Most Christians set aside some quiet time in the mornings to read the Word, pray, and worship. If you’re like me, you may have challenges dealing with distractions during my quiet time. Here are some common distractions I face, and some of the strategies I use to deal with them.
1. Dealing with Mind Games. Let’s face it: praying in the mornings can sometimes get distracting when your mind wanders. You’re in the middle of reading the Word when suddenly remember all the things you have to do for that day. I find it handy to keep a notepad nearby, so I can write down whatever pops into my head, just so I don’t forget it. That way, I can get back to studying the Word or praying. Aside from that, if you’re in the habit of taking down own quiet time notes, if God suddenly reveals to you someone who He’s asking you to pray for,
2. Dealing with Noise. I’m easily distracted by noise. live in a village with early-rising roosters, barking dogs, and wailing cats. (I might as well be living on a farm!) The truth is, if we’re bothered by outside noise, we need to find a place that shuts that noise out. This is why I sometimes do my quiet time in my car! Believe it or not, it’s a great place to spend time with God–you can even sing at the top of your lungs and most people wouldn’t hear through the noise. Something to think about. Other things you can do to drown out the rabble would be to use earplugs or noise-cancelling earphones tuned in to your favorite instrumental songs, or consider thick curtains to absorb some of the sound coming in from your windows.
3. Falling Asleep. Some people are night owls, and some people are early birds. I get up at 4AM every day. That’s no joke, I really do, because I live so incredibly far away from everything! Despite that, during my quiet time, I still get sleepy occasionally, especially when I’m sitting still. A few tips I can offer for staying awake during my devotions include starting your quiet time with a little personal praise and worship (gets the blood flowing!); doing a prayer walk around your neighborhood (always nice to cover your neighbors in prayer; and pacing around while you pray.
4. Tuning Out the Technology. Do you check your phone before you open your Bible? I do! (But that’s primarily because my phone alarm wakes me up. Nice excuse, Ganns.) The phone, iPad, or laptop can be quite the distraction, though, so if you’re like me, sometimes it means purposefully doing away with the devices and taking your notes down by hand, or setting the devices away from you while you pray.
What if we need the phone for our quiet time, like the Bible Gateway app, or Spotify? Well, I use Spotify to play music while I pray, so I’m sure to set the phone to Mute so that any alerts that come in while I’m praying don’t get in the way. As for Bible Gateway, well, some people like ’em, some people don’t, but because I know I get tempted to check my phone, I don’t use my electronic Bible for my quiet time.
What about you? What are some tips you can share to deal with distractions during your quiet time?