Regardless of what you call time with God, such time is a core spiritual discipline in abiding with God.
Here are a few common terms:
MORNING WATCH. This name conjures up the image of a watchman at his post early in the morning. All is still. No one stirs. He is alone with his thoughts and his God. Watchful and alert, he waits for the sun to rise. “My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning” (Psalm 130:6 ESV).
DEVOTIONS. Very simply, the term “devotions” speaks of our desire to live a life devoted to God. We set aside a portion of each day as an act of devotion. We reserve this time as holy, set apart for one thing: meeting with God.
APPOINTMENT WITH GOD. Clearly, this indicates an arrangement to meet God at a particular time and place. It is a date, a rendezvous.
QUIET TIME. “Quiet” refers primarily to our heart’s gaze rather than our physical setting. The idea is to silence our compulsive inner restlessness and come into God’s presence. Although the ideal setting for a quiet time might be a hushed, serene spot, that isn’t always possible. Quiet times are not always quiet. You can keep your date with God with children playing nearby; at other times, amid the buzz at a fast food restaurant, or on an airplane at 35,000 feet. The “quiet” in quiet time doesn’t require physical silence, but there is no way to get around the “time” part. We must make time for God.
A Practical Plan the Four Rs
Read: Choose a book of the Bible and read a portion each day. Read slowly and thoughtfully.
Report: Make notes about what you read, engage yourself with what God has written to you.
Reflect: What difference does this Scripture make for you today? How might you apply any commands or instructions?
Respond: Talk to God. Let your reflection inspire your prayer.
Some content taken from Feeding Your Soul: A Quiet Time Handbook by Jean Fleming. Copyright © 1999. Used by permission of NavPress, represented by Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. For purchases please visit www.navpress.com.