Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

When You Need to Wake Up a Tired Quiet Time

39 Comments

If your devotional life sometimes feels like Dullsville, try these 6 ideas to wake things up.Does your devotional time ever feel like Dullsville? You sit down to read your Bible, and your eyes glaze over. You pray and get no response. You wonder if there’s a wall between you and God.

You’re not alone. It happens to me all the time.

I sit down to spend time with God, but I’m too tired or too rushed or too distracted. I open that Bible of mine, but it feels like going through the motions.  I read Romans 8 and wonder how on earth I’m going to coach my daughter through SAT math or what I’m going to make for dinner since the fridge is empty.

So many things can sabotage our time with God: exhaustion, busyness, or discouragement. All too often it becomes one more thing to do because we’re good church girls.

We forget that whole point of having a quiet time is relationship.

Relationship with God.

God’s the only one who can renew our hearts and bring us closer to Himself. But sometimes small changes in the way we spend time with Him help us to sense God’s presence in new ways.

6 Ideas for Waking up Tired Quiet Times

1. Focus on Fellowship

1 Corinthians 1 9 fellowship scripture

It might help to remember that God has called us into fellowship. Our quiet time is a chance to respond to His invitation, to get to know God better and to tell Him what’s on our minds. Pray that God would draw you into deeper fellowship through the time you spend with Him.

2. Remember Repentance

Repentance is a word we don’t like so much, but it’s a key to fellowship with God. Occasionally setting aside special time to repent can renew our spirits. Read Psalm 32, and ask God to examine your heart.  Confess whatever sin or failure He brings to mind. Don’t forget the best part: receive His forgiveness and enjoy the closeness that results in your relationship.

3. Tell God What’s Bothering You

When you feel worried or discouraged, it’s hard to focus on reading scripture. Try jotting down everything that’s bothering you.  Bring each item on the list to God and pray about it. You’ll feel more peaceful and focused afterwards.

4. Speak His Love Language

Surely worship is God’s love language. Read through some Psalms or sing a few songs to Him. Play an instrument or turn on some worship music. Nothing delights God more than to hear you say you love Him.

5. Receive His love.

When I’m worn down spiritually or emotionally, I find refreshment in returning to the simple truth that God loves me. I turn to passages like 1 John 4:7-16.  Ask God to pour His love into your heart, and sit quietly to receive it.

6. Get Creative

Draw a picture, write a poem, or song in response to God and His Word. Instead of your regular Bible reading program, try reading a favorite passage every day for a week, and see what God shows you. Check out these 10 Tips to Fresh Encounters with God’s Word.

 

Does your devotional life ever feel like Dullsville. You're not alone. Try these 6 ideas to wake things up.

Just like opening windows lets fresh air into our homes, trying new approaches to God in our quiet times can revitalize our relationship with Him.

Now it’s your turn: Which of these ideas appeal to you most? When God seems far away, what helps you to connect with Him?

Linking up with Holly Barrett’s #TestimonyTuesdayKelly Balarie’s #RaRalinkup,  Holley Gerth’s Coffee for your Heart, and Arabah Joy’s Grace and Truth.  Check out these communities for more encouragement.

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Photo Credit: Melika

 

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Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

39 thoughts on “When You Need to Wake Up a Tired Quiet Time

  1. Such great ideas here to keep connected! Variety has been the key for me. I’ve found that by using different parts of my brain and different senses, I stay connected better and more engaged. That, and just holding myself accountable to keep showing up and entering the conversation. It’s like anything in life- some days are more inspired than others, but you don’t give up on the days it feels hard.

  2. I think #6 is my favorite. Sometimes just doodling around a verse helps me focus on it long enough for fresh inspiration to fill my heart . Love these great ideas!

  3. This is so honest, Betsy. It’s comforting to know others have dry times too. My biggest problem in distractions – my mind wanders. I’m going to try turning them in to prayers as I would talk to a friend and ask for His blessing and guidance. I’m really loving your insights.

  4. Love these ideas, Betsy! I’m going to give some of them a try. I appreciate your emphasis on repentance and on asking God to show His love. I know that when I’ve prayed for some encouragement from Him in the past, He’s always been faithful to respond. Hope you are having a great week!

    • Sometimes repentance has been key for me in getting over discouragement, Holly. I forget it too easily! May the Lord encourage us both in our walks with Him. Grace to you this Tuesday!

  5. I love that you have affirmed “outside the box” kind of relating to God. Sometimes just the discipline of putting a poem together forces my brain to ponder His greatness in ways that I would not have otherwise, but I would never have thought of this as “counting” for an actual quiet time. Funny how we can be so black and white. By the way, the sunflowers in your photos are stunning!

  6. Great ideas and this is an area I have been working on personally. I have been introducing worship as part of my morning routine. Turning on a song or two really centers me. My favorite song right now is “Morning Song” by Stephanie Gretzinger. So good. I also have dabbled in some Bible journaling which lets me express myself in a way that is so different when I am reading God’s word. Thanks for this timely post.

    • I have times too, Mary, when I start my quiet time with music. During a difficult time recently I listed to the song “Good Good Father” by Housefires EVERY DAY. (and it’s like a 9 minute song repeating the same 20 words!) 🙂 Worshipful.

