Do you ever sit down to have your quiet time with God and then – poof – your mind is somewhere else? Maybe you’re planning a list. Or thinking about what happened last night. Or worrying about the day ahead. You want to focus on God but you can’t make yourself do it.
This has happened to me many times over the course of my walk with God. In recent years, I’ve discovered that my learning style affects my quiet times. In today’s podcast, we’ll look at how to use your learning style to help you enjoy and look forward to your times with God.
We’ll talk about the following learning styles: 1) kinesthetic, 2) auditory and 3) visual.
Visual learners learn best by seeing things. They like images, diagrams, maps, and charts. Auditory learners learn best by listening. While I often tune out listening to a lecture or someone giving directions, an auditory learner will listen and learn.
Kinesthetic learners learn best by doing. For example, they might study for a test while walking on the treadmill. Or if they’re learning how to computer program, they’ll learn best by getting involved right away in the programming without a long explanation.
How Your Learning Style Affects Your Quiet Time
So how does that affect a quiet time? We’ll talk about that on the podcast, but here’s an example.
I’m both a visual and a kinesthetic learner plus I’m a bit ADD so I do best with my quiet time if I’m actively involved in the process. One of the things I’ll do if my mind isn’t focusing well is to diagram the Scripture. Here’s a picture of my journal from my quiet time this morning:
As you can see, I don’t worry about being neat or organized. I just diagram. This helps me focus, and it also gives me a summary of the Scripture so I can look back over it afterward and pray through it.
I wrote down a couple of my prayers on the right side of the page on the bottom, but I usually just pray those without writing them down because once my mind is stirred up from being actively involved in writing and diagramming the Bible verses, it’s easy for me to focus on prayer.
Some Ideas for Your Quiet Time
So if you’re finding yourself either bored with your quiet time or just too easily distracted, try doing some different things in your quiet time. Here are a few things to try:
- Try diagramming a Bible passage like I just did.
- Try listening to the Bible on tape. You could try an audio Bible app on Android or iOS. As you listen, turn it off and take breaks every once in awhile to meditate on it and talk to God about it.
- Try putting on some quiet instrumental music while you’re reading your Bible to see if that help you concentrate any better.
- Try praying while walking. You would think a kinesthetic learner might be helped by this but for some reason, I’ve had a hard time learning this practice. I’m just now getting to the point where I enjoy it and can focus on God and pray while walking.
- Try taking a retreat with God every once in awhile in addition to your daily times with Him. It could be a whole day or just a couple of hours. Last year I went to Missoula once a month for a prayer/Bible retreat with God. I felt like I needed that to keep my relationship with Him strong because I was still struggling with idolatry in the writing/people pleasing arena. Something about going to Missoula and leaving my writing problems behind helped me to focus on God, and I always had wonderful undistracted times with Him.
- Try an around-the-living-room prayer time. Set your timer for 3 minutes and then change places to sit every time the timer rings. Choose a new subject to discuss with God every time you change your chair.
- Do 15 jumping jacks before you start your quiet time and then every 10 or 15 minutes if you’re having a hard time sitting still.
- Try doing Bible studies others have written. I have quite a few of these on my blog if you’d like to try them at this link: Topical Bible Studies.
That’s about it. I’m guessing we’ll discuss this more on the podcast. I’m trying a new method of writing down what I’ll talk about first and then recording the podcast. We’ll see how it works!
I hope you all have a great day, and I hope these ideas help with your quiet time! Let me know how it goes in the comments below and also share any other ideas you have that will help others!
Resources We Discussed On the Podcast
- Audio Bible App
- How to Truth Journal
- The Renewing of the Mind Project
- Topical Bible Studies
- Ask a question you’d like me to discuss on the podcast
- Set up a coaching interview or a victory interview
P.S. Here is another great article I just read on this subject: Bible Reading Tips for the Easily Distracted