Some people cope with stress by eating, exercising, listening to music, journaling and even travelling. Did you know that there is a simpler antidote to stress? It’s called Quiet Time.
Quiet time is simply your alone time. It is literally and figuratively being silent. It is emptying your mind and heart of emotions, stress and cares of the day. It is a silent conversation with a God. Somehow in the stillness of the heart, you feel calm and uplifted.
Quiet time can be a time to meditate, pray, do yoga, do bible reading, chanting and journaling. You get to be empowered because you empty yourself and take in positive thoughts, be comforted by the Bible verses, inspired by words you read while praying, meditating and reading.
Quiet time is my antidote to stress! it is easy to get anxious once I step out of the house. Traffic, urgent phone calls, demanding people and jitters often give me stress. However, when I intentionally give 10 to 15 minutes of my time everyday to pray and meditate, somehow I get to respond positively to the stress around me.
Quiet time allows me to :
- Meditate or reflect
Having a specific time and place for regular quiet time should be an integral part of our day. In fact, it should even be included in our schedule. We live in a highly competitive world and having this will allow us to face the challenges and plan our activities for the day.
Quiet time will condition our body, mind, soul and spirit. Spending some alone time will reduce the stress levels we face daily.
How do I go about my quiet time? I find a place in the house where I can be alone. It may be in our bedroom, the garden, or some place quiet without distractions. I wake up at 4AM and spend 15 minutes to sometimes an hour every morning. I play soft music to condition my mind. Then, I read the Bible, meditate on what I read and pray. I also follow various printed devotionals and digital devotionals from the Bible app I have on my phone.
It was in 2012 when I decided to pursue having a regular quiet time. Back then, I scheduled it right before bedtime but I would always fall asleep. I also got distracted with social media, notifications on my mobile phone and even my wandering mind. Eventually, I changed it to early morning, around 4 AM, while my husband gets ready for work and our kids prepping for school.
Waking up early is not easy because I sleep late at night. So I challenged myself to be in bed by at least 10PM so I could wake up at my appointed time with the Lord. After a while, this early to bed and early to rise practice became a habit. I now enjoy waking up when everything is quiet and look forward to talking with the Lord.
Months later, having a quiet time every morning has become a routine. From my initial time of 15 minutes a day has now become 45 minutes or even a hour! I feel refreshed and encouraged after dedicating the first hour of my day with my Maker. I look at it as preparing for a meeting… a meeting with the most important person in the world to me, my Lord.
I take a shower right before waking up. I wear something nice to set my mind that I will be talking with the Lord. (You don’t have to dress up too. This is just me :)) I then prepare my Bible, journal, pen and some music. I put my mobile phone on silent or remove it from my sight to keep me away from distractions.
I start by praying to God. I praise him for his character: faithfulness, goodness, etc. Then, I confess to him any sins that I have committed and even sins that I am not aware of. I thank him for the forgiveness and for the Bible. As I read through the verses, I get convicted of some wrong attitudes that I have and I ask the Lord to cleanse me from these negative attitudes. At times, I am reminded of the things I need to do for the Lord, for other people and the church.
After, I also lay down my petitions before Him. I pray for my family and my business. I seek wisdom whenever I need to make decisions. I also remember to pray for other people in my life who may need prayers. I pray that he continues to sustain me daily amid all the challenges and stresses I face.
Most of the time, I lose track of time because I am enjoying His presence. My quiet time is my food for the soul. God nourishes my spirit whenever I spend time with Him. However, when I am out of the country or my schedule is full, I don’t get to spend that time with the Lord. When that happens, I feel empty because I have neglected to connect with Him.
Maybe your quiet time is different than mine. That’s okay. There is no standard way to follow. It’s really God leading you in how you should spend your time with him. Share with me your quiet time journey. I’m excited to hear yours.