We can take joy in the truth that it's never too early or too late to modify our schedules and get into the routine of spending uninterrupted time with the Lord.

How to Cultivate the Secret Place

by Fia Curley
9/24/15 Prayer

When life is at a frenetic pace, finding time to spend with the Lord can feel like an impossibility.

Amid the very real demands of work, family, ministry, and ongoing task lists, our daily quiet times have dwindled or become non-existent. A daily time of reflection or conversation with the heavenly Father is often thought of as a luxury. Many feel they are too busy to pray. Moments spent with the Father are relegated to the end of the day, only to be overpowered by the body’s need for sleep or sidetracked by last-minute distractions.

However, quiet time with our heavenly Father is a necessity. It’s an activity that propels us throughout our day, not an inconvenience. He beckons us to join Him in the secret place—that space set aside in our schedule and even the places we physically inhabit—to set aside lesser things and shut out distractions in order to seek His face, to meet with Him, and hear His heart.

The Son of God took the time to pray before the demands of His day (Matthew 14:13). He often retreated by Himself to speak with and hear from His Father, enabling Him to boldly declare, “For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak” (John 12:49–50).

Even Daniel took time daily to step away from the most crucial of governmental tasks in order to hear from God (Daniel 2:17; 6:11, 13; 9:3–6).

We, too, can also follow this example of meeting with our heavenly Father and gaining from His generous nature.

In our times with the Lord—reading the Word, verbalizing our thankfulness, sharing our thoughts with Him, or even quietly listening to His voice—we gain perspective and direction. We gain a greater understanding of the character of our Lord and Creator. He shows us His nature and His thoughts, and He quiets us with His love (Zephaniah 3:17). In a society that rushes us along from one day to the next, our Father slows the pace and reorients us. When we are in His presence, we learn our real priorities.

And when we set aside the time to meet with God, we always receive.

In the midst of his day-to-day activities, Moses encountered God at a burning bush and received vision and his God-ordained assignment. Elijah met with God while he was running away and gained truth and perspective from God’s still, small whispers. Despite the demands of ruling, David met with God and received plans to build the holy temple.

Even when we know we need to spend time with God, the likelihood of action increases when there’s a plan. In order to meet with God as a regular part of our day, we can incorporate practical points to move us toward success.

Find a Place (Where to Do It)
Actually choosing a location for an undistracted time of devotion can help us accomplish the goal of meeting with God. Some people desire a time to get away and create a routine. While some opt for a quiet trip, others attend events focused on cultivating a constant awareness of the presence of the Lord that will help them strategically implement the quiet time in the midst of everyday activity.

Have a Plan
Many times it can be much easier to focus when we have an idea as to how we would like to spend our time with the Lord. There are times when we want to meditate on a specific verse, chapter, or book in the Bible, and sometimes we desire to simply sit before the Lord, thanking Him for His faithfulness. He may have a different idea for each meeting and actually change our plans, but showing up with some type of plan has the effect of increasing our faithfulness to keep the appointment and pursue conversation with Him.

Develop Perseverance
If the first attempt to build a consistent quiet time doesn’t work, consider making daily scheduled attempts for a predetermined number of days or weeks. Creating any new habit takes time. Whether you’re changing the way you eat, eliminating bad habits that stunt your advancement and deter your progress, or incorporating physical exercise into your normal routine, it all takes time. Simply starting the process of pursuing a regular conversation with God with the understanding that there may be inconveniences that arise at the last moment (situations that need your attention at the exact same time when you’ve planned to meet with God, or even an increase in daily demands that feel draining) will help you avoid condemnation when you accidentally forget your quiet time or you’re even tempted to postpone until tomorrow.

Gain Perspective
Even on the days when we feel less than successful, we can be encouraged by the truth that any amount of time we spend seeking the Lord is an investment that will yield benefits in this age and in the age to come. God is not disappointed by what we may feel was a small or insignificant amount of time. On the contrary, He is delighted that we are moved to set our hearts and minds on Him; He is overcome by even one glance from us (Song of Solomon 4:96:5). This is the heart of our God, who is always joyful, always kind, always gentle and enjoys our company. He knows we only have 24 hours in a day, and He loves it when His children take even a portion of that to spend time with Him.

We can take joy in the truth that it’s never too early or too late to modify our schedules and get into the routine of spending uninterrupted time with the Lord. Just like any investment we make in life, taking mere minutes from our daily activities to spend them with the Lord and seek His face, His desires, His judgements for our lives and even the lives of those around us, results in great gain in this life and the next that we will never regret.

How do you want God to meet you in your quiet times?

Fia Curley


    Fia Curley served on the NightWatch at IHOPKC for many years, participating in prayer, worship, and intercession from midnight to 6am. Currently attending college in New York, she enjoys blending her passion for prayer, worship, and journalism as she labors with the Lord to see His goodness revealed to families, government leaders, and immigrants from non-Christian nations.

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