Our lives are busy. Sometimes a quiet time reading the Bible can feel like a hard task. And yet the results of that invested time cannot be measured. Kathy Howard is a Bible teacher at heart. In this post, she shares with you her tips for making the most of a short quiet time with God. Even 15 minutes or less is worth it! I hope it blesses you like it did me.
I recently had a chance to chat with Kathy on an episode of Your Hope-Filled Perspective about how to keep trusting God in difficult times. Ultimately, we cannot trust someone we don’t know. Kathy and I spent a bit of time talking about the importance of being in God’s word, and getting to know him so that when the difficult times come, it is easier to trust him. Take a few minutes to listen to this episode!
5 Tips for Making the Most of a Short Quiet Time with God
By Kathy Howard
Handling God’s Word correctly doesn’t mean you have to spend a long time in the Bible every time you open it.
My first desire for all of us is that we will read the Bible regularly and understand it better – no matter how much time we have to spend in it.
Yes, it’s true that the more time we spend in the Bible, the more we learn about God, and the more we will know Him.
BUT… You can hear from God through His Word in just a few minutes. FIVE minutes reading Scripture is five minutes spent getting to know God. So, never think that five minutes isn’t worth it.
5 Tips for Making the Most of Your Quiet Time with God (15 minutes or less)
1. Read the BIBLE
We are blessed with so many Christian resources. There are wonderful devotionals, commentaries, and books written by godly men and women that offer great insight and help. It’s easy and tempting to pick them up first. But if you only have a few minutes for a quiet time, why would you settle for reading what God has said to someone else? Read the Bible; listen to God first. Those other things are supplemental; read them when you have more time. God’s Word is ALWAYS primary. (Note: If you find a devotional or other resource that sends you to God’s Word first and helps you properly interact with Scripture in a meaningful way, then it may be a good choice for a quiet time tool. That was my goal for the “Deep Rooted” devotional series. Katie Orr’s Focused 15 Bible Study method is also a great resource!)
2. Have a PLAN
If we don’t know where we are going to read, we waste precious moments trying to decide where to start. You can find all kinds of Bible reading plans online. (I also have several free plans on my Free Resources page.) Many work through a Bible book. Others are topical. But, if you have 15 minutes or less to spend in a sitting, I suggest you pick a book of the Bible and begin at chapter one, verse one. Then work your way through in small increments each day until you finish the book. Then begin another. It may take you weeks or even months to read through a book and THAT’S OKAY! I’d rather you digest what you’re reading than rush through just to check off a box.
3. Spend the first third reading
If you only have 15 minutes, spend 5 minutes reading the Bible, picking up where you left off the day before. (I just set a timer and read slowly for 5 minutes. You should be able to read at least 20-25 verses!) You can spend a little less or a little more depending on where the natural break falls in the text.
4. Spend the second third interacting with what you read
Prayerfully look back at what you’ve just read. Depending on your time, pick one or more things to look for in the passage. For instance, ask God to show you what characteristics it reveals about Him or what truths it teaches about salvation or spiritual growth. (See this post for more about observing a text.) You don’t have to see EVERYTHING that’s there to gain spiritual insight. Simply take advantage of the time you have. OPTION: You could also spend several days in the same passage, rereading each day during the first third and spending the second third observing in another category.)
5. Spend the last third talking about it to God
God wants to take the spiritual knowledge and insight you gained from reading His Word and apply it to your life. Ask Him what that should look like. Ask Him for clarity about things you didn’t understand. Ask Him to give you wisdom and clear direction for your day. Ask Him how you should respond to His truths. (This post gives tips for asking God to help you respond to His Word.)
Yes, more time reading and studying God’s Word is always beneficial. BUT… every minute is valuable. This basic format can be used if you have 10 minutes or 100 minutes. Just spend whatever time you have in God’s Word.
Just do it! Pick up that Bible and read it.
What are some ways you’ve found to make the best use of the limited time you have to spend with God?
This post was first published by Kathy on her blog and graciously shared with us. Find out more about Kathy at KathyHoward.org.
About Kathy Howard
Kathy Howard is a treasure hunter who searches for the creamiest chocolate, richest coffee, and cherished stories of faith. She also digs deep into Scripture, mining God’s eternal truths. Kathy has a Masters in Christian Education and has taught the Bible for more than 30 years in a wide variety of venues. Kathy is the award-winning author of 12 books, including “Heirloom” and the “meaty” devotional series “Deep Rooted.” Kathy and her husband, who live in north Texas, have three married children, six grandchildren, and one accidental dog. Find free discipleship resources at www.KathyHoward.org.