Skip to main content

Making a Daily Quiet Time work for You

Many missionaries struggle with having a daily time alone with God. But we are busy, there are so many needs around us, just daily living takes so much more time, and we find find our time with God is being pushed aside.   That may surprise you, but we're really just like every other Christian, be they missionary or not.  Coming to the edge of the desert didn't suddenly make us more spiritual, though there are days that certainly drive us to our knees!

In our recent orientation for new missionaries, the lady who led one of the groups brought in three other people in addition to herself to share how they do their daily devotional time.  They all varied in their age, gender, marital status, and number of years on the field.  I felt like they each had something valuable to share and that everybody could gain from their experiences.  So here we are:

MISSIONARY #1:  Female, married, mother to adult and young adult children, in her 1st term here, works full time.  This person cannot stand to sit still and must be busy all the time.  So for her it is most beneficial to:
1.  Read her Bible while working out on the eliptical
2.  Pray while walking 
3.  Study the Bible in a different language which sometimes adds a depth of meaning to a phrase or verse
4.  While working, listens to praise and worship music.

MISSIONARY #2:  Female, married, mother to four very young children, in her 2nd term here, works full time at home.
1.  For awhile, her husband took the kids for an hour so she could have some time to herself.
2.  Listens to sermons from her church back home.  This can be done while washing dishes or cooking meals.
3.  Skype with a pastor; provides mentoring and encouragement
4.  Appreciate times of corporate worship.  Don't just stay home because church is long or difficult.  Take turns with your spouse taking the kids out.
5.  Listens to an audio Bible; goes through it in a year.
6.  Use this time to nurture your kids spiritually, especially if you live where they don't have a Sunday School or youth group.
7.  Guard the Sabbath.
8.  Get help when you need it.
9.  Set goals.  Even if you don't reach them, you are aiming for something.

MISSIONARY #3:  Female, single, has spent at least 20 years here; likes to contemplate things and take her time; is an early riser
1.  Gets up early before people start knocking on the door.
2.  Has learned to not get upset by interruptions.  They happen and may be appointments from God.
3.  Devotionals are good, but don't read them only.  Make sure you are also spending time in the Word.
4.  Take time to meditate.  Following a read-thru-the-Bible in a year doesn't work so well for her because she likes to really think about each passage.  She may follow the program, but take two to three years to read through.
5.  Memorize Scripture.  Memorize in another language.  She likes to memorize while walking for exercise.

MISSIONARY #4:  Male, single, early 20's; thrives on habits and routines, is a voracious reader; is not an early riser
1.  When you first arrive the habits and routines you are used to are gone.  It takes time to establish new routines, but keep working on it.
2.  Because he loves to read, he needs lots of challenges to satisfy his appetite for books.  Reads commentaries, etc.
3.  Really likes a One Year Bible Plan.  Because we take siestas here, and because he's not a morning person, he reads part of it at siesta and part of it in the evening.
4.  As he reads, he journals, asking himself who?, what?, where?, when?, why? how?
5.  Finding time to pray is most challenging, so he uses his reading time to incorporate prayer.
6.  Has downloaded apps on his phone for prayer and Bible memory.  Sorry I can't provide links, but one was praying for missions and one was a way to test your memory on Bible passages.
7.  Plays the guitar and sings.
8.  Memorization is helpful.  He has a good big picture of the Bible so memorization helps him with details.

What are some ways you've found helpful to have time alone with God each day?  If you're struggling in this area, I hope you will find something here that will be useful to you.


Anonymous said…
Love this blog. Thanks for posting it.
Unknown said…
Thanks Nancy. Always find it interesting and helpful to hear how other people work things out.

As far as scripture memorisation goes, there are two resources I have used and like. The Navigator's Topical Memory System and Desiring God's Figher Verses

Though have got nowhere near completing either. From my perspective having friends to pray with and keep me in check helps!
I have so much learn from you.

Thanks for posting this.

Popular posts from this blog

Practice Hospitality

My mother-in-law, Jean, is an amazing person with many gifts.  One of the first things I noticed about her when I was but a young bride, was her gift of hospitality.  It was nothing for her to invite a large group of people over, make each one feel welcome, cook a big meal,and seemingly do it without stressing herself out.  I don't know if hospitality just came naturally to her or if she learned it.  In this picture you can see Jean throwing a party for a class she taught in Nigeria.  

I believe that for me it has been a learned skill.  My parents were hospitable and it wasn't unusual for us to have guests over (though usually not as many at a time as my mother-in-law would do!).  But when I started living on my own, I had to learn hospitality.  The first time I invited somebody over for a meal, the lid got stuck on the pot of vegetables, I put too much salt or soda or something in the muffins, and I forgot to serve milk and sugar with the hot drinks.  I've gotten much bett…

Graduation Season

It's the season for graduations!  Yesterday I attended two graduations.  Thankfully one was in the morning and one was in the evening.  There were differences and similarities.  

The morning graduation was at the flight controller and meteorologist training school.  Six of the graduates attended our Bible study regularly and a seventh came occasionally.  We grew to dearly love this group.  

The evening ceremony was at our MK school and all of the graduates this year were missionary kids and one pastor's kids; the majority of the missionary kids were from our mission.  So I've known most of these kids since they were little. 

The similarities were:
1.  Both groups were fairly small (30 for the flight controller school and 13 for our mission school).  Both groups were very close to each other; at the flight controller school they have all classes together and live in dorms together for 14 months with only a few days off and no real vacations; at the mission school the kids have …

Beyond Our Ability to Endure

I've been working on our home assignment audio-visual presentation.  It's been a lot of work, especially since it requires sorting through hundreds of pictures to choose the ones we want to use.  I was hoping to put together something that would be really "Wow!"  Well, in the end it's just a power point with some music and a few slides coming in with a fancy spin.  But it's our story, and our story is nothing more than God's story when it comes right down to it.  In fact, I have used Big Daddy Weave's song, My Story in part of the presentation.  If you're not familiar with the song, you can listen to it here
As I looked over the past four years of this term there were days that we felt we had reached our ability to endure.  We started the term in July 2013 and we were still recovering from the flood of 2012.  We have all of our "normal" stresses such as living in an extremely hot climate, living in the poorest country of the world, livi…