“The quiet time is not just a nice suggestion: it is a vital necessity for a child of God. It is absolutely essential for Christian growth and maturity.” These words, written by Pastor Rick Warren in his book How to have a meaningful Quiet Time, emphasise the importance of setting aside time every day to fellowship with God through the Word and prayer.
Admittedly, it is often easy for Christians to treat quiet time like a ritual, or neglect it in busy times. What tools can we use to help us build up this necessary habit in a way that maintains its focus on meeting with God?
The Upper Room is a daily devotional guide published by the General Board of Discipleship, an agency of The United Methodist Church. Each hand-sized booklet contains two months’ worth of daily meditations on Bible passages, written by people from various countries and all walks of life.
The daily plan is simple and effective. A Bible passage is highlighted for reading and one representative verse is emphasised. A short meditation is shared, along with an application thought or question. At the end, a short prayer is suggested as well as a group that the reader can focus on praying for, such as “people with disabilities” or “those struggling with a persistent sin”.
Having used The Upper Room as my daily devotional guide for the past few years, I have found it helpful in cultivating a daily quiet time, learning much from the suggested Bible passages and interceding for others in prayer. I have also been greatly encouraged by the thoughts and meditations of ordinary Christians around the world, who have shared their personal lessons from God.
Published internationally in 35 languages, The Upper Room reminds me that I am part of the global body of Christ, and that God speaks to His people in ways that are culturally-specific yet familiar.
Print copies in English and Chinese are distributed in Singapore and Malaysia by the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC) of The Methodist Church in Singapore. In 2014, the CAC will release a large-print version of the devotional in Chinese.
For more information and to subscribe, visit www.cac-singapore.org.sg/index.cfm?GPID=371 or call 6478-4815. Both publishing and distribution ministries are not-for-profit, so please consider making donations to support the ministry.
Grace Toh is the Assistant Editor of Methodist Message.