How to Find Quiet Time With God When There is No Quiet Time

I remember the days.  And I remember the guilt.

So let’s just stop a minute and talk together about how to find quiet time to spend with God when your days are filled to the brim with fussy babies, dirty dishes, needy toddlers, muddy preschoolers, full-scheduled teenagers, work and ministry commitments, spilled oatmeal, missed naps, doctor appointments, broken washing machines, unexpected company, puke on the couch, arguing siblings, burned gunk on the stove-top, and poop that didn’t quite make it to the toilet on time.

How do we find time for God when it seems our prayer life consists mainly of, “Help God!  I can’t find my keys and please give me patience so I don’t scream at my kids again and could you please make them obey me so that I don’t have to scream again but seriously, I can’t find my keys!!”

It doesn’t help when we read that others are getting up early to watch the sun rise while they have precious devotion time with the Father (after they exercise, spend quality time with their darling husband before work, journal, and balance the checkbook).  When??  How??  Do these people never sleep?  I must be doing something wrong.  My priorities must not be right.  I am failing.  My relationship with God is not where it should be.  Oh, but I’m so tired.  Weary.  Discouraged.

My dear reader:  You are not failing.  You are not “less-than.”  The other women don’t “have it all together” better than you.  None of them.  Don’t listen to lies and become discouraged.

Getting a healthy amount of sleep (or at least as much as your season in life will allow) is as important a task as anything you can do.  Without sleep, everything else is harder.  So sleep.  Rest.  The dust on the picture frames is not important, nor is it a big deal that your kid occasionally wears the same shirt (with a dried-on booger smeared across the sleeve) two days in a row. 

Give yourself grace.  God does.  If that’s not permission to relax, I don’t know what is.

Understand that time with God happens all day long.  He is with you and hears your cry for help.  He rejoices with you in your moments of triumph and cheers you on.  He understands how full your day is and how hard you are working.  He understands your need for quiet, and will provide it for you when you ask.

Did you hear that?  He will provide.  He wants quiet time with you as much or more than you want it with Him. 

Grab hold of those few minutes you might find while you’re stirring the sauce for dinner.  Everyone playing in the living room while you’re washing dishes?  Sounds like you just found yourself some God time!  Taking a quick shower before hubby heads out to work?  God’s listening.  Nursing the baby…again?  Close your eyes, breathe, and spend some time in prayer (if you can stay awake).  Running your pre-teen to sports practice?  Crank up the Christian music and worship.  Or better yet, turn the music off and enjoy the few minutes of silence.  Can’t seem to find any time alone, ever?  Then read the Word out loud to whoever is in the room with you.  Pray aloud.  Share that time with your kids. 

Some day soon, you might find yourself in a season that allows for pulling up a chair and having regular times of quiet God time.  It’s beautiful and it’s necessary.  In the meantime, pray for God to provide you just what you need so that your soul will be refreshed and your heart will be at peace.

And if you fall asleep during your prayer again, take comfort, knowing that there’s no better place to find rest.

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Comments

  1. says

    You have no idea how much I needed to read this tonight. It seems like no matter how early I get up, my son wakes up earlier that day. I have too many frogs to eat before the munchkins wake and I always feel liked I must be doing something wrong. Your title totally got me. Does it count as quiet time with God when it isn’t actually quiet?

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    Laura Reply:

    Bless you. YES, it counts!!

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  2. Michele says

    I can’t wait until I have time to read this post. Daily QUALITY devotion time has been such a struggle to find!! Encouragement is needed. :)

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  3. Sherri says

    I absolutely needed this. I am in a season right now where God’s lesson for me is being still and just spending time with Him. It is a huge challenge; one that I feel I am failing regularly. THANK YOU for reminding me that I’m not. :-)

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  4. Gina says

    Thank you Laura! I really needed to read this right now! With 3 little ones under 6 it’s hard to just get dinner on the table right now let alone open my bible!
    Thank you for the encouragement!

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  5. says

    Thank you Laura for writing what the Holy Spirit put on your heart! I so needed this encouragement right now – it was an answer to my prayer really. I know that someday, when I have more quiet time, I will be missing this busy time while my kids are little and need me. =) So I will serve Him the best as I can doing what He’s laid before me today! God Bless! ~Erika

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  6. Connie says

    I totally agree – vacuuming, for instance, was always SOOO boring, until I realized that it’s excellent prayer time!

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  7. Michelle says

    I recently found a podcast named Daily Audio Bible. He reads through the Bible in a year. So if I can’t sit down and read now I just turn that on and listen to God’s Word spoken out loud.

