For many of us, doing comes much more naturally than being. More specifically, spending "Quiet Time" with the Lord is often harder than doing stuff for Him. This struggle goes way back to Mary and Martha...
Martha is known for being frustrated about receiving no help from Mary while she was trying to make food for their guests ~ which included Jesus. So she complained to Him that He should tell Mary ~ who was just sitting there visiting with Jesus ~ to get up and help her with preparing the food.
I'm certain that Jesus' response, "Martha, you are concerned about many things..." had to have been disappointing to her. In fact, if I were Martha, here's what I would have wanted to say back to Jesus: (respectfully, but nonetheless I SO would have wanted to say this!)
"Well yessss, I'm concerned about many things!!! Of course I am!!! I'm trying to get a nice meal done here, and, thanks to Mary just sitting around out here in the living room with You, I am doing it solo!!!"
Hopefully I would have had enough sense to not say that, but knowing me...
Jesus continued on with His famous words to Martha:
"Mary has chosen
the better part, and
it will not be taken
"The better part." That is what this article is about. The desire is there to spend time with Him; what to do during that time is the challenge. If Jesus were here in person, as in physically, we would have NO problem figuring out what to do during our time with Him. But He's not, so we need a little help.
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So I have put together a list of simple ideas that are options for what you could do in your Quiet Time with God. Again, could-do ideas; not a to-do list. It's for anyone from junior high age on up through adults. But in the FREE PRINTABLE, I include a form for younger children too.
FIRST, THE SETTING!
Let's start with a "place" for this. Of course, you'll actually be located wherever you like to have your Quiet Time, be it a bedroom, living room, or kitchen table. Or, if you have tiny tots who don't give you a moment of privacy, perhaps a bathroom?
But let's think outside the box ~ or the room, and get a bit creative... Can you imagine spending time with the Lord in a beautiful setting like this ~ a gazebo set in a lush, flower-filled yard?
Here's my "Quiet Time Spots with God" Pinterest board, with places I've found while browsing Pinterest that would be wonderful settings to enjoy some time with God~ just Him and me!
(All five pins in the above screenshot from my Pinterest board, plus links to their own pages, are at the bottom of this page.)
And if we were actually at any of these places and it was too cold or hot for our comfort, I'm sure the Lord would adjust it.
If you have a moment, take a quick look at a few of the photos that I have collected on that board...
Just imagine yourself in any of those spots with the Lord! Chatting with Him... Listening to Him... Taking in the beauty with Him... Admiring Him for His creative (in the truest sense of the word!) abilities! "How did You ever come up with that design, Lord?!?!" Or "How did you give that idea to the person who made it?"
What's cool is that He actually, really did create each of those settings Himself ~ with some assistance on several of them from people to whom He gave the ability to do this, (we are made in His image, part of which is creative!), along with the command in Genesis to "Go and subdue the Earth."
He therefore knows each one of these places in detail!!! He drew the blueprint for it... or just thought it up and formed it with His hands! Or blew it into existence! And He designed it for US to enjoy!
WHAT THIS IS NOT
Before I show you the "Commune with Me" guide, you need to understand three quick but important things about what it's NOT:
1) It is not a set of "rules" you need to follow.
2) It is not a "To Do" list that you check off as you go.
3) It is not "the best way" to do a Quiet Time.
It's just a list of ideas. Think of it as either "training wheels" for those just starting to learn to "ride" or as a catalyst for those who aren't satisfied with what they're currently doing or who'd just like some new ideas to try.
So take a look at it right here, and then I'll continue sharing a few more thoughts below...
JUMPING INTO IT
After reading through the list of "Commune With Me" activities, select one that looks intriguing, something that you've never done, and that you're comfortable with.
Okay, go ahead and DO that if you have a little time.
Then go through the list again and try doing something that maybe you aren't as comfortable with. Or that you are! That works too! (Just trying to stretch you a bit.)
And go ahead and DO that.
There's no "best" way to do any of these. Just do whatever you want to do in your own style and with your own words. These are just prompts, ideas, and catalysts to get your own creative juices flowing. You may end up coming up with entirely different things.
Give yourself enough time to really experience and express these things from your own heart. Don't do them merely to have done them. (I know this is tempting for us TO-DO list lovers who like checking things off!) Make this your own!
USING IT WITH
For either of those age groups, you may want to try doing one or more of the activities together. Or you could even do some or all of them as a family.
You'll approach this differently if you have a tweenager or a teenager, so I'll share my thoughts on both:
TEEN: If you want a teenager to do this, I would suggest to them that they do this. And I would first, as the parent, want to be familiar and comfortable with it myself. How can we encourage someone to do something we ourselves haven't experienced?
Keep in mind that your own enthusiasm for the thing will go much further in creating interest in our kids than telling them to do it.
Ask your teen if they'd like to hear your thoughts on this idea, and, if they're open to that, sit down with him/her and go over the ideas on the form, adding in your own thoughts (not just mine) and experiences. Allow time for them to ask questions and give their own ideas and input.
