God really doesn’t care when you have quiet times with Him. It doesn’t matter if it’s early in the morning, over lunch, or at the end of the day. After all, what is time to an omnipresent God? God doesn’t care about when you have quiet times; He just cares about how you have them.
Simply put: The best time for quiet times is anytime and all the time, so long as they exist. The essence of quiet times can be captured in a five-minute break in your morning in which you find application for a Bible verse you recently read. Or, quiet times can be a night spent on your knees, meditating on God’s promises. Either way, effective quiet times are essentially a fast from your life’s routine in order to seek God’s insight in everything you do. The more often these times occur throughout the day, the better.
Quiet times are fundamental to our growth as Christians. Psalm 1:2 describes the “blessed man” who meditates on the principles of God day and night. This servant grows to be a fruitful tree, whose leaves never wither. A servant of God refuses to limit herself to an exclusive scheduled time to meet God, but rather constantly and consistently seeks Him and His wisdom.
That said, exclusive, scheduled quiet times are great ways to discipline one’s self to meet God. Christianity requires an incredible amount of discipline. Paul instructs his readers to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12). This power-packed verse contains many profound implications, one of which is the fact we must humbly seek our Father, and everything about Him, with all our strength. Regular quiet times will invariably excite us as we learn more and more about our mysterious, yet approachable, God.
In the 1930s, a missionary to the Islamic Moro people of the Philippines attempted an experiment. Frank Laubach set out to fill “every minute full of the thought of God.” He did this by literally attempting to think about God, His promises, will or plans, at least once per minute—a “quiet time” every 60 seconds or so. Many people thought he was attempting to do the impossible. Others probably thought he was nuts. Laubach’s journal (a copy can be found at www.durrance.com/laubach.htm) is an exciting read. He details his struggles to perfect a near impossible level of discipline and quiet times. Throughout the two years covered in his journal, Laubach discovers he loves life when lived in complete openness, humility and devotion to Christ. He describes his every thought and action as reorganized into a “mystical” experience with Jesus.
The mystical element of Christianity holds much importance. In too many Christian circles, mysticism has the reputation of a girl who wears skimpy clothes to a funeral: Christians avoid the concept for fear associating with evil “new age” ideals. But in actuality, Christianity is a very mystical religion, when that mysticism stems from prayer, fasting and verbatim reading/application of God’s word. Quiet times reveal a holy “mystical” element to otherwise ordinary lives because our supernatural God speaks to us when we seek Him.
As to when these experiences with God may transpire, Laubach writes, “This hour can be heaven! Any hour for anybody can be as rich as God.” He found that the kingdom of God should be lived out now, in the present tense, not in some distant by and by. Christians have the joy, privilege, and responsibility of living their lives with God’s immediate power because of the relationship we have with the Father. No other religion can offer such an intimate, instant connection between God and his followers.
You may need to redefine your idea of “quiet times” to include any regular and random moment(s) spent nurturing your relationship with God. The more time you spend getting to know Christ, the more you will treasure your relationship with Him. Quiet times refresh not only your relationship with God, but also your attitude toward life in general. It is amazing what quiet times can do to a busy, rotten day.