If we want to know God better so that we can know that we know His voice and can trust His directions then we have to spend time with Him. We usually fail at developing a daily quiet time because we either don't make a plan or we make a plan that is too hard to maintain. I want to help you build a plan that sets you up for success.
What do I mean by success? I want you to design a "Get to Know God Better" plan that you can stick to consistently. So here are some tips and resources to help you get started.
1. Choose a good time and place.
Having your daily quiet time at the same time and in the same place everyday will help it become a habit. When you start out with intentionality it will soon become an organic, natural part of your day. So choose a time that works for you. Don't try to get up super extra early or stay up late. I'm not saying 15 minutes early is a bad way to go, but you know yourself so think about whether you would really get up or if you would hit that snooze button. And before bed might be okay if you are a night owl, but if you are going to fall asleep while praying then this might not be the best idea either. Think about a point in your day where you aren't rushing or stressed. This is a starting point.
And choose a place where you are distraction free. In front of the TV or surrounded by other people probably isn't going to help you focus.
2. Start with Bible reading.
I wouldn't suggest starting with Genesis and just going straight cover to cover if this is all new to you. Start with the book of John or Romans. And read a translation that you can more easily understand. If you don't have a Bible or need to maybe try a new version you can check out BibleGateway.com or YouVersion.com. With YouVersion you can download the free app right to your smart phone. They also have a ton of reading plans and daily devotionals to help you find a good place to start or read about a topic or issue that is relevant to you at the moment. You can also check out my devotional, Daughters Arise.
If you use a devotional to help you get started don't let it replace God's Word completely. Make sure you are reading the verses in it and take the time to not just read the single verse but the whole chapter to really get the context.
3. When you read the Bible ask questions.
I tell my students when they read a section of Scripture they need to ask some questions. The first is who is writing it and who are they writing to? Usually the beginning of the book tells you the answer to this but don't be afraid to google it. Who was writing, what they were doing, who they were writing to and why are all bits of information that will help you understand the real meaning of the verse. Second ask yourself what God wants you to know from this verse/chapter? What does this mean for you, in your life, today?
And an extra note to keep in mind when you are reading the Bible is that the people you are reading about were humans with the same doubts and fears and emotions that you deal with. Don't take that for granted just because you know how their story ends. Be encouraged by the fact that it wasn't an easier for them than it is for you and learn how they handled their doubts and fears by choosing to walk in faith.
4. Spend time in prayer.
Prayer is just talking to God. If you've never prayed before understand that you don't have to have super holy words or sound smart. Just be yourself. Tell God thank you, that you love Him, ask Him your questions, tell Him how you're feeling about your life. And take time to listen. Nobody enjoys a one sided conversation. Prayer isn't just talking to God, its letting Him talk to you. Practice listening.
This isn't a Dear Diary moment. But writing things down can help us better understand what we are thinking and feeling. Its also a chance to write down questions so you can ask someone later. Write down what that verse means to you so you can be reminded throughout the day. And write some of the things you prayed about. When God answers go back and write that too. You will be thankful to go back and see how God showed up and answered.
6. Memorize and Meditate
If, while you are reading, a certain verse really sticks out to you, maybe it encouraged or challenged you, write it on a post it or index card, make it the lock screen on your phone. The point is to put it someplace where you will see it throughout the day. Keep thinking about it and praying about it so that you get it deep inside your heart. Memorize it so that even when you don't have your Bible you have God's Word readily available.
There you go. I know it sounds like a lot, but quality doesn't have to mean quantity. All of this can start with just 15-20 minutes a day. Here's a couple ideas on how to set up your quiet time.
1. Take 15
Spend 5 minutes reading your bible, 5 minutes praying and 5 minutes listening. Journaling a little as you go.
Spend ten minutes reading your BIble and ten minutes talking, and listening, to God.
If even 15 minutes seems like a big step its ok. Start with 5 minutes. Read one or two verses and pray. The point is to start somewhere.
I really hope this helps you to develop your own 'Get to Know God Better Plan.' Making time for God daily is going to require some effort on your part but you can do it!!