Quiet time with God in the New Year
Jan.01.2018 Spiritual Growth
For most people, the hardest part of a quiet time is actually finding the time. If you are serious about growing in your faith, commit to making the first hour of your day about quality time with God with these steps.
Aligning the desire to grow in our spiritual lives with the discipline required can seem overwhelming. With fast-paced, hectic days, finding time to pray, count our blessings, and meditate on scripture is never easy. However, those who make the time will tell you about the transformation God brings when we take time to know Him more intimately.
Buck Jacobs, Chairman & Founder of the C12 Group, recalls the day he took two vital steps that changed his life. Step one was carving out the time to read and pray, and step two involved keeping record of his time through writing.
Jacobs recalled, “God spoke to me and said if I am to be effective in the lives of others, He wants the first hour of my day. This is non-negotiable daily quiet time. It is not meant to be a quick prayer, but an hour spent reflecting on the blessings of God in the previous 24 hours, reading and meditating on scripture, and journaling uplifting thoughts.”
An Attitude of Gratitude – Sharing Quiet Time with God
God wants a personal relationship with each of us, but according to Jacobs, most Christians struggle to carve out the time for reading the Bible and prayer. He says that giving God the first hour of each day has made all the difference, and offers the following structure to growing Christians.
Step 1: Spiritual Discipline
- Start each day by reading two chapters of the Bible.
- Read something to help you grow spiritually, such as a devotional.
- Read something to help you grow professionally – an article, whitepaper, etc.
- Pray for those in your family, church, business and everywhere in between.
Step 2: Putting Pen to Paper
- Write a letter to God each day
- Journal your thoughts to keep record of your growth.
Jacobs says the journal is particularly helpful for staying focused during your quiet time. “When we take the time to write things down, we remember them and have a summary of our time spent with God,” he explained.
Creating Your Journal
To avoid the distractions of a tablet or computer, keep your journal in a simple notebook. Jacobs includes his personal mission statement in the front of his journal so he can see it every day. While this is not the only way to journal your thoughts, Jacobs provided his personal outline for others to consider:
- Count your blessings and write them down.
- Ask Him questions and listen for His answers.
- Abide in His Word and stay connected.
- Tell Him how you feel, that you love Him, what you have learned, confess your sin, and receive His forgiveness.
- Share anything else you want to say or remember.
- Tell Him anything that is on your heart.
“Every Saturday I review all that I have written during the week. I keep tab markers handy and when something appears that I want to remember or review, I mark the page. Each January I spend part of my time reviewing the previous year. It is easy to forget so much of His grace and goodness, ” Jacobs said.
The Non-Negotiable Hour
If you are serious about growing in your faith, commit to making the first hour of your day about quality time with God. Create your spiritual journal and start writing. According to Jacobs, “Your appreciation for God and all that He has given you will increase in a life-changing way.”
Adapted from Buck Jacobs speech at the 2014 C12 Leaders Conference.