses and the verses from the last few months on top of my desk. My goal is to recite the new verse every day and to review the last few verses weekly.
- Prayer Photos – The photos taped inside my desk remind me to pray for specific friends, family members, and missionaries. It’s hard to pass over them when you can see their faces!
- Coffee Mug – I meet with God first thing in the morning before the demands of the day have a chance to intrude. For me, morning means coffee!
- Tissues – Allergies and emotions make Kleenex a must!
- Pen and highlighter
Having all my quiet time essentials in one place and always ready helps me stay consistent. (You may not have an extra room or even a desk, but you can keep your quiet time materials together in a box or tote bag so you don’t have to hunt and gather!)
My “quiet time” is the time I spend in purposeful fellowship with God. I talk to Him and I seek to hear Him speak to me through His Word and prayer. Although I do learn many things about God as I read His Word, my quiet time is separate from my Bible study time.
Usually I begin by praising God and asking Him to speak to me. As I read His Word I interact with God in prayer. I really want to have a two-way conversation. I ask Him questions and “listen” for His answers. I write down what God teaches me about Himself as well as anything I need to follow up on later.
My prayers include confession and repentance, praise, thanksgiving, and petition (asking God for things for myself and others). Some days my prayers include all of these. But from day to day, my quiet time will reflect what’s going on in my relationship with God at the time. If I’ve wronged God by sinning, then my time with Him needs to concentrate on repentance and getting things right with Him. If I’m struggling with a decision then I will spend more time seeking God’s wisdom and guidance.
Although there is no set formula for my time with God, it always includes both hearing from God through His Word and speaking to God through prayer. I try to let the specifics of how much time in each and in what order flow naturally out of my interaction with Him.
May God bless your time with Him! Kathy