Some Quiet Confessions about Quiet Time

A young pastor owns up to the realities of personal devotion, and explores for solutions.

Parishioners would never dream it, but there is a segment of the ecclesiastical nobility-myself included-for whom personal worship (a.k.a. "devotions," "quiet time," "QT") has been a struggle. First, it's finding the minutes. Those phone calls in the morning always seem to foul up your communion with God. Or maybe it's the kids. Or the sweet smell of coffee wafting from the kitchen.

Next, there's how long you spend. Reading about John Wesley awakening at 4 A.M. and praying for two hours is exhilarating, but it nearly wipes you out. As holy as David Brainerd was, you get a bit tired of him lying in the snow, praying for six hours, and getting up wet. Not from the snow, though. From the sweat.

Once QT gets a beachhead in your life, it's the lightning bolts of guilt that shoot through you every time you miss. Remember the day you cracked up the car? What was the first thing you muttered? "Why didn't I have my prayer time this morning?"

Then there are the dry periods. The Bible puts you right ...

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