Quiet time could refer to those precious moments after a busy day when you sit down and relax, but for Christians, a quiet time is more than that. Quiet time, or devotion time, refers to our daily appointment with God, when we shut out as much outside interference as possible. But when should we make our quite time with God and for how long?
Well we read a few days ago quotes from Spurgeon and Andrew Bonar which made clear that they would have their quiet time first thing in the morning before doing anything else. Thomas Watson also believes ‘The best time to converse with God is before worldly occasion stands knocking at the door to be let in: the morning is, as it were, the cream of the day; let the cream be taken off, and let God have it. Wind up thy heart towards heaven in the beginning of the day, and it will go the better all the day after. He that loseth his heart in the morning in the world, will hardly find it again all the day.’
We see that time alone with the Father was an integral part of Jesus’ ministry. Before he began his public ministry he spent forty days alone in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11). Before he chose the twelve he spent the entire night alone in the desert hills (Luke 6:12). When he received the news of John the Baptist’s death, he withdrew from there in a boat to a lonely place apart (Matthew 14:13). After the miraculous feeding of the five thousand Jesus went up into the hills by himself (Matthew 14:23). Following a long busy night of work, ‘in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went to a lonely place (Mark 1:35). When the twelve returned from a preaching and healing mission, Jesus instructed them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a lonely place’ (Mark 6:31). Following the healing of the leper Jesus ‘withdrew to the wilderness and prayed’ (Matthew 17:1-9). As he prepared for his highest and most precious of task of conquering sin and death, Jesus sought the solitude of the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46). I could go on, but perhaps this is sufficient to show that the seeking of time alone with God was a regular practice for Jesus.
So when should we have our quiet time? In the morning? At night? I think the only important thing is regularly! We need to meet often with God. J. Oswald Sanders said ‘Spend plenty of time with him; let other things go, but don’t neglect Him.’
Don Postema wrote: ‘I used to write in my daily calendar ‘7-7:30 a.m.: Prayer.’ But many times I passed that up. It was one more thing to pass by that day. Now I write ‘7-7:30 a.m.: God.’ Somehow that’s a little harder to neglect.
There is a lot to be said for meeting alone first thing in the morning with God, and this will really help your day. But more important then the time we meet with Him is that we meet Him often.