  7. Goodness Betsy, they ALL resonate with me today! I would say especially number one. I often forget my time with God is fellowship. When I enter into fellowship with Him, I am uplifted in so many ways! Great post today my friend:)

  8. Great tips, Betsy. Speaking God’s love language – LOVE. Sometimes when I just don’t have the words to pray or the season is particularly difficult it feels like a relief to just choose someone else’s words and join my heart with them in worship. And because God knows our hearts and every thought before we even speak it, I know He receives that offering with great attention and delight. Thanks for the encouragement to keep on rather than give up! Blessings!

  9. Hi Betsy! You had me literally laughing out loud at your use of the word ‘Dullsville’! I love it!!
    There’s no question that we are the ones who get bored in our prayer, I don’t think God ever does. But it’s so important to stay in prayer, so it’s important to stay engaged and enthused. I like your list, easy to follow, and very common sense too. May God continue to keep us happy to be in conversation with him, loving and praising Him!
    Blessings,
    Ceil

  10. Betsy,
    Oh, I can relate…I’ve had those times and I probably will again because it is part of life here…Your suggestions are wonderful and I’ve tried all of them at various times…the key to remember is that it is ultimately, like you said, about relationship and there is a sweetness to just being with God and just be because God is enough 🙂 Great word image with “Dullsville”

    • Yes, Dullsville can be a part of life everyone. I like what Kathryn above said, “Sometimes just showing up is the most important thing.” Sooner or later, God renews our hearts!

  11. Betsy, what a blessing you’ve poured over my head this morning. Yes, I’ve fallen into this trap often and I love how candid and straightforward you are in this post. It’s about the relationship, not an item to check off our to-do list. Love you and your heart, friend. Hope you have a beautiful Tuesday afternoon.

  12. Worship is His love language! That is probably one of the greatest things I’ve ever heard! I’ve been feeling this way also. I try to get up early before the rest of the family to have my quiet time and it’s been a battle to keep my eyes open.

    • Oh Megan, I understand that battle to keep your eyes open! I have to have coffee with my quiet time! And I pretty much have to go on a morning walk to do any kind of praying at all. Sitting on my couch, my mind goes off to La La Land. Blessings to you!

  13. Really great ideas, and yes, I feel the same way in the mornings. I love the creative ideas you offer with drawing pictures, writing poems, etc. No two quiet times are alike.

  14. Great ideas! Just what I needed today….coming over from Coffee From Your Heart (Link-up)
    Sarah (www.sarahefrazer.com

  15. I love the focus on the beauty of this sacred relationship instead of checking devotions off on our endless to-do lists.

    Beautiful, Betsy …

  16. I really struggle with quiet time. I know this is a loud season with two young children and I think my expectations were a little high at the beginning. I woke up at 5:30 only to fall asleep with Bible in hand. My ability to spend an hour reading for praying pre-family is now shrunk down to 15-minute intervals. I sneak away when my youngest is napping and that’s working at the moment. Needs change but God is the same, thankfully. I know that my time with Him will look different at all stages of life and take comfort knowing that my life and praise will smell just as sweet. You’ve snapped me back in to focus, Betsy. Thank you! It’s easy to feel guilty over what we think quiet time “should” be instead of allowing God to just love and speak over us.

    • Oh yes, Meg. It’s easy to feel guilty about quiet time, and that’s the LAST thing we need. I think 15 minute intervals is amazing for a mother of littles. I think that’s when we need to think devotional LIFE rather than devitional TIME and focus on living out fellowship with God all day, even just lifting up a prayer while making lunch. 15 minutes? Sounds like a great quiet time for a young mom! Praying for you now!

  17. I have a gratitude journal and a prayer/processing journal. The second one is where I write out responses to what I’m reading as well as record my prayers. I crave quiet, so I almost never have music or sing or anything like that ;)–I save that for solo car drives!

  18. Worship music ~ that’s probably my #1 for drawing close. Betsy, this is such a good post. You’re so real and relatable, and these are excellent tips. I’m going to link this one on my fb page. Stay tuned as to whether it’ll allow me to tag you or not. My professional page is a bit finicky about that. (Probably operator error!) Take care!

  19. I have definitely experienced times of dull devotions, and I really appreciate this list. I especially love the reminder that it isn’t about getting something on the to-do list done but that it’s a relationship. If we take to God the fact that we are struggling with staying focused or finding meaning, and ask Him for help, He is willing to help us! He doesn’t just want us to figure it out on our own.

    I will definitely be keeping these tips in mind. I might try taking some of your suggestions for getting creative… That’s so different from anything I have done before, but that’s the idea, right? : ) I think it might add a lot, and I’m kind of excited. Thanks again!

    • I’m praying for you now that adding a bit of creativity will help you connect with God in different ways! We’ve all had dry spells when devotions seem dull! God wants to draw us near! Hope you have a great weekend!

  20. These are great tips! I winced when I saw repentance, but it sure is necessary at times. My favorite is to sing which sometimes happens spontaneously 🙂

    • Yes, I like singing too! This very morning I started out with a little singing! Helps me connect to God. I find repentance freeing, and often it turns me around and gets me on the right track. But I know what you mean about wincing!

  21. Betsy! I absolutely love this post! The 6 ideas are fantastic too. I just returned from a conference and I realized that I forgot to pack my daily reading bible. I grabbed the bible from the drawer in the hotel room and began reading the Psalms at 5am. It was an amazing time with God! With any relationship there may be difficult times. the best thing about god is that He never leaves,He is always there. It is up to us as believers to seek , worship, and trust Him. Thank you so much for sharing these ideas. they have definitely been inspiring to me today. May God bless you and yours and have a wonderful weekend!

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