Establishing a Quiet Time Habit

A daily time of Bible reading and prayer is the most effective way to develop and maintain a deep relationship with the Lord.  Establishing this habit builds behavioral momentum that lessens the effort required to go deeper with the Lord.

One key to starting and maintaining a habit is to start with a manageable commitment.  The less daily investment required, the easier it is to establish a habit.

Pick a time and place that will minimize your hardship.  Many find it easiest to have a quiet time the first thing in the morning, before breakfast.  If you have trouble going to sleep, you may find it very soothing to spend time with God right before bed.  Perhaps, noon time is the best time for you.  If you are unsure, you can try out some options to see which is  best for you.

Also, if you start with something that you enjoy, this greatly increases the likelihood that you will be able to establish your quiet time as a daily habit. If you love to read, perhaps you might initially start with a daily Bible reading program.  Start in a book that is easy and fun to read.  Many start reading in the gospels.  These are stories about Jesus.  If you want to branch out, perhaps begin to follow a daily Bible reading guide that may have you reading a little in the New Testament and a little in the Old Testament each day.

I recommend not starting a Bible reading habit in the Old Testament.  Particularly do not start with Genesis and read through the Old Testament first.  Many a good intentioned reading program died an untimely death in the books of Leviticus and Numbers (if they lasted that long).  Start with the easy to read books of the Bible first.  There will be plenty of time for the more difficult to read books after you have firmly established your reading habits.  Once you have established your daily Bible reading habit, ten to fifteen minutes of daily Bible reading is all it takes for some people to read through the entire Bible in a year.

If you are not a reader, you can be creative about other ways to start your daily quiet time.   Perhaps you might read a short prepared devotion such as those available from the Our Daily Bread ministry (  If you love to walk, perhaps you may read just one or two Bible verses, and then take a walk and pray to the Lord.  If you love to sing, perhaps your daily quiet time will have a singing component.

However you start, keep the daily time commitment to a level that is easily manageable within your schedule.  Also, make every effort not to miss a day.  If you do miss a day, no need to double up.  Just carry on the next day.

Once your habit is well established (for some this might take a few months, others one or more years), you can begin to use the momentum you have established to widen and deepen your quiet time.  If you started with only Bible reading, add a few minutes of prayer.  If you started with a daily prayer time, add a reading component.  And so on.

As time goes by you might even want to add additional daily commitments.  If increasing time spent in the morning seems overwhelming, perhaps you might start the day with some Bible reading and then take a prayer walk at lunch time.  Perhaps you might take a prayer walk first thing in the morning and then read a chapter or two in the Bible at night to prepare you  for sleep.  Be creative. Look for a quiet time schedule that fits you, fits your other commitments and will be a pleasure to maintain.

Get started today.  You will find that as you seek God and spend time with Him, He will greatly reward you.  As you press in, you will discover the often neglected treasure of a close personal walk with the Lord.  It will more than repay you for establishing a regular Quiet time with God.

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