This Discipline Will Change Your Spiritual Life in Numerous, Meaningful Ways

(Charisma Media archives)

What comes to your mind when I use the phrase "quiet time"? Many people are intimidated by this simple, two-word phrase and therefore put it off until tomorrow. I believe that choosing to have a daily "quiet time" will change your life in numerous and meaningful ways.

My daily quiet time lasts for about 30-40 minutes, and it is worth every second of the discipline and devotion. You might think that you don't have an extra 30-40 minutes in your day but let me assure you that you do! Perhaps you could put down your phone, stop scrolling on Facebook or forfeit a 30-minute show that adds absolutely nothing of eternal value to your life. Even if you only have "quiet time" three or four times a week, it will change the trajectory of your year! I guarantee it!

This is what I mean when I refer to the joy and delight of incorporating a daily quiet time into your schedule.

Every morning, I fix myself a cup of steaming hot coffee with just a dash of almond milk in it, and then I walk in the darkness of the early day up the carpeted stairs to my office. I silently turn on the lamp beside my comfortable chair that envelopes me.

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I take a moment to pray that the Holy Spirit will teach me more about the Father as I pick up my Bible from the table beside my chair. And then comes the very best part of my day as I open the Word of God.

This year, I am reading the Bible in chronological order, which I have never done before. But on the advice of Bible teacher, Tara-Leigh Coble, I am doing just that.

I hear God's voice as I read His Word. I underline meaningful sentences and circle words that add wealth to my life. I also have a journal in which I write a scripture verse or a thought that I have while reading the miraculous Word of God. After I read the Bible for 20 minutes or so, I sit and meditate. I think about what I have read and how it spoke to me.

The next part of my daily quiet time consists of listening to worship music. Often, I choose instrumental hymns or piano arrangements.

"Great is Thy faithfulness... Oh God, my Father!"

"Oh! For a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer's praise!"

While the music is creating a rich, background melody for me, I open my prayer journal and begin to pray. The lyrics of the well-loved hymns become the theology that fills my heart with purpose.

"What a friend we have in Jesus!"

I also write down three things for which I am thankful, so that I begin my prayer time with gratitude and worship.

My home.

My grandchildren.

My friend Diane.

Then it is my joy to tell the Father how much I love Him and how much He means to me.

"You are holy and faithful!"

"You are good and kind!"

"Your mercies are new every morning!"

"You are wise and share Your wisdom with me!"

I then pray for the names on my prayer list, which always include my children and grandchildren, my husband, my mom, friends who are in need and for situations that need a touch from God.

And finally, I have a stack of devotional books beside my chair and I will spend time reading a daily devotion from several of them. Daily devotionals have added such a wealth and vivid texture to my life over the years. I hope you will incorporate a devotional or two into your daily quiet time as well.

Among my favorites are:

"My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers

"Keep a Quiet Heart" by Elisabeth Elliot

"New Morning Mercies" by Ted Tripp

"Streams in the Desert" by L.B. Cowman

"Until the Day Breaks and the Shadows Flee" by Christine Christopher

As we partake of the Bible and also glean from devotionals each day, we must not foolishly believe that we can cast a quick glance at the Word of God and instantly know what it takes to build an exceptional life. We must seriously, quietly and daily study the Bible.

I hope you will realize that by daily dedicating your life to reading the Word and spending time in His presence, you can experience rich joy and dynamic strength. You will discover with millions of believers from every generation what a delight it is to dig for gold in the unmatched, powerful and restorative Word of God!

Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written five books, including No More Ordinary, Holy Estrogen!, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart and Defiant Joy! Her most recent book, Refined: Finding Joy in the Midst of the Fire, was released last August. Her teaching DVD The Rooms of a Woman's Heart won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming. You can also listen to Carol's "A Jolt of Joy" program daily on the Charisma Podcast Network. Connect with Carol at justjoyministries.com.

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