Conversations with God or Quiet Times as they are commonly known, are a deeply personal and intimate time between you and your heavenly Father. There is no prescription for how to do it or how long it should last, for it differs between people and from one day to the next.
The purpose of this post is to provide you with tips and tools to make the most of this special time of intimacy.
When to have a conversation with God
The important thing is that you make a point to set dedicated time aside when you are least likely to be distracted.
I prefer to set time aside first thing in the morning before I do anything else. I set my alarm so I am up in time, grab my cup of tea, and sit down in a quiet place where I won’t be disturbed. It is one of my favorite parts of the day. I know this may be a challenge if you live in a busy house but try and figure out a way to make it happen.
For some people, a good time may be at night just before bed, or midmorning when the kids are at school. Find what works for you, even if it means trying a few different options to begin with.
Where to have conversations with God
Do whatever it takes to find some solitude friends. I think it was Joyce Meyer who said she put a cloth over her head, even if it was in the middle of the room, and the family knew not to disturb her. Preferably you want to choose a place that is quiet and free from interruptions, where you can spread out your resources and immerse yourself in His word.
I would love a beautiful spot in my garden or beside a cool stream but this is seldom an option. Thankfully God is not limited geographically and while it is a good habit to have a specific place. I prefer the privacy and quietness of my room but we can have conversations with God anywhere, anytime, even if it means stopping what you are doing.
There are times when you may suddenly feel the need to speak to Him at work, in the shower, driving in your car, or the middle of the night. These impromptu moments are special too and are often the most profound.
This has to be within reason, of course, it may be problematic if you are in the middle of a busy highway!
I keep a bag with everything I need all together in one place. This may sound like we are going on a well-oiled holiday, but trust me here. Too often we avoid our conversations with God due to feeble excuses.
- I’ll wake the family fiddling around in a drawer
- My Bible is in the bedroom and now I can’t go back
- Can’t find a pen
- Don’t have anything to write in
Time is valuable and you don’t want to waste a minute so be prepared. Those little ones will be needing you any minute!
Here is a list of items you may find useful:
Bible (Of course)
A journal to write in
A pen that works. Perhaps have a backup for good measure
Colored pens and pencils
Anything else you think you would like to use that will make your quiet time more creative
This is the most important tool to have on hand. Fortunately, with our phones nowadays, we can access the word of God at any given time. A Bible App makes for quick and easy referencing but there is something special about a physical Bible. I think I’m on my fourth regular Bible and have a few different versions I use regularly!
Which version you prefer to read depends on you. I find The Message or Amplified version an encouraging and easy read for morning quiet times. However, if you intend to study the word in-depth, then it is better to use King James, a good Study Bible such as the NIV, or something similar. There are so many options available!
Read a scripture
How much you read depends on you and the amount of time available. Rick Warren in his book, “Bible study methods”, says we should keep Bible study and prayer time separate. Bible study is intense and requires you to engage intellectually for extended periods at a time, whereas a quiet time is a chance to press in and seek the Holy Spirit.
It is still necessary to read at least a passage of scripture though, as God will often speak to us through His words. I find the Psalms a great place to find daily inspiration and encouragement during my morning quiet times.
After my Bible, the next most important tool is my journal. I always have one on hand from the start so that I can capture and record all of the many God encounters and wow moments. When you meet with God in that ‘secret place’, you will hear many pearls of wisdom that you won’t want to forget.
Writing helps me to focus and process what I am saying and hearing and serves as a record to revert to later on.
Begin With Thanks and Praise
It is important to cleanse our hearts and minds at the start of our quiet times and allow God to search our hearts. There is nothing like sin to hinder our relationship with God, so you want to be sure to remove all obstacles. Confess any sins you know about and ask God to reveal other sins that you may have forgotten. Repent and ask for God’s forgiveness for each sin in turn.
Always remember a conversation is a 2-way communication, so sit quietly and allow God to speak to you too. He is so willing to forgive and draw us closer to Him. Pray for the strength to not commit the same sins again, to sin no more, and for the strength to live a life of Biblical principles.
While on the topic of forgiveness, we are told to forgive others as God forgives us. Forgiveness is important to God as we saw in Why we should forgive others. Anger and resentment may be an obstacle in our ability to hear God so lay aside your grievances up front. If you are struggling to forgive somebody, remember, that God is gracious and won’t leave you to do it alone. He equips us to carry out His commands, so lean into Him and trust that He will help you.
Pray For Others
While thinking of others, make a list of all the people you can pray for. Perhaps you know of somebody who is sick or has a specific need or it may be a person you have a grievance against. Of course, you can pray for them at any time but it is good to form a habit of interceding for others during our Quiet Time. Intercessory prayer is powerful and if you want to learn more, Dutch Sheets wrote an excellent book called “Intercessory Prayer”.
This is where you can pour your heart out to God and He will respond. Lay before Him all your requests and the desires of your heart. If you are feeling overwhelmed and can’t think where to begin or what to say, sit still and listen to what God wants for you. Through your spirit, He will help you to process your muddled thoughts.
The Bible says Don’t be demanding, greedy, or self-centered in your requests. God says our prayers are not answered because we ask for the wrong reasons so always ask in humility.
This is where you can add something extra to enrich your Quiet Time. It may be a page from a Daily Devotional or an article from a Christian magazine. I love creative journaling. As I color and create, the thoughts from my conversation with God are inclined to flow into new areas. The people, topics, and scriptures swirl through my mind and it is often during this time that God speaks to me. Take note of all those thoughts in your journal.
Candles always bring calm and serenity so maybe you could light one near you. Better still, if it is scented, the Bible often speaks of sweet fragrances and aromas.
Make these times your expression to God, and dance around the room if you want to.
What separates us from the presence of God
There are times when we may be desperate to spend time with God but we can’t seem to connect. Here are some reasons that can make us feel separated from Him.
- Fear of what other people may think of you.
- Lack of understanding of how God communicates with us.
- Thoughts of unworthiness
- Belief Systems
- Time constraints
- Stress and various other distractions.
If you really can’t seem to focus, try listening to praise and worship music, even if you don’t do anything else. The Holy Spirit is faithful to meet with us just because we have presented ourselves to Him.
Close Your Conversations With God In Prayer
- Work through each step in the post and design a plan that will suit your time of dedication.
- Start by deciding on a suitable time with the least amount of distractions.
- Gather all the tools you will need and keep them in one place. It wastes precious time if you have to first search the house for what you need.
- Be creative and make the moment count.