This is an excerpt from Prayer A to Z — coming soon!
Some would say, there’s No need for planning, just let the Holy Spirit lead you in your quiet time. But I say, the Holy Spirit is all in favor of planning. In fact, He will help you plan your quiet time. So, when you begin to plan your quiet time, pray for the Holy Spirit to lead you; and then, all along the way, believe that what you are thinking and planning is from Him. Here are…
Five Things to Plan for Your Daily Quiet Time
1. The time. Decide what time of the day you are going to have your quiet time. Consider that it should be a time when you are most alert. You want to give God the best part of your day. The time decided on should also be a time that would best influence the decisions of the day. For most people that would be in the morning, because the morning is the start of the day, the time when whatever you do will tend to influence the rest of the day. For example, if you have a bad morning the rest of the day tends to be bad. If you have a good morning the rest of the day tends to go well. So, if we praise the Lord in the morning and seek His face we are more likely to carry on His praises throughout the day. A quiet time in the morning is like setting the pace for the day. But whatever time of the day you decide on, plan to start on time. Believe that God is waiting to meet you at exactly the time you and He have planned it.
2. The place. The place you have chosen should be conducive to study, meditation, and prayer—a place of quiet and solitude where there is the least amount of distractions.
3. The content of the Bible study. I suggest that you plan the content of at least two or three months of quiet times in advance. You don’t want to get stuck with not knowing what to read or study and then have to use your valuable prayer and study time trying to decide what you are going to do. Here are a few suggestions of what you could do: (1) Read the Bible through in a year. (2) Plan to study through a few books of the Bible developing themes and discovering the key passages. (3) Do verse studies. Study a verse each day, and make it your aim to memorize that verse during the course of the day. (4) Plan a few Bible characters to study. (5) Plan word studies. Study one word each day. Plan to get the meaning of the word, and to trace the word throughout the Bible.
4. Its length. It is up to each person how long he wants to spend with God; and then he ought to plan that time. Planning the length of time ahead of time is most important so that you can be sure that you will have the time you desire. Too often, by not planning, we get frustrated either by having more time then we know what to do with, or we have too little time and we constantly feel pressed, feeling that we are going to be late for work or appointments.
5. Its structure. It will be helpful to outline ahead of time what you are going to do in your quiet time, and even plan a segment of time for each activity. Here is what it may look like:
Bible Study (15 min.) – till 6:15
Journal entry (10 min.) – till 6:25
Personal Prayers (10 min.) – till 6:35
Interceding for others (10 min.) – till 6:45