So, funny story. I went to bed last night entirely exhausted. I was nearly asleep when I remembered I hadn’t set my morning alarm. I had been planning all day to get up early – I needed some quiet to myself to read and get some coffee in me before the little ones woke up and the day took off running. But I was too tired to roll over, look at my phone (and wake my brain back up again) to set the alarm. So I fell asleep quietly begging God to please just wake me up in the morning.
I wanted to get up at 6:00 am. God woke me up at 5:45 am – 15 minutes earlier than I had wanted to get up. And what did I do? Well, what any other person does in this day and age: I lay in bed and scrolled through social media for 15 minutes. It wasn’t until I was downstairs taking those first sips of coffee, Bible open in front of me, that I realized: I could already be 15 minutes deep into my quiet time right now.
It’s funny how we (me included) always say that there’s not enough time in the day. But we spend what little free time we have, scrolling it away. Time is quite possibly the most common excuse I hear when I talk to people about their quiet times. It’s not that they don’t want to read, but there just isn’t enough time in the day. The to-do list is demanding attention. The kids wake up early. If I don’t get to the gym first thing, I won’t go at all. The dishes need to be done. The laundry needs to be folded. Social media needs to be checked. (And scrolled. And scrolled. And scrolled some more.)
I have an entire section in my book, Mercy Like Morning, devoted to the five biggest obstacles to a habitual quiet time, the first of which is time. Each is paired with a handful of verses that are turned into Scripture-prayers to overcome those obstacles. Today, I want to give you a quiet time tip to help ease the “I don’t have time for this” anxiety. Because, while an hour-long quiet time is an incredible thing, it’s also not realistic for most people to allot for every single day.
Maybe you’re just getting started in creating a habitual morning quiet time routine. Or maybe you need to jump-start some new life into a stagnant one. Regardless of your circumstance, this 15-minute breakdown that I found tucked away in an article by Ron Edmonson makes what could otherwise be a daunting chore more manageable. Exciting, even.
the 15-minute morning
Read your Bible. You can select a book on your own or use a reading plan to guide your time (like the plan tucked into Chapter Seven of Mercy Like Morning) . Whichever you choose, set a timer, and just read Scripture for six minutes.
Talk to God. This can be audible if you’re more comfortable praying out loud. Or, if you’re more comfortable writing your prayers to keep your mind focused like me, write in a prayer journal. Talk to God about what you just read, your concerns for the day ahead, or just thanking Him for His goodness in your life.
Sit in silence. Being still in the presence of God is a lost art. Be intentional to ignore the pull to pick up your phone, turn off your brain that will begin to wander, and simply quietly meditate on God in for 120 seconds. (Do you want to learn more about what the phrase “be still” really means in the Bible? Head on over to this post.)
Journal your thoughts. Record what you think God might be saying to you and slowly, over time, you will learn how to recognize the voice of God in your life. You’ll see what is confirmed through the fulfillment of things you felt He whispered. You’ll see when things are repeated. And you’ll recognize when He’s saying no to something.
That’s it! Try it for a week. Put it in your calendar as a daily reminder, and see what happens. It could be just the quiet time kickstarter you’ve been needing.