I remember praying with a friend through back-to-back hard. Her family was on mission in a country with an attempted coup, their monthly support had been cut and they were looking at a pile of medical bills from a summer-long health scare. Betsy de Cruz shares today about how to approach quiet time when life is hard.
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I’ve gone through seasons when I struggle to have a quiet time. Haven’t you?
Stress and a busy schedule can make it impossible to quiet our racing thoughts. When trouble weighs us down, or heartache seems to grow each day, we’re not able to focus long enough to even sense God’s presence, much less hear what He might want to say to us.
During times of trial, getting through the day can require all our physical and spiritual energy. Just when we need God most, we lack the strength to draw near to Him or the ability focus on prayer or Bible reading.
How can we keep showing up to invite God in when life is hard?
Maybe we need to first let go of our preconceived notions of what we’re supposed to do during our quiet time: follow a Bible reading plan, read a devotional guide, journal what we’re learning, and pray. Some days, we need to scale back and find simpler steps to reach out for God.
When life is hard, we need to embrace simple ways to invite more of God into our lives. I’m sharing 5 ways to approach quiet time when life is hard.
1. Remember He’s Near
Friend, Satan’s greatest goal is to separate us from God. When we’re struggling, the father of lies whispers to us, “God doesn’t care, and He isn’t there.”
Yet Scripture tells us God is always near: “The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth” (Psalm 145:18).
When we call, God draws near. It only takes a one-word prayer: “Jesus.” We need only call His name.
2. Get Real with God
We don’t have to put on a happy, holy face to draw near to God. When we’re struggling, we can show up with our pain, discouragement or even our angst. We can pour out our hearts to God just as we would to our best friend.
Last year, I experienced a deep healing time after a season of loss when I poured out a list of my grievances to the Lord. It was not a holy moment. It was tearful me ranting and raving, but I felt God’s listening presence. I realized He held me.
When we get real with God, He becomes more real to us.
3. Go Back to Simple Truths
Some days, I can’t get my mind around complicated Bible study, and I can’t focus long enough to journal or pray elaborate prayers. I return to simple truths my mind can lay hold of, and I repeat them to myself:
- God loves me. (Romans 5:8)
- The Lord is my Shepherd. I lack nothing. (Psalm 23:1)
- Jesus died to give me new life. (1 John 4:9)
- God is with me. He will never leave me. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
4. Embrace Silence
When our struggle is great, sometimes we have no words. All we can do is sit in silence. Perhaps we need to be still and know that He is God. If you’re experiencing one of those wordless times, ask God to pour over you a deep sense of His presence. Imagine yourself in God’s lap and let Him hold you close. Remember His everlasting arms: “The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you” (Deuteronomy 33:27).
5. Read a Psalm
When problems and trials beset me, I can barely think straight, but the Psalms provide familiar comfort and encouragement. When I don’t know how to pray, the Psalms offer words I can read aloud to God.
During my most difficult times, I downsize my quiet time to reading just one Psalm a day. The Psalms offer us simple reassurance through words like these: “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1).
Friend, no matter what your struggle might be, God longs to supply your need. He delights to pour out His comforting presence, show you compassion, or give you wisdom and strength.
For the hard times when having a quiet time is more than you can manage, He waits to pour out His love over you.
One desperate prayer brings Him to your side. One moment of silence is all the invitation He needs.
GIVEAWAY: I’m giving away a copy of Betsy de Cruz’s new book More of God: A Distracted Woman’s Guide to More Meaningful Quiet Times. This book is a chock full of practical and personal ways to get the most out of daily devotions. Comment below to be entered and on Instagram for an extra entry.
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Betsy de Cruz writes and speaks to encourage busy, distracted women to get God’s Word in, so they can live their faith out. Her book More of God is a Distracted Woman’s Guide to More Meaningful Quiet Times. She wrote it to help women take small steps to invite more of God’s presence and power into their lives and find creative ways to enjoy spending time with Him. You can find both print and Kindle versions of More of God on Amazon. Connect with Betsy online at faithspillingover.com, where she shares Bible study and prayer tips, as well as encouragement for faith and family.