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Frequently asked questions about the quiet time

There are many questions that people have asked us concerning Quiet Times which we have not covered in our instructions on how to have Quiet Times.

Click any of the following links to read our answers to these questions:

When is the best time to have a Quiet Time?

How long should a Quiet Time be?

What if my children don't want to have Quiet Times?

Is there a Scriptural basis for Quiet Times?

How can I get Quiet Times underway with my family?

When is the best time to have a Quiet Time?

We see the following in Scripture.

Jesus set the example of seeking His Heavenly Father early in the morning. Mark 1:35 says this: 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." At this time of the day, we too can be in tune with Him before all the pressures of the day take their toll and our minds are filled with all sorts of thoughts and emotions.

In John Chapter 6 Jesus talked about how He was the bread of life. He said to the Jews that their forefathers ate the Manna in the wilderness, but they eventually died. Jesus went on to say that He was the Living Bread that came down from heaven. He said, "Whoever eats of this bread (meaning Himself) will live forever." It is, therefore, very important that we learn to "feed" on Jesus.

Because Jesus is the Manna, the true Bread from heaven, we should start feeding on Him in the best possible way.

There are some valuable lessons on how the Israelites fed on the Manna in the wilderness. We can learn from these - particularly the need to gather Manna early in the morning.

1. The Lord said to Moses that the way they gathered the Manna was a test to see whether they would obey God's instructions (Exodus 16:4).

How we feed on Jesus can also be a test for us as to whether we are serious about our walk with God.

2. The Israelites were told to gather the Manna before the sun came up.

Otherwise it would melt away and they would miss out. (Exodus 16:21) This is the "pattern" that God gave. Those who "feed" on Jesus early, do so to find a blessing not normally present at other times of the day.

3. The Israelites could not store up the Manna, but they had to gather it every day. (Exodus 16:4)

In the same way, we need to feed on Jesus every day (not just once or twice a week.)

We have found that the best time to have a Quiet Time is in the early morning, before the day's activities grab our attention. If, as families, we try and have our QTs in the evening, there are too many things that dominate out time and thinking to make this time effective. Children come home from school tired and grumpy and want to watch T.V., play games on the computer or text their friends.

Click Here to read the Leather's testimony on trying Quiet Times in the evening.

Occasionally I have missed having a QT in the morning so I have had one in the evening. I have found it very difficult to keep my thoughts focused on the Lord and His Word.

How Long Should a Quiet Time Be?

Although the Bible doesn't tell us how long our Quiet Time should last, common sense and experience has taught us that at least 15 minutes are needed. This may well mean that we have to rearrange our lives somewhat. It may even mean that we need to miss a bit of T.V. in the evenings to get to bed earlier.

This is the sort of decision a person makes who has chosen to put Jesus first in their life, rather than someone who only wants to add Jesus on to their life. However, you will find that the more you "feed" on Jesus, the more you will develop an "appetite" for Him.

I have found this in my life. The more I feed on Jesus, the more I have wanted of Him. Psalm 34:8a says this: "Taste and see that the Lord is good."

Any sacrifices you make to feed on Jesus such as spending less time on things like T.V., computers or texting your friends, will be mightily outweighed by the reward of coming to know Him more deeply and intimately.

In Psalm 16:11 it says, "In your presence there is fullness of joy." If you make having a Quiet Time a priority in your life, you will come to love this time with God more than anything else in life.

What if my children don't want to have Quiet Times?

We have found that older children often don't want to join in because they already have established lifestyle patterns. If this is the case, it is best to sit down as a family and discuss with them that, as a family, you want to make this time a regular part of your life together. Explain that it will be a major adjustment in the way you do things as a family, but that it is very important to you as parents.

Some other things to watch for:

a) Your children are tired and don't want to get out of bed.

This is a very common problem and can destroy this time. As this time is important to you, you may have to decide to make sure they go to bed at an earlier hour. Most children would prefer to watch TV or spend time on the computer than to go the bed. It has been argued that Television has had more influence on many of our children's lives than the church has had.

b) Texting friends.

