One of the most powerful tools I have in recovery is my daily quiet time with God. During these moments of worship, my body grows calmer, and my mind gets clearer. Every time I come out of a session, I feel stronger and better equipped to handle the day. However, even though I treasure quiet time these days, it wasn’t always this way.
In the beginning, regular quiet time for me was just a new habit to form because I was “supposed” to do it. I obeyed the call, but I wasn’t consistent. Without any guidance, I would get distracted and off track. I would then feel guilty afterwards for letting God down, and for being a failure at something so important.
Finally, I confessed my frustrations to a friend. To my surprise, she shared her own struggle to establish a good quiet time routine. Looks like I wasn’t the only one who had trouble in the beginning. Going into it, I still had a few questions on my mind. Here was what I learned along the way.
1. How much quiet time is enough?
Actually, the better question is, “How much time is right for me?” I looked at my busy daily schedule and wondered how I'd ever fit any quiet time in at all. But I was looking at it all backwards. Rather than just trying to fit God into my day, I needed to deliberately plan when I'd meet with Him.
I asked other people for advice and got varied answers. Some chose to set aside a half hour each day, and others went for two hours. One person liked meeting with God in the morning, while another prefered the moments right before bed. It was freeing to find out I could decide what worked best for me (which often ended up being the first 30 minutes of my morning).
2. What am I supposed to do during my quiet time?
During my first few quiet times, my worries about doing things the right way kept me too distracted to worship. Luckily I learned that quiet time is not a one-size-fits-all thing, but can be as unique as each of us is. God can reach me, and I can worship Him, through all sorts of activities. Here are some of my favorite elements I’ve added in along the way:
- Bible or devotional reading: I zero in on one or two verses, taking my time.
- Bible study: I examine God’s Word for meaning and application.
- Prayer: I give thanks, lift up needs and share my heart.
- Christian songs: I listen (and sing along) to music that truly worships God.
- Writing: I jot down thoughts, questions, and ideas God reveals.
*Tip: Choose just one or two activities to focus on for each session.
3. How does quiet time help me in my recovery?
God had a plan for me, which included finding freedom from addictions and having a hopeful future. But reaching that dream required me to get rid of the faulty thoughts and attitudes I still held.
Pouring out my heart to God about all sorts of old hurts and wrestling with Him as He corrected me led to new insights about my Lord's love and care for me. In turn, my desire to seek Him and to trust in Him grew stronger.
Regular time with God has had a major impact on my mindset—I couldn’t have made progress in recovery without it. The further I walk in my journey, the more I see how He's worked in my life. I may still some days, but now I can be sure that I'm never alone.