This could end up being a very good discussion, and you might even get some new insights into your child. If there have been any barriers between them and the Lord, this is a good tool to help bring those things to the surface, and at the same time give you and your child a way to recognize them, and then deal with them.
If anything seems "too hard" to them, explain it further, or just tell them to not worry about it for now. This is intended to bring us closer to God and each other, not be a wedge or make us feel inadequate.
But you will now have a "window" into your child's heart, and will want to pray about coming back to it later on, as the Lord leads and deals with it, rather than just letting it hang on.
TWEEN-AGE CHILD: We generally have much more leeway with a younger child than with an older one as the younger ones are still being trained and "raised." So you can still use many of the thoughts above, but you probably don't need to be quite as careful about presenting the idea to them. A younger child will generally be more willing to follow your direction.
MAKING IT INTO
A BOOK MARKER
Ideally it's supposed to be book marker-size so that it can fit nicely into your Bible. But if you'd rather keep it elsewhere ~ like in your journal or a devotional book ~ go for it!
The guide I showed you above is actually a "picture" of it (a graphic) that you can copy, paste into a document, re-size as you wish, (make it larger or smaller), and print out to use as a book marker in your Bible (or wherever you want to put it.) However, with it being just a picture of it, it won't look as sharp, especially as you enlarge it. So you might end up wanting to...
Perhaps you'd like to edit and customize it. Maybe there are some things you'd like to change the wording on... or add to what I have there... or even just totally delete.
If so, here, below, is the text version of it ~ meaning it's the typed words that you can edit as you wish, after you have copied it and pasted it into a new document.
(You can only resize the above "picture" (jpeg), but you can't edit the words because they are in picture form.)
Once you have pasted it into a new document, you can change it to a different font, enlarge or increase the font size, edit the text, adjust margins to give it whatever size and shape you want... whatever suits your fancy! (Just don't sell it; I retain the copyright on it.)
A word to the wise regarding fonts... The smaller you go, the more clear and simple you want the font to be so that it can be easily read. Take a look at the difference between these two fonts:
The scripty font is pretty in the larger size, but the smallest one is almost illegible. And reading it is kind of the point.
It's also a good idea to avoid fancy, scripty fonts when using all-caps. And in case you don't believe me:
So there. I hope you're convinced now. (This is one of my pet peeves!)
Here is the text version of the same book marker as above:
SIT IN JESUS' LAP and let Him speak words of love to you. "Daddy God, I rest in your arms; Jesus just hold me against your heart; Spirit, enfold me within your wings; You are my place of contentment and peace." (To the tune of: "Jesus, How Lovely You Are," or just make up your own!)
GIVE THANKS - for specific blessings. "I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart..."
PRAISE HIM - "...I will enter His courts with praise!" for who He is and everything He has done for you!
ASK FORGIVENESS - "Forgive us our sins..." Be specific as the Holy Spirit reminds you of what you need to ask forgiveness for. Consider this verse: "Who shall stand in God's holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart."
SET MY WILL TO FORGIVE - "...as (meaning: "in the same manner as") we forgive those who sin against us." Help me give grace and mercy to those I live with, "neighbors," the Body, slow or rude drivers, waitresses, anyone who hurts, offends, or sins against me.
WORSHIP - He doesn't care how I sound or look! He says (in Song of Sol.) "Let me see your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet and your face is lovely." Just worship God in Spirit and truth for who He is!
ASK FOR MY DAILY BREAD - "Give [me] this day [my] daily bread": which is whatever needs You see that I have spiritually, emotionally, physically, health-wise, time, etc.
PRAY - for family, friends (saved and unsaved) the Body of Christ, etc. as Jesus prayed in the garden: "Keep them from the evil one... May God's joy be fulfilled in them... Keep them in God's Name... Sanctify them in the Truth." Pray favorite Scripture verses over them.
PRAY A HEDGE OF PROTECTION around all the preceding and our home, health, "stuff," etc.
PUT ON MY ARMOR - as in Ephesians 6:10-17.
"EAT" THE WORD OF GOD - Read out of Psalms and/or Proverbs and/or the New Testament. Ask God to give me His "rema" out of His "Logos."
JOURNAL - Refer to journal for specific lists for/of any of the above. Write in journal out of my heart, during the good and the bad times. Listen for God to speak, and write down what He speaks to me.
ROTATE DEVOTIONAL MATERIAL - a good book, on-going prayer lists, further journaling, time in other areas of the Bible, communing with God... how ever He leads!
Here is a FREE PRINTABLE in which I have done all the work for you! It includes Commune With Me guides for three levels of readers, from those just beginning to read up through adults:
Commune With Me - Three Levels
Word file - editable
Commune With Me - Three Levels
PDF file - not editable
I'd love to hear from any of you who try this! Tell me any changes you made; things you liked, used, altered, added, etc. But be duly warned; I may add them to my version!!!
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