Monday, October 15, 2012

Spending Time in the Word

 A friend emailed a few weeks ago and shared that she was writing in hopes that one or some of the women she emailed could offer practical wisdom about spending time in the Word and having a "quiet time."

As much as I wanted to have a great nugget of wisdom or practical thoughts of how to have a quiet time, I really wasn't sure what to say. I know it's important to spend time in the Word. In fact, I want to. But so often, when my schedule starts to get crazy or my life gets a little more overwhelming, the things that are the most important tend to get pushed to the back burner so I can take care of the things that are the most urgent. But, really, what's more urgent than my need for my Savior? That day in particular, I was struggling too and didn't really know what advice to offer.

Thankfully, many of the other women in the email list had some wonderful suggestions. And as the emails flew back and forth, I was thankful for community. And grateful to barge in on my friend's community because they encouraged me too! [Grin!]

As I read the responses, I felt the Lord's nudging to share my struggle with several in my own circle, which has been encouraging in and of itself, and to share with others what I'm doing now. Hopefully, this can be an encouragement to you.

Start with the Bible. 
Seems simple, right? It was a great reminder to me when someone emailed my friend the same advice. God has already given us everything we need with these 66 books. Personally, I like the New International Version (1984) and the English Standard Version.

Ask a few simple questions.
A pastor at our church shared this with me when I served on our church staff a few years ago. This is one of the easiest, simplest ways I've been taught to read, evaluate, and apply a passage.

- What does this passage say about God?
- What does this passage say about man / the world?
- What does this passage say I need to avoid or stop doing?
- What does this passage say I need to continue or start doing?

Ask a few more questions (if you want to).
Sometimes, I like to look for the answer to a certain question or questions as I'm reading the Bible over several weeks. During a recent staff devotion, a co-worker commented on some of the verses that talk about things Paul prayed for and how different Paul's prayer list looks from ours (oftentimes). As I've been reading through some of Paul's letters recently, I'm noting how Paul prayed for others and for himself and trying to pray in similar ways.

Before I start, I always ask the Lord to help me understand the passage that I'm reading and to help me remember truths from His Word throughout the day/week. Often my prayer time can be a running thread of conversation through the day—while getting ready, driving, at lunch, in bed at night, etc. Sometimes, it's more formal than others.

Use other resources.
There are tons of great resources out there for one-on-one devotions or group Bible studies, and I use them from time to time depending on the situation. But I'm really trying to go back to the basics and depend on the Word and use other resources to supplement, rather than the other way around (which can be the easy tendency!).

I'd love to know how you structure your time with the Lord each day. What are you reading? What other resources have you found helpful? Any encouragement for me or others who struggle from time to time?

I'm probably one of the last people in the Christian world to "discover" Ann Voskamp. This month (in)courage sent me the One Thousand Gifts photo gift book and day brightener, and I am absolutely loving them! I've been challenged to develop a habit of thankfulness and just this week committed to stop at the end of each day and give thanks for the moments that I can see God's grace and mercy in my life. I am confident that the Lord is going to teach me quite a bit through this process!

And here's the good news for you: Dayspring is allowing me to give away a set for one of you!

This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on October 31. All entrants must be 18 years old or older. Enter through the Rafflecopter below. Incomplete entries will be deleted. Once a winner is selected, I will contact them via email. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, I will select another winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dayspring sent me the products mentioned in this post in exchange for sharing my thoughts. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 


  1. Not sure if first comment went thru: this would be wonderful doorprize for our Women's Retreat: Our theme is A Tbousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

  2. A Wonderful idea. I keep trying to post a comment but can't

  3. I'll be honest, I struggle to set aside specific time...I'll pray throughout the day of course, but no specific routine of any sort...definitely something I need to work on!

  4. I try to start my day by reading my daily devotion on my cellphone.
    It's not alway easy, but I know that I need that time in the morning to get my day off to a good start.
    I still need to work on it.

  5. I start every morning with prayer and then after things settle doen I read two devotionals and the corresponding bible verses. One is by Sarah young-Jesus Calling. I have been loving how it is guiding me!

  6. I try to keep my Bible open at all times in my living room. Kids keep me busy, but I want them to see that I sit down to "hear" from the Lord through His word. I also read Scripture before I go to bed, so I keep another Bible on my night stand. I'm currently going through Ephesians, and reading through the Psalms.

  7. I love Ann's writing! Thanks for sharing.

  8. I wish I had some words of wisdom, but I'm really struggling with this right now in my life.

  9. I love how Ann's writing simply wakes me up to being grateful!


I love comments! Thanks for letting me know what you think!

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