By Heather Adams, Crosswalk.com
Most of us would agree that regular quiet time with God draws us closer to Him in so many ways. It stirs our hearts and leads us to a deeper expression of worship. It reminds us of who our Heavenly Father is and what He has done in our lives. And the result is renewal and strengthening of our faith.
Quiet time during the holiday season can be especially precious. Meditating on the ultimate gift God has given us - His Son, sent to be our Savior - grows a sense of joy within us. And that joy will keep us focused on the most meaningful things about this time of year.
What Does Quiet Time Look Like?
One of the most basic and natural methods for us to connect with God is through prayer. It is a powerful tool for quiet time. Jesus Himself made a daily ritual of seeking those kinds of private moments with His Father.
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35).
Other activities can make our quiet times special. Reading the Bible, singing or listening to worship hymns and songs, and journaling our thoughts, questions or insights will help us slow down and sense God’s presence. Even walks in nature or creating art will remind us of His blessings.
Whatever we do, the main goal is to make God the focus of our thoughts, and to seek to grow in knowledge of Him. In turn, we will experience more of our Heavenly Father and His love.
“I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord” (Lamentations 3:24-26).
How Our Quiet Time Can Have a Positive Impact on Others
Though quiet time is a private thing for each of us, what we gain from it can end up blessing those around us, too. God wants us to both receive His touch and pass it on - and the holidays offer great opportunities to do that. We’ll be filled up to overflowing so our every interaction this season can spread His love.
- By keeping God’s message of salvation in our hearts, we’ll see the deeper meaning of such a busy season, and want to share it.
- By celebrating God’s kindness to us, we’ll become more willing to handle stressful holiday moments or interactions better.
- By reflecting on God’s love for us, we’ll feel a desire to reach out to family, friends, and neighbors during the season.
Things That Keep Us from Quiet Time (Especially during the Holidays)
As sweet as this season can be, it makes our world even more fast-paced. So if we’re not careful, we can get caught up in the usual pre-holiday whirlwind and all that goes with it.
Conversely, some of us can feel especially alone during this time of year. If grief or depression has a hold, we can isolate ourselves and stop reaching out for the Lord.
But by seeking time with God, we’re actually inviting Him to join us in those moments, whether they are happy, hectic or heartbreaking. Just being in His presence aligns our perspective more with his and gives us the ability to face every challenge of the season with God’s grace. Here are just a few examples of how we can bring faith into distracting situations:
Moments of Busyness
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).
Moments of Stress
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).
Moments of Overwhelm
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
Moments of Sadness
“...the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
Moments of Fatigue or Sickness
“‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Moments with Difficult People
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18).
How To Guard Our Quiet Time
Decide to protect your quiet time in some form, even when a busy schedule is calling for your attention. God is ready to respond to you.
“Come near to God and he will come near to you” (James 4:8).
Have a willingness to shift your normal quiet time routine in terms of what part of the day or what activities you do. God is always near to you.
“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always” (1 Chronicles 16:11).
Be Gentle on Yourself
Let go of any big expectations or judgment of yourself about how much quiet time you’re able to have. God is delighted to be with you.
“I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me” (Proverbs 8:17).
5 Practical Ideas to Fit Quiet Time Into Your Holiday Schedule
1. Wake up 15 minutes earlier in the morning to lift up a “good morning” prayer, asking God to walk with you, and even to help make your day’s to-do list.
Thank You for this day that You have made! I am so glad You have given me life. Now, I ask that You would equip me for all You have planned for me today. Let me not be anxious about getting things done, but to lean on You for what I need. Help me share the Good News with someone today.
In Jesus’ Name,
2. Use “waiting” time in the car or a line at the store to read one of the Old Testament prophecies about Jesus, or to pray for family and friends.
3. Tune your car radio to a Christian station, or keep Christmas worship music in your car’s CD player to remember the real reason for our enjoyment of the season.
Guest Sanctuary Choir - The Majesty and Glory of Christmas
Steven Curtis Chapman - The Music of Christmas
David Crowder Band - Oh For Joy
Third Day - Christmas Offerings
4. Utilize a Bible app on your phone to read or hear the Nativity story to renew your awe about the Good News.
How to pass it on: Think about or write out how Jesus’ birth has impacted your life, and tell someone else.
5. Turn your quiet time into fellowship time by asking others to join you for a relaxed session of study or worship.
How to pass it on: Invite others to share how knowing Jesus has blessed them.
God so wants to be in relationship with us that He sent His Son Jesus to make it possible. So, while it’s important all year, now is in many ways the perfect season for us to set aside quiet time to celebrate the greatness and goodness of our Heavenly Father.
Photo credit: Unsplash/Timothy Eberly
Heather Adams is an author, speaker, and singer living in Connecticut. Heather’s passion is to equip and encourage believers to seek more of God’s truth and to experience more of His joy each day. Her book, Bow Down: The Heart of a True Worshipper is a practical, 30-day devotional about worship based on the writings of King David. Heather's blog, Worship Walk Ministries, offers weekly Scripture passages and insights to ponder. A native New Englander, Heather is settling into her home in the South, trying out local foods and watching for the alligators that live nearby!