by Javetta Allen
You rise early in the morning, set up a pristine space at a cute little wooden table,
throw in your favorite cup of tea or coffee, your favorite bible with the flawless,
crispy pages, and VOILA! You are now ready to meet with the Lord.
This is the Holy Grail combo deal of spiritual disciplines that a person can get in one
sitting. It usually involves Bible reading, reflection, prayer, journaling, solitude,
and—you guessed it—quiet. We are taught that it’s best to do it first thing in the
morning before you get your day started because then and only then will you be
ready to face the world.
Sounds incredible, doesn’t it? But let’s be honest: most of us are not meeting with
the Lord like this everyday.
The truth of the matter is that does not work for me.
I am a single mother who has to wake up at 5am to get our day started and leave the
house by 6am. I tried many times to get up before the 5 o’clock hour to meet my
strongly-preferred- morning-quiet- time requirement with the Lord, only to fail by
leaving Him there alone with all the trimmings while I slept between the pages of
His inspired writings.
For years the cycle would go like this: try the early morning method. Fail at it. Feel
deep guilt. Stop doing it all together. Feel too embarrassed to face the Lord. Hear a
message about the importance of daily quiet time. Try again. Fail again. Repeat.
But then one day I’d had enough. I was desperate for God, and I was tired of dodging
Him because I couldn’t “do it right.” I had to get real with myself and completely
reimagine what it meant for me to spend time with the Lord daily.
Here is what I discovered:
Daily time with the Lord doesn’t actually have to be quiet.
It can be a loud. I can read the scriptures aloud or listen to them on my audio bible. I
can have an encouraging conversation with a friend about biblical truth. I can share
in a nighttime bible lesson with my son and wonder at God’s goodness from a child’s
perspective (which happens to be my personal favorite). It’s not always about
sitting in solitude waiting for some deep revelation to jump off the pages. What
matters most is that I am engaging with His truth and that my heart is being stirred
in awesome wonder of HIM.
Daily time with the Lord does not actually have to happen in the morning.
I am not a morning person, and I suffer from a severe case of morning brain fog. I
can barely put together a matching outfit let along try to ingest some deep spiritual
truths from scripture. I have just enough mental acuity to start a pot of coffee, get
dressed, and corral a cranky first grader out of the door. I am my best self after
10am. So, any meaningful interaction with the Lord where I am actually coherent
enough to appreciate and remember has to happen sometime after that.
Daily time with the Lord can include creative, non-traditional structure and
I have ADHD, and I’m a creative (those are synonyms, right?). Most of the time my
mind is racing and fighting against the quiet of the space around me. It wants no
parts of sitting down and studying written words on the page no matter how alive
they may be (Hebrews 4:12). When I can’t quiet my mind, I know it’s time to get
creative. I grab my wide-margined, journaling bible and tap into the gifts of color,
imagery, poetry, and prose to help me connect with God’s word. I interact with it. It
comes alive. And sometimes I am so overwhelmed by a truth that only a song will
do, so I sing and allow my soul to rejoice in the One who made me.
So, here’s the deal…
Yes, as believers we must find time to devote to the traditional disciplines such as
praying, reading and studying God’s Word regularly, reflecting on its truth, and
allowing that truth to transform your mind and heart in solitude and quiet spaces.
The Bible supports that, and I agree with these things wholeheartedly. However,
there is no biblical mandate of what this should look like in our daily lives, and
there’s nowhere that says it has to happen every single day or in the morning as one
Use your creative element to connect to our creative God. Connect with Him in ways
that naturally flow from the heart—in verse, song, visual art, and words. Get with
Him at the time of day that your heart and mind are most attentive to what He has to
say. It doesn’t have to look the same everyday. All that matters is that you are
experiencing Him in ways that refresh your soul and keep you in constant
fellowship with Him.
So, what are some of the ways you all practice your “quiet time” with the Lord?
Javetta Allen is a freelance ghostwriter, writing coach, blogger, unapologetic grace addict, Black Girl Extraordinaire, and education revolutionist who is dedicating to tearing down the walls that defer our dreams. She mingles on Instagram and Twitter as @writeful_place.