by Rick Warren — June 23, 2023
From 40 Days in the Word
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.”
Proverbs 21:5 (ESV)
Having a quiet time is like many other activities you might do in life, in at least one respect: To be successful, it helps to have a plan. The Bible says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5 ESV).
If you’ve never had a quiet time before, you may not have a good, simple plan for doing one. Simplicity is important with any plan you develop. If you make it complicated, you’re more likely to get off track. All you really need for an effective quiet time is a Bible and a notebook.
So what does a daily quiet time look like?
Be quiet before the Lord. The Bible calls it “waiting on God.” You start by simply sitting down and being quiet.
Pray briefly. Start off with prayer. Ask God to give you clarity and focus and discernment as you read his Word.
Read a portion of Scripture slowly. This is where your conversation with God begins. He starts speaking to you through his Word, and then you speak back to him through prayer. Read the Bible slowly. Don’t try to read too quickly or too much. The more slowly you read Scripture, the more you’re forced to think about what you’re reading.
Meditate on the Word. Spend some time chewing on what God is saying. Chew on the Word like cows chew on cud. Ponder and wrestle with it in your mind. There are a lot of great methods for meditating on the Word.
Write down what you discover. When God speaks to you through his Word, care enough about what he is saying to write it down. Recording your discoveries will help you remember what God has said.
Pray again. Stay focused. Thank God for what he has shown you in his Word. Talk to God about what he has said to you. Tell him what you’re thinking about what he is saying. Talk to him about anything else that’s on your mind.
There’s not just one way to have a quiet time. But start with a plan similar to this one, and you’ll soon find, as Proverbs 21 promises, that your diligent plans lead to a life of abundance!