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6 Tips for a Distraction-Free Quiet Time [Podcast]

Bible Study / Spiritual Formation //

Distractions are all around us. Never are they more prevalent – or annoying – than when you are trying to spend time with God in His Word!

You want to focus. You want to spend time in the Word. You want to be fully present with God.

And yet the distractions come from every angle!

It is so frustrating…and yet makes so much sense. After all, the last thing the enemy wants is for you to enjoy and benefit from your time in the Word.

Main Topic: 6 Tips for a Distraction-Free Quiet Time

While I still struggle with distractions, my times in the Word are way better than even a year ago. I analyzed what I have been doing differently and narrowed it down to the top six.

Tip#1: Prepare the night before.

This seems simple, but you can reduce distractions quite a bit by taking two minutes to get a few things ready the night before. Make sure your Bible, glasses, journal, pencil, etc. is near where you’ll be reading in the morning.

Grind the coffee and program it so it’s ready. It is so easy to let something as simple as finding the coffee filter, or not having your favorite mug clean distract you from focusing on the One who created you and loves you.

Tip #2: Start the moment you wake up.

This applies whether you quiet time is first thing in the morning or not. A study done last year by IDC showed that 79% of people check their smartphones right when they wake up.

Yikes!

What if you took a few minutes to connect with God. Ask Him to make you aware of His presence throughout the day. Invite the Holy Spirit to be your Guide before your feet ever hit the floor.

Click here to Tweet this! “Do you get distracted whenever you sit down to read the Bible? These 6 Tips from @KeithFerrin will help. www.keithferrin.com/26 #LikeTheBible”

Tip #3: Develop a Quiet Time routine.

A guy I met at a men’s breakfast last year turned me on to this one. This isn’t only during your quiet time. This is from the time when you slide on those slippers until you’re sitting with your Bible open.

Let every piece of the “journey” be a conversation with God. It may sound a little strange (and feels a little strange the first day or two) but it really works. Try something like this:

  • As you put on your slippers say, “I am comfortable and at ease with You God.”
  • While walking downstairs… “I long to walk closer to You. To be with You.”
  • As you pour your coffee… “Pour your Spirit into me Lord until I am completely filled.”

Whatever your routine. Let each element guide your conversation to prepare you for meeting with God.

Tip #4: Have a special place.

I have my quiet time at one end of my couch in my living room.

This is not the end I sit at when I watch TV. Other than when I’m reading my Bible and hanging out with God, I rarely ever sit there.

I’m certainly not legalistic about it. However, even when I’m having a conversation with someone, I typically pick a different spot. That’s the place I sit with God.

Tip #5: Use a physical Bible.

More and more people are getting away from this. We read on our phones, tablets, and computers. I certainly have the apps on my gadgets.

But during my quiet time, I use a physical Bible.

Few things reduce distractions as much as holding something that can only do one thing. Few things increase distractions as much as holding something that can do hundreds of things.

If you simply prefer to read on a tablet, take an old one (you probably have more than one in your house), remove Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Email and only have your Bible app and a note-taking or journaling app.

Tip #6: Pray before and after.

Remember what I said at the beginning of this post. The last thing the enemy wants is for you to have a beneficial, enjoyable quiet time. Pray for protection and focus at the beginning of your time in the Word.

Develop a habit of listening. This isn’t something we do well – or naturally – but it is a vitally important habit to develop. (This is the best book I’ve found on the topic.)

And pray at the end. Pray that God would bring His Word to your mind as you go through your day. The more you think about it during the day, the more you’ll look forward to what He will show you tomorrow.

Looking forward to hearing from God will make focusing on Him way easier the next day.

Question: What one tip could you share that helps you focus during your time in the Word?  

Listener Question

Do you approach Psalms and Proverbs differently than other books of the Bible?”

Yes. I do.

Both are more poetry and short snippets, than one big thought or narrative like so many other books. Many have suggested reading Proverbs a chapter a day. While I don’t recommend that for other books, I do think it’s a good approach to Proverbs. After all, 31 Proverbs fits nicely into your month!

The Psalms are mostly poems and song lyrics. Here’s how I feel about Psalms:

“The Psalms are meant to be experienced and lived in, much more than they are meant to be studied and analyzed.” 

Tweet that!

Is there value in studying them deeply? Sure. But is that the primary purpose of poetry and music? Nope.

Links (People, Info, and Resources) from Episode 26:

Help spread the word!

“Struggle with LIKING the Bible? Want to like it more? Check out @KeithFerrin’s podcast http://wp.me/P2rPgQ-FS #LikeTheBible”

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About the Author

Keith Ferrin is an author, speaker, blogger, and storyteller who is passionate about helping people read, study, engage, and enjoy the Bible. He was a youth pastor for six years before writing and speaking fulltime. He is the author of three books, including Like Ice Cream: The Scoop on Helping the Next Generation Fall in Love with God’s Word. He and his wife, Kari, have three kids who are the source of both his big smile and gray hair. They live just outside of Seattle. Keith also holds to the belief that coffee and ice cream are proof of a benevolent God.