This has become a common problem in many young people's lives. It is almost impossible for our children to hear from God if every 5 minutes a friend is texting them. You may have to teach your children to not use phones while they are having their Quiet Times.

c) Dad has to go to work early.

This is another very common problem with getting Quiet Times established in a family. If this is the case, then it's important that the mother takes the role of helping the children have a Quiet Time. The sharing of the Quiet Times should be done in the evening with Dad present, and if possible, he should lead the sharing time.

d) Your children see this time as legalism or boring.

Try to make it an enjoyable time. In our family, we find that the sharing of the blessing is often a fun time and we have many laughs over the good things God has done for us.

e) The claim that God has told a family member to do something that isn't right.

We have not found this to be a problem in our family or in other families we know who do the QTs. Great harm, however, has been caused by people who claim that God has told them something that obviously isn't from God. We should always check out any 'Words from God' with those in spiritual authority over us such as parents or our pastor, if we are doubtful about what God has said.

f) Taking verses out of context.

Because the passages to be read each day from our Quiet Times are only a few verses, it can be a big problem taking verses out of context. The Scriptures before and after a passage help to bring out the correct meaning. The meaning for most of our Q.T. readings are obvious, but if you have the slightest doubt about what God is saying to you, make sure that you read the surrounding passages.

g) Be aware of Satan's discouragement.

The last thing Satan wants is for families to follow the Lord together. In John 10:1-16, we read how the thief, Satan, will do everything he can to get people to listen to his voice and not the voice of Jesus. He comes to steal, kill and destroy.

Is there a Scriptural basis for Quiet Times?

Although the expression "Quiet Time" does not occur anywhere in the Bible, this expression is used by many Christians to describe the dedicated time they put aside each day to spend time alone with God.

They point to the example of Jesus in His life who would frequently slip away to spend time alone with His heavenly Father. Luke 5v16 says this: "But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed."

They say that taking a regular, daily time with God is an important part of this process of "Walking in God," and of learning about Him, about His ways, and about what pleases Him. Psalm 105:1-4 & Psalm 145:1,2 are Scriptures that encourage people to seek God everyday.

Psalm 105:1-4 says this: "Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.

Psalm 145:1, 2 says this: I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever."

This dedicated, regular "Quiet Time" is also a way of getting to know God personally as your Heavenly Father, in an intimate and loving way. God's Word encourages us to abide in Him and promises fruitful lives to those who do.

How can I get Quiet Times underway in my family?

1) Decide that this is very important for your family.

When I, Colin, was a young man, a Godly leader said to me that in life we basically find the time to do the things that are important to us. If watching T.V. is important to us, we will find the time to watch it. If a sport is important to us, we will find the time to practise it. If pursuing a career is important to us, we will find the time to study. He went on to say that if getting to know God is important to us, we will find the time to have a Quiet Time.

2) If possible, sit down together to begin with.

For a family starting out, we have found that it is best to sit down as a family and have the QT's together. Having Quiet Times together gives mutual encouragement which is important. Once family members have learnt how to have a Quiet Time, the older children can have the Quiet Times on their own.

Click and read how Rodger & Jillian Leather finally established the QTs in their family..

3) In the morning.

We have found that it is best to have Quiet Times in the morning before the day's activities crowd our thoughts.

4) Help your children.

Young children often find it hard to get something from the passage. It is helpful if a parent can read the passage and discuss it with their child, explaining possible things that God might be saying to them.

5) Every day if possible.

Try to have Quiet Times every day so that it becomes part of the life of your family. We have found that in the weekends, it is important to keep having Quiet Times, although we don't usually have a sharing time together. This is because we get out of bed at different times in the weekends.

6) Share with another family.

Great encouragement can be found in getting Quiet Times established in your family if you regularly share with another family or families.

7) Do other enjoyable things with your family.

It is important to do fun things together as a family. There is a saying that goes like this:

"Families that play together stay together."

Make it a priority to think of enjoyable things you could do together as a family.

Some suggestions of things you can do together:

You could have board games in the evenings during the week or perhaps go on such things as outings or bike rides in the weekends. Try to bring laughter and happiness into your family and in this way they are likely to get on board with having QTs in your family.

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