But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
One of the top New Year’s resolutions on every Christian’s list is to spend more time with God. We want to improve the quantity or the quality of our devotional time—or both!
I know it’s one of my top resolutions every year… and it will be until I die. We can never spend too much time with God, or focus on Him too closely! But we can (and should) feel satisfied after our devotional time with Him. We should feel full of His peace and presence, and ready to tackle what’s next.
Of course, our enemy wants to pull us away from any close time with God. He throws anything he can in our way… especially those whirling negative thoughts that I call Spiritual Clutter. Unfortunately for him, we can use a little organization to clear out the mess in our heads and make room for God’s peace.
So, here are six ways you can organize your quiet time space and clear out the spiritual clutter there:
- Grab the essentials: Bring your Bible, devotional books, journal, prayer notebook, pens, and anything else that you use (or wish you had handy) during your devotional time. If you like to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea during your devotions, stash a coaster there. Get everything together so you won’t have to get up to get something… and lose your focus.
- Make it comfy: You don’t want silent messages from an uncomfortable body distracting your spirit. Take a moment to sit in your quiet time space and think about how you feel. Are you frequently cold there? Grab a blanket. Hot? Plug in a fan. Do you need a pillow to support your back? Is there an easy way to balance your things and write? (If you’re writing on your lap, you might want to invest in a lapboard.) Make this the place where your body can relax as much as your spirit.
- Ditch the phone: Really, seriously, decide to make this a no-phone zone. Even if you love the ease of looking up scriptures with your app, I’d like to challenge you to get a paper copy of the Bible and use it for a week. Feel the actual weight of the Word of God. Get familiar with it as you flip through to find passages. Why? Because it won’t beep or ding when you have a call, voicemail, email, text, or social media alert. Those sounds signify that people are trying to communicate with you while you’re trying to communicate with God. Don’t let them. Decide where your phone will live during your quiet time and put a charger there—just as long as it’s in another room.
- Add a thought pad: Now that you’ve taken care of outside distractions, Satan will try to distract you from the inside. Perhaps he’ll send a great new idea, or something that you’ve got to remember to do, or… no matter what it is, part of your brain will try to hold onto it while you study. Get a simple notepad and pen for your quiet space, their only job being to catch these thoughts. When you’re distracted, make a note and then forget about it. At the end of your quiet time, tear off the page and take it with you.
- Make a peace jar: Sometimes we bring a lot of spiritual clutter with us to our quiet time, worries and thoughts running circles in our heads. If that’s you, take a moment to calm and center yourself with a peace jar. (You can read more about this in Your Free Guide to a Vibrant Family Faith. Please grab a copy—I have so many great quiet-time ideas for you!)
- Try a timer: Sometimes when I try to pray, there’s a voice speaking up in my head saying, “What time is it? You have to do the next thing, and the next…” Does this ring a bell for you? If so, try a timer. Set a timer for however long you’d like to pray, then really relax and talk to God. I’ve found that when I set a timer, I can really go deeper with Him. I can fully relax and not worry about drifting off a bit. I know it will worry about the time for me.
In fact, all of these things can take your worries, discomforts, and distractions and clear them right out! Then you can relax and focus on your peaceful time with God with a clutter-free spirit.
For many more ways to enjoy intentional quiet times with God, check out Your Free Guide to a Vibrant Family Faith! Not only will you find faith-filled ideas to enjoy with your kids and grandkids, you’ll find great ideas just for you.
And if you’d like more ways to organize your home with Jesus, check out my second book, Building Your House.
If you enjoyed this article, please share it! Here’s a Pin-Friendly Image:
And if you have more ideas along these lines, I’d love to hear them! Comment here, or join the conversation on Facebook.
Join the Conversation on Facebook!