I need more time with God

I am coming to the realization that I know NOTHING about HOW to have a quiet time with God.

At first I wasn’t going to post about this. I was just going to write privately to two of my Christian girl friends and ask them for help, but then it occurred to me that I started this whole blog thing to track what’s going on in my head each day and well,…this is what is going on in my head today. It’s kind of embarrassing. I mean I grew up in the church for goodness sake! How can I not know how to have a quiet time?

Part of the problem is that I’ve been away from the church for a large chunk of my adulthood. Long enough to forget all the verses I memorized as a child in Christian school. Long enough to even forget some of the order of the books of the Bible! I’m not so far gone as to have forgotten if something is New or Old Testament, but it is rather embarrassing sometimes to be flipping about thinking “I KNOW that blasted book is in here SOMEWHERE!” while everyone else in a room has already located chapter and verse. I think it’s a hold-over from all those “sword drills” in grade school.

As I think back I realize that I have never had a quiet time. I was always involved in Sunday School classes and Bible studies, VBS and summer camps, and Christian school has endless Bible classes (not to mention scripture memorization), but I’ve never just studied God’s word ON MY OWN. By the time I was old enough for this to be a consideration I had drifted out of the church.

I want to study God’s word.

That phrase even kinda freaks me out. How do you STUDY God’s Word?

Is it like a term paper? do I need to get into word origins? Historical context? will there be a test? does it count as “studying God’s word” if I’m being directed by an author (like Beth Moore?) ? or is it supposed to be purely a reading of scriptures?

Would I get more out of maybe meditating on one verse at a time? Or will my mind just check out?

and how on earth does one go about FINDING all these meaningful verses that every other Christian woman seems to know? Oh how I SQUIRM when someone does the “now lets go around the room and everyone share their favorite verse!” thing. It’s almost like a Christian party game, and I can’t stand it! I was always more into Hymns than bible verses anyway. Which in most cases are sound scriptural truths just set to music. So my “out” in those situations was always to use my favorite hymn. Everyone in the room would love the “aww” factor and I could get away with no-one really knowing how little actual scripture I knew.

One other issue is my speed reading habit. I have a horrible time trying to slow down. If I’m reading anything more than a few sentences my unconscious goal becomes “get through it” there is a finish line and I want to get there. I can’t help it. I even do it with my favorite books. I’ll pick up some novel that I haven’t read in years, telling myself “this time I’m going to read EVERY word” and before three pages are done I’m speed reading. It’s strangely involuntary. (this btw is why I love reading stuff out-loud to my hubby.ย  It FORCES me to slow down and read. every. single. word.)

I think I’ve settled on a plan. I think what I’m going to try to do is to take one verse a week and memorize it. Dwell on it and ask God to make it live for me.

But I don’t know how to go about finding good verses to start from. So I’d like suggestions from my blog-friends. Just one each to start with. If you had to give me just ONE verse to start on, which one would it be?

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5 thoughts on “I need more time with God

  1. I find that going to a Christian book store is a good idea. You can find many books to help you with your devotion. One thing you could also start with is to read one chapter of Proverbs a day or a few days or even a week and really try and hear what the Lord is trying to possibly say. The Proverbs are a wonderful place to find praise and instruction from the Lord. When I am between books or something , I will read the Proverbs again. They also have Bibles that have devotions . I will try and find out what they are called.

    Love ya,

    Janna

    But is it really the same thing as studying God’s word? I mean if I’m being lead through someone else’s writings that not quite the same thing as just digging in and letting GOD speak to me. Kind of like the difference between reading a novel and having to connect with it personally versus going to a movie and seeing someone else’s version of what the story looked like to them. ya know?

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  2. I forgot another suggestion: WOMEN OF THE BIBLE :A ONE YEAR DEVOTIONAL STUDY OF WOMEN IN SCRIPTURE. A good place to start and don’t feel like when you are starting this process that you have to try for everyday-make sure you cut yourself some slack.

    Janna

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  3. Try reading aloud. Just recently I read Pride & Prejudice and Persuasion to my husband, and I was amazed at how much I got out of it — I’ve read each of those books several times, yet I still read something I don’t remember ever reading before. If secular (although some pretty dang good ones!) works can be that way, how much more the Bible!

    If it makes you feel any better, I still don’t totally have the books of the Bible down, especially the minor prophets, and I don’t know whether to go forwards or backward in most of Paul’s writings (is Galatians before or after Ephesians? or Colossians?) — and I don’t have the excuse of having drifted away! I went to a Christian school for all 12 years, went to church all my life, and was converted at the age of 20.

