The need for a regular quiet time for personal prayer and feeding on His Word…
In a 2013 poll of its readers, Leadership Journal (a publication for vocational Christian workers) reported that 91% of the respondents admitted to some form of burnout in ministry, and 18% said they were “fried to a crisp right now.”
For today’s Mars Hill staff devotional, we read and discussed the following thoughts concerning our need to have a regular quiet time for personal prayer and feeding on God’s Word – a daily time to be refreshed and nourished by the Living Water and the Bread of Life.
“In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.” – Mark 1:35
“Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” – Luke 5:16
In the book “Directions,” James Hamilton writes:
Before refrigerators, people used icehouses to preserve their food. Icehouses had thick walls, no windows, and a tightly fitted door. In winter, when streams and lakes were frozen into silver-gray pathways, large blocks of ice were cut, hauled to the icehouses, and covered with golden sawdust. Often the ice would last well into the summer. One man lost a valuable watch in this sawdust while working in an icehouse. He searched diligently for it carefully raking through the sawdust, but didn’t find it. His fellow workers also looked, but their efforts, too, proved futile.
A small boy who heard about the fruitless search slipped into the icehouse during the noon hour and soon emerged with the watch. Amazed, the men asked him how he found it. The boy replied, “I closed the door, laid down in the sawdust, and kept very still. Soon I heard the watch ticking.”
Beloved, often the question is not whether God is speaking but whether we are being still enough, and quiet enough, to hear what He has to say to us. Be still and get God’s direction for your life!
“Be still, and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10 (ESV)
“In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.” – Psalm 5:3 . . . ” Your ears will hear a word behind you, this is the way; walk in it.” – Isaiah 30:21. . . Let God order your morning prayer, and He will show you how to order your day.
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’” – Matt.4:4 . . . Daily feeding from the Word of God is vital to prevent spiritual malnourishment.
“If we are weak in communion with God we are weak everywhere.” – C.H. Spurgeon
Our “power to live a new life depends upon daily communion with the living Lord.” – John Eadie, Scottish theologian
Have you noticed how quickly your iPhone loses its charge during routine daily use? What about your spiritual life? Beloved, Quiet Times are not optional if we are to have our “spiritual batteries regularly recharged”, ready for the day’s activities!
“You don’t tune up the instruments after the concert is over. That’s stupid. It’s logical to tune them up before you start!” – J. Hudson Taylor, missionary to China . . . Question: Do I “tune my heart” before I begin each day?
“If our lives and ministry are to count for anything today, we must solemnly resolve to make time for God (today).” – Vance Havner (Billy Graham called Havner, “The most quoted preacher of the twentieth century.”)
“But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” – Matt. 6:6
“Our ability to stay with God in our closet measures our ability to stay with God out of the closet.” – E.M. Bounds, a noted author on the subject of prayer
“The more any man loves Christ, the more he delights to be with Christ alone. Lovers love to be alone.” – Thomas Brooks, a Puritan theologian who had an impact upon C.H. Spurgeon
“I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Thy words.” – Ps 119:147
“The barometer of one’s Christian life is the Quiet Time.” “I want to hear the voice of God before I hear anyone else’s in the morning, and his is the last voice I want to hear at night.” – Stephen F. Olford (Billy Graham called Stephen Olford “the man who most influenced my ministry.”)
“Dwell deep in the hidden life of God. The cedar grows more beneath the ground than above it.” – A.B. Simpson, founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance
While still in his childhood, John Wesley resolved to dedicate an hour each morning and evening to Bible study and prayer.
“I suggest you discipline yourself to spend time daily in a systematic reading of God’s Word. Make this ‘quiet time’ a priority that nobody can change.” – Warren Wiersbe, author
“The secret of our future spiritual maturity lies in our daily routine of Bible study.” – Elmer Towns, co-founder of Liberty University
“To be little with God is to be little for God.” – E.M. Bounds
“True grace delights in secret converse with God.” – Jonathan Edwards
“I have so much to do today that I must spend at least three hours in prayer.” – Martin Luther
“If we don’t maintain a quiet time each day, it’s not really because we are too busy; it’s because we do not feel it is important enough. There’s an old navy rule: When ships readjust their compass, they drop anchor in a quiet spot. Quiet time (with God) is not just a helpful idea, it is absolutely necessary to spiritual growth.” – George Sweeting, former president of Moody Bible Institute
“God has not bowed to our nervous haste nor embraced the methods of our machine (or technologically crazed) age. The man who would know God must give time to Him.” – A.W. Tozer
“Here was a man who coveted for himself a constant withdrawal from the pressing demands of his busy life and kept inviolate the sanctity of the early morning vigil of prayer and meditation. Here he breathed the atmosphere of heaven, and daily recharged his spirit with the power that in turn poured out in extravagant measure in the preaching and proclamation of the Word.” – from the biography of G. Campbell Morgan by Jill Morgan
In closing, watch this inspiring video exhortation by Francis Chan…