Described below is how we do our quiet time. We recommend these steps to you. You can adapt them as you see fit or follow them as is.
- Song: We start our time with God with one or two short songs either using a hymnbook or CD player. See Psalm 100 NIV
- Pray: We offer a short opening with prayer. In it, we ask God to help us have a good time with him and teach us his word. We want him to speak to us.
- Silence: Be still, and know that I am God. We remain silent for about 45 seconds to one minute. We simply calm down as we enter his presence.
- Read Meditatively: We select a brief passage of scripture, say 2 lines or about 20 words or less. We identify this portion of scripture during our regular daily Bible reading time or during other reading. Quiet time is not the time to read large portions but the time to meditate and a small portion and go deep with God, not wide. It is not also an in-depth bible study time. Read for quality not quantity.
Read slowly, go over the same brief portion several times (seven times is a good start), and read aloud to increase understanding and concentration by hearing it as well as seeing it. Most bible books were originally written to be read aloud, usually in public worship (Nehemiah 8; Luke 4:16-20; 1 Timothy 4:13; Revelation 1:3). Besides, faith comes by hearing. Read in context of the book and the entire bible – don’t skip around, start one book and read it to the end (systematically). This may take weeks or even months to meditate through one book at this pace but it is worth it.
If you are new to meditation, it is advisable to read the same portion in at least one or two different contemporary versions or paraphrases. Be careful not to convert this reading into an in-depth bible study. Seeing that brief section that you selected in your preferred version and in different translations helps make the passage easier to understand. Then close the other versions and return to your preferred version for the rest of your reading and meditation. Some people just use one preferred version during their quiet time and that is acceptable too. Write the same brief portion of scripture on a sheet of paper to increase memory.
- Memorize: Memorize the scripture as you read over and over, focused on nothing but the word.
- Meditate: Use the MEDITATE acrostic.
- Prayer: Meditation often leads to prayer. George Muller experienced this. It has been our experience as well. This is your ‘real’ prayer time: use the acrostic ACTS (Adore, Confess, Thanksgiving, Supplicate) to guide you through your prayer. Meditating is God speaking to you through his word. Prayer is your time to respond to God and speak to him. As you get into the intercessory part of Prayer, be silent for a little bit and ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray about the things that are on Jesus’ heart. Jesus is our chief intercessor and is interceding for the world and us all the time. The most effective way to pray is to pray the things that are on Jesus’ heart. How do you know that? By faith! After a brief moment of silence, intercede or pray about anything that comes to your mind or any picture or image that you see if it means anything.
- Practice: Start applying what God is speaking to you in his word. Use the PRECEPTS acrostic. Repent if reminded of any sin, yield or submit to the word of God so that it can change you, declare promises if there are any (and you meet requirements), this is a continuation of Prayer.
- Be still, quiet, and listen: God speaks through our thoughts. You have prayed and talked, let God have the final word if he wants to by bringing some thoughts into your mind. You are still in his presence, remember that your quiet time is a time you meet with God in reverence, so by faith, you believe that God is there meeting with you, his child. So stop and listen. Don’t get mystical here or expect to see lights or anything. It’s God’s choice to talk to you. Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn’t. Don’t force it.
- Journal: A short pencil is better than a long memory! People remember less than 20% of what they learn after only two days! Journaling goes far beyond writing down the revelations you get from your time with God. It distills a person’s thoughts, refines them like gold, straightens any rough spots, and removes any rust to make your thoughts clear. You must write down the vision and to make it plain so that a person who reads it might run with it. Write down anything God reveals to you during your meditation. You can write them anytime they are given. If given during prayer, wait and write after prayer. Physicians in hospitals journal about every patient that they see. They do their journaling using a formula called a SOAP note. A SOAP note is written on every patient and this helps the physician keep record of the progress of the patient he is taking care of. This record keeping also helps provide accurate information to other doctors who may be brought on to see the same patient
Journaling during a quiet time can be done with the same acronym. Here the SOAP stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer.
 SOAP in medicine stands for Subjective, Objective, Assessment, and Plan. Notice that both subjective and objective are types of observation. This journaling acronym in medicine is very similar to the plan that we use. And doctors have used this system for years to organize and keep vital information that saves the lives of millions of people, so it works!