    As far as suggestions of Bible verses and how to study — I think that what might be best for me may not necessarily be the best for you, because of differences in personality, taste, etc. Some people do better with reading one book, chapter, or section of the Bible over and over and over; while others do better reading things all at once to get the context. And both approaches fit certain circumstances; and there are undoubtedly other approaches that are just as beneficial.

    My husband memorized the book of Hebrews several years ago when he was first regenerated, and he did it by reading it over and over, and really meditating on it verse by verse, and making the verse *mean something* to him.

    My favorite chapter in the Bible is Isaiah 54, and I think it’s sad that it’s so neglected (at least, I’ve heard it spoken on once or twice in my life, to the best of my memory). It’s just such a beautiful picture of the Church, the Bride of Christ, coming on the heels of His suffering. The contrast is sharp, and almost breathless. Right after “He was wounded for our transgressions…” is “Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear.” Why? Because the “barren” Gentiles were now going to be made fruitful because of Christ’s sufferings and wounds.

    But my favorite verse, or rather, couple of verses, is what the song Great is Thy Faithfulness is built on — in Lamentations, of all places, I think 3:24-25. There in the middle of that dark book is this bright shining promise — “His compassions are new every morning. Great is Thy faithfulness.”

    One possibility would be that since you like hymns, is to find verses that your favorite hymns are based on (some hymnals even have Scripture references as one of the indices). And how to *find* the Scripture verses to start with, would be to read the Bible, but I understand how easy it is to just read fast and/or skim over the words without really letting them sink in. You could do a combination, though — read through a book or chapter as just part of “Scripture reading” and pick out a verse or section to “study” — maybe make a note of all the verses that really jumped out at you.

    Ok, waxing too verbose now, so I’ll sign off now. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. If you ever have the opportunity to take a Beth Moore bible study DO IT! She is phenomenal. She teaches a huge SS class in Houston TX. Some very nice things. You can get the books at any Christian Book Store — but they go better with the tapes.

    Kay Arthur has some nice bible study books — most of them are topical — things like the names of God, for instance. In the Old Testament, God would always identify himself by “a character” name “Jehovah-jirah” — the God Who Provides (for his people).

    Get a good set of commentaries. I have the Layman’s Parallel Commentary. It’s got 3 of the classic commentaries in it — Jameson, Faucett & Brown, Adam Clarke (I think), and I forget the 3rd one — remind me and I’ll look it up when I get home. Get you a Strongs Exhaustive Concordance — it lists all the words and the greek/latin that they were translated from — so you can compare meanings. Some people like to use several different translations, and for folks like that, the parallel bible is a good choice. I happen to be partial to the King James myself. I love the language. ๐Ÿ™‚ (like you might not have been able to have guessed that!)

    How to study? You could just start at the beginning and read a chapter or a few chapters every day. Memorization is a Good Thing. God can’t call scripture to mind that you don’t know. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Favorites? Ask a simple question, why don’t you!

    Books? Isaiah and Hebrews. I also have a special fondness for the gospel of John. In the Old Testament, when Moses asks God “Whom shall I tell them has sent me?” and God replies “Tell them I AM has sent you.” What we translate into Jehovah (YHWH) is the Hebrew Yahweh — it is also translated as “the same today, yesterday and forever” because depending on which vowels you use, you either get “I am,” “I was,” or “I will be.” Sorry, I digress — but in the book of John, you get the “I am’s” of Jesus. “I am” the bread of life; “I am” the door, etc.

    Chapters? 1st Corinthians 15. I don’t know if I have a favorite OT chapter, per se. I’ll have to think about that one.

    Verses? Jeremiah (IIRC 13:32) “I know the plans that I have for you, not of evil, but for good” (or something like that. and 1 Corinthians 15:10 “I am what I am by the grace of God — and His Grace was not given in vain.”

    One final note? Don’t be afraid to write in your Bible. Make notes — underline meaningful passages.

    Tell Kathy that it’s General Electric Power Company (Galatians, Ephesians, Phillipians, Colassians). Mnemonics — I love ’em!

    Funny you should mention Beth Moore. My hubby and I are currently doing the Beth Moore study about the Patriarchs. We love it, but she also keeps mentioning how we each need to spend time ALONE with God.

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  5. dear friend!

    if you want to spend some time with god, it means you are a good-natured person and you are trying to find some inner peace and direction for good and peaceful life. you better read and keep reading bible. it is really good but the holy book of quran would also help you gain what you want. may allah show all of us the right path.

    take care and regards.

    I do not think that I share your beliefs, but I also try not to censor anyone who is being polite and kind. Thank you for your prayers and may God bless us all.

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