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  8. Candice M says

    Thank you so much for sharing this. It was such an encouragement to me and exactly what I needed to hear…a reminder to be devoted to God and serve Him in whatever season you are and however that may look like. Thanks!

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  9. Anitra says

    Thank you so much. I’ve been feeling very down lately because I know I do best with reading the Bible first thing in the morning, and I’ve just been too tired.

    I’ve been hanging on by sheer willpower, knowing that today is the last day of school, so mornings will be slightly less hectic starting Monday.. and I might be able to find some time after breakfast or otherwise early in the day (which I can’t do when we’re running out the door).

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  10. Carol S. says

    Very well said, Laura. I found this to be true when my children were all small and needed to hear it again with nearly all teens. A book I read during that time of several small children encouraged keeping a Bible open on a desk or somewhere passed in the course of the day for a quick moment of encouragement in passing. Of course posting scripture around your house is helpful, too.

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  11. Marie says

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I just recently became a Christian and I always feel bad b/c I wonder when to have quiet time! I have a 5 y/o, a 4 y/o that is special needs and a 18 m/o and of course the hubby. Someone always needs something and seems to never be quiet! And I find myself continuously saying during prayer “back to what I was saying…” Or wondering if my quick prayers at a stop light count! This is exactly what I needed to hear!

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  12. Lauren says

    I LOVE this post! Thanks, Laura! My boys are almost 4 and almost 2, and I feel like I am just getting the hang of things, and am able now to get up (fairly regularly) before they do and have that precious time with the Lord. It’s definitely way harder when there’s an infant in the house! I just keep reminding myself that motherhood is a season all its own, but it also has different seasons in itself, so I’ve got to accept where I am and all the poop and puke that comes with it, and joyfully make the most of it! God is good to help me in this area, because most of the time, left to myself, I’m just a grump!!! :-P

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  13. Anonymous says

    I know many people are busy but in all reality we do have time. No offense but right before showering you can spend 1 minute bowing your knees to the Creator who allowed you the blessing to wake up. Are we so involved in our own kids (activites) that we dont have time for Him? My mother always said, if you have time to eat, clean house, etc then you have time for Him. I encourage you all to please take time to go pray quietly and if not quietly train your children to be silent while you pray to your heavenly Father. What kind of legacy do we want to leave our kids. That we moms were great cooks, or that mom was praying when trials came or even that she read the bible when she had the miscarriage looking to God for all things. Please take the time to raise them to look to God for everything. We do have time we just have to make the time. How can we minister to our family and others if we ourselves aren’t allowing God to minister to us. God says in HIS word that He comes first in all things.

    [Reply]

    Bethany V. Reply:

    I think many of us do make “time” it just doesn’t look the same for everyone. And as your comment shows, moms feel judged by other moms for not having defined measurable “quiet time”. For myself, I’m trying to learn to practice a continual daily conversation with God that ebbs and flows through my daily activities. Do I have it down yet? No, but I’m working towards it. I think it’s Ok that we haven’t all arrived in this area, but the important thing is that we are striving. I’m revisiting Brother Lawrence and his practice of experiences the presence of God while washing dishes in his monastery.

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    anonymous Reply:

    i agree with anonymous. Although I don’t at all think it’s what Laura meant, it seems like some of the commenters are finding approval of their negligence in her words. If you can find time anything else, you can find time with the
    Lord. That’s certainly not to say it will be the same in length or quality as those luxurious days before multiple littles, but we CAN find the time. In fact, if you haven’t spent time with the Lord today, you really shouldn’t even be reading this blog post. Just sayin’.

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  14. Nikki W. says

    Thank you so much for this post! I found it so encouraging! “Taking a quick shower..” I can so relate to that, I have found shower time to be my own quiet prayer time every night!

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  15. says

    Laura, I’m so glad you posted this! I think too many of us mommies walk around feeling condemned because we’re not having a 5 a.m. quiet time that lasts for an hour or more! I used to walk around feeling that way, especially during hard seasons of trial, until God graciously opened my eyes to the reality that He knows my heart! He delights in the fact that we desire to have that quiet time that we can’t always seem to get to! And most importantly, God isn’t looking at our performance (quiet times, exercise, etc) He’s looking at our heart!

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  16. Steph says

    Precious words! Thanks for the encouragement (and incredibly accurate description of my life right now–LOL!!!) It’s nice to hear from “vets” of this time of life :)

    God bless you!

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  17. says

    Laura, I enjoy reading your blog, but I can’t tell you how much this one ministered to me. I am sitting with my kids and crying. thank you, thank you for sharing it. may God bless you.

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