As growing followers of Christ, we're told, "Spend quiet time with God," but what does that mean? And how does it work practically when we have 10 million other things demanding our attention every day? Teens have school, friends, family, and extracurriculars. Adults are stretched in the same way with work, family, and other obligations. Yet our biggest priority, the one on the top, should be God. Spending time with God shouldn't be the last thing we remember to do. But it happens, doesn't it?
I know it sounds backward, but if we put God first, the rest of our priorities will easily fall into place. If we allow God to be the first person we talk to when we wake up, a constant companion to our hearts and minds throughout the day, and the last person we say goodnight to, we can truly experience daily peace and joy (Philippians 4:6; Psalms 119:165).
"We love, because He first loved us." —1 John 4:19
Let's say there's a new kid at school whom you've only observed from afar. Something about them makes you think you could be good friends, so you decide you want to pursue a friendship with them. Which is more likely to create a strong friendship: 1. Talking to others about what this person likes/dislikes, watching how they act, and stalking their social media; or 2. Walking up to them, introducing yourself and then talking, spending time together, and hanging out?
Getting to know God better is like getting to know a new friend better. You have to spend time together—talk about things, listen to what He has to say, and make Him a part of your daily life. How can you develop love for someone you know little about and spend little time with? Regularly spending time one-on-one talking with God (prayer), reading His Word (the Bible), and quietly listening for His responses (the Holy Spirit) will give you an opportunity to develop your faith and keep you consciously closer to God's side.
Being alone with anyone helps eliminate the distractions of the world so you can focus on just that person. Prayer is one of the most important parts of maintaining a healthy relationship with God, and Jesus taught the importance of talking to God alone at times (Matthew 6:6a). God designed you to be the beautiful person you are (Psalm 139:13; Luke 12:7), He considers you as having great value (Matthew 10:29, 31), and He wants to hear from you and be a part of your life (Psalm 145:18; Psalm 63:1; John 14:26).
If we are faithful friends to Him, He will work all things toward making us more like His Son (Romans 6:6). When we take one-on-one time with Him, we're allowing space in our hearts to really get to know God (Isaiah 1:18; Revelation 22: 17; Song of Solomon 4:8) and work WITH Him to make spiritual and personal growth happen (Matthew 5:6; Luke 10:39). Without time alone with our Creator, our needs may go unmet, and we may miss out on the abundant life we have been promised.
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." —John 10:10
Getting to know God better is like getting to know a new friend better. You have to spend time together—talk about things, listen to what He has to say, and make Him a part of your daily life. Quiet time with God is not so much about putting Him into a box on the calendar or as a bullet on your to-do list. Rather, it's about keeping Him at the forefront of your mind throughout the day. If we allow God to be the first person we talk to when we wake up, a constant companion to our hearts and minds throughout the day, and the last person we say goodnight to, we can truly experience daily peace and joy (Philippians 4:6; Psalms 119:165).
Cat is the web producer and editor of 412teens.org. She loves audiobooks, feeding the people she cares about, and using Christmas lights to illuminate a room. When Catiana is not writing, cooking, or drawing, she enjoys spending time with her two teenage kids, five socially-awkward cats, and her amazing friend-amily.