Stop Having "Quiet" Times
Some of us grew up in the church and talked about having "quiet times" or QT. What this usually meant was time alone with God.
However, I was challenged by a blog post on The Gospel Coalition recently in which David Powlison points out that scripture shows us that prayer spoken aloud is normative:
"...spoken prayers are the rule. Both in Jesus's teaching and example, a praying person talks candidly and out loud with the Father - and seeks privacy to do so. 'Go to your room and shut the door' He tells us (Matt. 6:6). If others can't hear you, you're more likely to talk straight and you won't be tempted to mouth prayers fabricated to impress. Jesus sought privacy for Himself: 'He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. He would withdraw to desolate places and pray' (Matt. 14:23; Luke 5:16). Why? He was talking it out with His Father."
It's not that silent or unspoken prayers have no place; it's just that they are not supposed to supplant prayer spoken aloud to God.
Christ came and lived the perfect life as a human being. His forgiveness and sacrifice now enables us to live as he did. What I am realizing now is that in the scriptures he teaches us to pray in more than just "the Lord's Prayer". He tells us to go alone and shut the door and pray aloud. He usually prays alone but in the garden of Gethsemane he brings some of the disciples and they hear Jesus' cries to the Father.
Speaking to the Lord alone does many things, but one thing it will do after a while, especially if you do it regularly and for good lengths of time, is bring intimacy.
Doesn't time spent speaking aloud with someone always build that? How much more with the Lord! You can hardly get to know someone by only interacting with them in a group, or in passing minute-long conversations. It's only when you are alone with them, speaking aloud and revealing your heart, that you build the kind of intimacy that allows for your relationship to have full effect.
So let me encourage you, as I am encouraging myself...go in a room, shut the door, and speak aloud to God. Jesus certainly knew what he was doing when he asks us to follow and do the same!