December 16, 2017

In Quest of Your Quiet Time

Bobbie Yearick

The pursuit for a quiet time with the Lord is a constant battle. Yet how we need this daily experience.

One morning I answered a knock at our door. There was Joan obviously troubled and discouraged. It was evident that she was defeated in her spiritual life. “Joan,” I asked, “when did you stop having your devotions?” She was amazed. “How did you know that I no longer read my Bible or prayed?” Her excuse was that she just did not feel close to God and that she did not remember what she read, “so why bother?”

“What did you have for lunch last Thursday, Joan?” She didn’t know, nor could she remember what she had eaten all week. This was my opportunity. “We may not remember what we’ve eaten, but if we fail to take food into our bodies we lose our physical strength, right? Well, we may not always remember what we have read in God’s Word, but we must be faithful in it and in praying. If we are not, we become weak Christians and cannot defend ourselves against temptation.”

Another day some of us were having a service in the women’s ward of a local jail when I noticed a young girl who sang every song. She was attentive during the Bible reading. When we talked with her she said, “Do you know that not too long ago I was doing what you are now? I attended a good church, witnessed for the Lord, led friends to Christ. Now look at me.” “What happened?” we asked. With all honesty she answered, “I stopped reading my Bible and praying. It’s just that simple.”

We could be quick to condemn Joan and the girl in jail. But are we faithful in having our devotions? Daniel prayed to God three times a day; it was his routine. That was also the habit of the Psalmist: “Evening, and morning and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice” (Psalm 55:17). We too must cultivate the habit of having time alone with God each day. You may ask, “When is the best time to have daily devotions?”

In the morning

Many earnest Christians feel they must be alone with the Lord early in the morning. There is a quietness at this time of the day which lends itself to an atmosphere for meditation Bible study, and prayer. The body is strong from the night’s rest, and the mind is clear. Before the problems of the day must be faced, there is time for spiritual renewal. It is rewarding to commune with God before speaking with anyone else, and to let God’s Word be the first reading of the day.

Perhaps you feel that the early morning would be the best time to have devotions, but you find it almost impossible to have them then. It may be that you cannot concentrate early in the day. When you close your eyes to pray, sleep returns; your body is tired. The schedule in the home may be just too demanding in the morning. For women who are employed outside the home the rush is trying, and for the student there are last-minute school preparations.

If you feel that you just cannot have your devotions early in the morning, make time then to read a short portion from God’s Word. You will notice that I suggested you “make” the time. You may need to get up 10 minutes earlier. This would be a good time to read a Psalm or a chapter from the book of Proverbs, then ask yourself, “How does this apply to me?” Pray for specific needs in your family and for Gods help in your own life for that day. How we need to pray for the Lord to seal our lips, quicken our minds, and give us a sweet spirit! This is urgent for a woman. Is it not true that the atmosphere of the home, office, and other places of employment is often created by the woman?

In the mid-day

If you are at home most of the day and your children are in school, the mid-day is a good time for you to have your quiet time with the Lord. You’re awake, and the early morning pressures are removed. The house is quiet. You have time to concentrate. There are pitfalls at this time, however. Many community and church meetings are scheduled in the morning. The telephone can be a hindrance, or a neighbor may stop by for a visit. If you find that this is the time of the day when you can have devotions, discipline yourself not to talk on the phone, visit, or schedule meetings.

When our children were small, a mother of four told me that the best time for her devotions was in the early afternoon when the children were in bed for their naps. I took her advice and found the time rewarding. One day while I was having my devotions I heard the door open quietly, then felt a little body slip beside me as I knelt by the bed. When I got to my feet our son said, “Mommy, I was just helping you pray.” Children sense a security in the home when they know their mother depends on God for help.

In the evening

Many people find that night just before retiring, is the best time for them to have devotions. The pressures of the day are past so you do not feel rushed. It may be that your mind is most alert then. Perhaps the greatest danger in waiting until this late in the day to have devotions is the procrastination. You may read a novel and plan to stop soon to have devotions. Or you may be tempted to do a few chores before stopping to study the Bible and pray. By the time you finish, your body is tired. It is too easy to reason that, although the devotion time will of necessity have to be short, you’ll take longer tomorrow night.

It may be that you will need to schedule your devotions for various times throughout the week. Because of your daily routines you may find that on some days the afternoons are best for you, on other days there is an opportunity early in the day, and on the remaining days it is evening before you can be alone with God. The Lord Jesus Christ went aside to pray at different times of the day. The important thing is to be faithful.

Planned reading

I often have the privilege of speaking with ladies on the subject of prayer and Bible study. Many times I am asked, “What should I do during my devotional time?” First, you need a planned Bible reading program. If you have never read the Bible through, start now. After reading several chapters from both the Old and New Testaments you may want to then take a subject and begin studying it. For instance, you may want to read on the subject of praise. Invest in a concordance and look up “praise,” then read all the Scriptures listed. It may take days, or even weeks, to study one subject. Mark verses that are especially meaningful to you. Memorize portions of the Scripture.

Devotional books can be a source of great inspiration. They have illustrations and testimonies which help to plant certain Scriptures in our minds. There is a real danger, however, in using devotional books exclusively. Let me illustrate: One day a distraught woman called me. She had accepted the Lord a few months earlier, but the sin of alcoholism was a continuous source of temptation to her. The moment she spoke I realized she had gone back to her old habit. I called my husband, and we went to her home. When my husband questioned her concerning her Bible reading and prayer, she said that she had not been reading the Bible but that she read her devotion book every day. She was relying on man’s thoughts and had failed to feed upon the Living Word. She did not have the Sword of the Spirit to combat the enemy. Good literature is in asset to the child of God, but it must not replace the Bible.

Prayer

Someone has said that nothing drives us to prayer as quickly as the Word of God. When we come to God we must realize our relationship with Him. In Matthew 7:7-11 and in Luke 11:11-13 Christ compared our relationship with God as that of a Father and a son. We are His children. When we pray we come into close fellowship with God as we admit our need and utter dependence on Him. God hears our prayers even before we utter them. Just the heart cry is known to Him. Communion with God is the greatest privilege man can experience!

We ought to pray about everything. Prayer is simply conversation with God. We must remember to praise Him and to tell Him of our love for Him. We must confess our sins and shortcomings and seek His will for our lives. It is good for us to tell Him the things we desire and need, and we should intercede for others and their needs as well.

A lady said recently, “Today I had such a blessed time alone with the Lord. I cannot understand why I let Satan hinder this experience so often.’ How much time do you devote to God? Do you put most things ahead of Him? With a plan and a desire for God’s best, having devotions can become a blessed habit in our lives.


Bobbie Yearick served with her husband, David Yearick, during many years of ministry at Hampton Park Baptist Church, Greenville, SC.

This article first appeared in Faith for the Family, January / February 1975. It is republished here by permission.


Although Proclaim & Defend is the blog of the FBFI, the articles we post are not an expression of the views of the FBFI as a whole, they are the views of the author under whose name they are published. The FBFI speaks either through position statements by its board or through its president. Here at Proclaim & Defend, we publish articles as matters of interest or edification to the wider world of fundamentalist Baptists and any others who might be interested.

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