Tips for Your Bible Quiet Time

Reading the Bible and having a quiet time are an important part of my life. I’ve noticed that my thinking is clearer and I am calmer when I start my day with some reading and journaling. If too many days pass without a dedicated time to read and pray, it shows up in my life as less patience and joy.

As a young Christian I wondered how in the world to have a “quiet time.” Devotional books usually caused me to just read the devotion and skip the Bible part. With a job that required overtime, and later a bunch of little children, I didn’t have time for a complicated study.

Over the years I struggled to maintain an active devotional life, but gradually I found what worked for me. The Bible says that God will “gently lead those that are with young,” and what I do now as an older mother whose youngest child is seven differs somewhat from what I did during the baby-and-toddler years (25 years, in my case), but the basic principles are the same.

Everyone is different and personal quiet time is, well, personal. Your beliefs and practices will probably differ, but here are some things that work for me:

Read a chapter a day. When I had little ones, this might be shortened to a verse. If you read and think about just one verse a day, that will definitely add up. If you keep meaning to get to a chapter and never get around to it because you’re overwhelmed, that will add up to a lot of days with no Bread of Life.

Find a passage that speaks to me. Usually something will jump out at me, either as encouragement or conviction. If it doesn’t, I keep reading.

Copy the passage that speaks to me in my journal. We do copy work in our homeschool, and I tell my kids that I still do copy work every day as an adult.

Personalize and/or write about the passage in my journal. This can be either re-copying the verse in a different tense (change “you” to “I”) or paraphrasing it and using part of the actual wording. Personalizing the passage can help me understand how to apply it in a practical way.

Occasionally do a simple word study. If there is a passage that really speaks to me, I will look up the main words in the Webster’s 1828 dictionary. That usually opens up the meaning for a deeper understanding.

Continue the conversation with God by writing more in my journal. I write about what I’m thinking of, problems I’m having, sins I’m confessing, gratefulness I’m expressing, and more.

That’s it. No DVDs, no book studies, no formal Bible studies. I’ve bought a few over the years and I don’t know that I ever completely finished one. But I’ve been pretty consistent with my simple method for many years.

As a 19-year-old new Christian, I felt like I had a lot of catching up to do (and I still feel that way). I wanted to grow up to be a godly woman, and somehow I knew that God’s Word was a key. Thirty-four years later I’m still learning and an almost-daily quiet time has shaped my life.


  1. Thank you for this, it was such an encouragement to me.

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      So glad to encourage you, Shannon!

  2. Every Monday and Thursday morning before I speed out the door to go to work, I take the time to see what pearls you will be offering for the day. I so look forward to it that it is as automatic as brushing my teeth. One day I was a little nervous because your email didn’t come and I was so scared that something might have happened to you. You never missed your days! After the panic subsided I realized that it was only Wednesday. Arghh, what I goof ball I was! Whew, crisis averted! Needless to say I love your articles and this one today is just perfect. Charlotte, you are a lot like God. You always seem to show up whenever it is needed. From the bottom of my heart….thank you!

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      Aww, thanks so much, Suzanne! I love that you find encouragement in the newsletter, that’s why I write it! Blessings to you and your family!

  3. I enjoyed reading about this personal time of your life. Although consistent Bible reading can be a challenge, I struggle more with keeping my mind focused on prayer. Any tips for that part of your quiet time??

    I believe I’ve read that you get up and have this quiet time first before you exercise. Do you eat thrn too? What time do you usually start your mornings? I’d like to hear more about your morning routine. Thanks for sharing your life with us! :). You are always an inspiration and an encouragement!!


    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      Elizabeth, I pretty much write my prayers to keep me focused, even if it’s just a few words and then I pray more about the topic out loud or in my head. If it’s a sensitive topic I use initials or code in case someone ever read my journal.

      I usually get up early (this goes in cycles, actually, depending on how late I’m up the night before due to activities, etc.), take thyroid medication and then have to wait 30 minutes to eat so I have quiet time then. Often I bring breakfast to where I am and continue quiet time/journaling/calendaring. Then a workout, shower and start the day. Unless I do some computer work.

      I’m a pretty slow starter in the mornings, so I prefer getting up early enough to allow for that!

  4. Charlotte,

    I love this post. Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your routines. Consistent quiet times are a struggle for me, but you offer some great ideas. Love your blog and newsletter!

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      Thanks so much, Mary!

  5. aww that’s so sweet Charlotte, thanks for sharing your Bible quiet times to us.. Very encouraging…can’t wait to start my quiet moments with Him too 🙂

    1. Anonymous says:

      Keep it simple and it’s more likely to get done! Blessings to you on your journey…

  6. This is how i have done it for years as well. Just a Bible, paper and pen. God really can speak when we put down the books. And daily – defintely I needed this reminder.

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Kay. Sometimes the simplest things work the best!

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