Quiet Time: The Most Overlooked Christian Practice

Quiet time is one of the most overlooked practices of Christians. I remember a few years ago back in Senior High School; a bell was sounded for us to observe 15 minutes of quiet time. Some seniors saw that as an opportunity to harass us the juniors, therefore most us sat quietly during this time only to avoid being punished. Personally I sat on my bed, stared into space or pretended to read something only to avoid being punished. I know most of my colleagues did that too.

A lot of Christians overlook this practice because we have been practicing almost our lives and it has become a ritual. Even if we observe it or not, it doesn’t really matter. Soon we accept it as a mere ritual and even when we skip it for months or even years and we do not feel guilty. We only shrug our shoulders and say, “Jesus understands”

Why quiet time is important

Even Jesus Christ (the son of God) during his time on earth made an effort to seek the face of his Father in the mornings (Mark 1:35). Other great men in the Bible like Daniel (Daniel 6:10), David (Psalm 62:1) and Moses (Exodus 34:4) received strength from the Lord through their quiet times. Such people sought the face of God before they did anything with their day.

We all need strength and the grace to go through each day. Our source of strength is God. He is the only way who knows the end from the beginning so why don’t we acknowledge that by just spending a few minutes of our day to seek his face? We can do that by reading the word, spending some time to meditate on it and to praying to the master architecture.

This does not come easy; therefore the need to make a conscious effort to practice it. I will always remember what a good friend said about quiet time. “We are all destined for greatness and the devil knows about that. He will find ways and means of making you miss that greatness that you are destined for and he can do that each day if we allow him to”

Let’s not give the devil the chance. Let us ensure we commit our ways to God. Have you had your quiet time today?

Fasting: Does it achieve any Results at all?

There are a lot of Christians who grumble whenever they hear they or the church is embarking on a fast. Why do they feel that way? They do feel like that because it is the period they will shed all the weight they have gained during the year. Another reason is that most Christians see fasting as another church ritual which they have to go through to avoid feeling guilty. As to whether they will achieve any results with the fast, they do not really know.

Why is it necessary to fast?

Fasting is important because Jesus Christ Himself observed it. He embarked on a dry fast for 40 days and nights (Matthew 4:2) and was able to resist the devil’s temptations.

Fasting brings about humility in believers (Psalm 69:10).

It also increases the level of self-control in the believer (1 Corinthians 7:5).

People fasted in the Bible and they got answers to their prayers (Ezra 8:23). These are a few reasons why Christians ought to fast and pray.

Are there special kinds of fast that an individual can select?

There is the dry fast which Jesus Christ Himself practiced.

Daniel in the Old Testament avoided delicacies, meat and red wine when he was fasting (Daniel 10:3). There is also the type of fast that individuals abstain from their favourite dishes.

What are the steps to take in order to have an effectual fast?

  1. It is important to have a focus and an aim for fasting. Before you embark on this spiritual exercise, note down the reason(s). If it is a collective fast, agree on the fast’s focus.
  2. Have some scripture to back what you will be praying for during the fast. Read the scripture, memorise and pray with it.
  3. Reflect on the scripture during the day. If you are employed, break from your schedule to meditate on the word and pray.
  4. When breaking the fast, find a quiet place to meditate on the verses you have read in the day and pray before you break the fast.

What should be avoided when fasting?

  1. Chatting unnecessarily – This is the time you need to read and meditate on the word of God.
  2. Announcing you are fasting – This is the period some Christians announce to the world they are fasting therefore they need to be excused and sympathized with but the Bible in Mathew 6:18 asks us to refrain from that.
  3. Making it a mere ritual – A number of Christians make fasting a ritual; something they are doing because the entire church is involved. Avoid this mistake. Have expectations!

What is the proper way of Fasting?

The Bible summarises that in Isaiah 58:3:9 –

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

The Judgment Day and the Movie, San Andreas

Two days ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Silverbird Cinema at the Accra Mall to watch a movie. Among the movies that were showing at the time was Jurassic World. Unfortunately, I was quite late therefore had to sit through a movie titled San Andreas, which I thought was going to be boring but as I watched, I couldn’t help but reflect on my life as a Christian and the judgment day.

About San Andreas

San Andreas is a movie released in 2015 featuring Raymond Gaines (The Rock) who worked in the Los Angeles Fire Department Air Rescue Team. To summarise it all, he had to rescue his daughter and friends who were caught up in a building during a heavy earthquake which shook the city badly.

The distraction that was caused by the earthquake in the movie could only remind viewers of the end times. The Bible clearly lists a number of events that will mark the end of the age and earthquakes are part of them (Jeremiah 4:24-28, Isaiah 13:9-13, Revelation 6:12-14).

How prepared am I to receive the Lord when He comes to judge the world? That was the question that was running through my mind when I watched how the earth shook and brought down all the sophisticated and modern structures in the movie. At a point in the movie, there was a tsunami which brought water onto the land and you can imagine how people were running for their lives. At that moment, nothing really mattered to anyone; neither the nice cars nor the properties they had acquired were important. What mattered to them was how they were going to preserve their dear lives.

Are you running around making all the money for yourself? How prepared are you to receive the Lord if the trumpet was to sound now? Are you focusing so much on the properties you are acquiring to the extent that you do not see the essence of worshiping God? Or you have acquired so much knowledge to the point that you doubt the existence of your creator? Are you living according to the purpose of God or you are busily doing whatever suits you?

These are questions you should reflect on today. If for some reason, you have forgotten all about the judgment day, when we will all stand before the throne (Revelations 20:11-15) then it is my prayer that this post will serve as a reminder to you of that day.

Faith: Why it is important to have it

Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the conviction of things not yet seen – Hebrews 11:1.

Christianity has got everything to do about having faith. Believing that the world was created by God is faith. The fact that we have a book called the Bible which guides our belief is faith.  Trusting in God and His promises and the fact that He makes everything possible for His children is also faith.

There are so many theories in the world which has the ability to shake the very foundation of our faith that is why it is important to be grounded in the word. I shared a testimony about how my philosophy class at the University of Ghana made us argue only through the things that we felt. There were classes that I sat through that took us through how the world was created and according to my lectures, it can only be proven through our senses and an example is how scientists prove how the world came into being through the Big Bang Theory. These were confusing and if care not taken will sway you from the faith. No wonder people go to the universities and colleges, and come back without their faith.  If you are looking to prove the existence of God only through your senses then, my brother or sister, you are in the wrong faith.

Faith is very important for your prayers to be answered. The Bible says that with faith as a little as a mustard seed, we can tell a mountain to move into the sea. The question therefore is why we don’t have our prayers answered. Perhaps, our faith is too small; smaller that mustard seeds.  That explains why our prayers are not reaching anywhere.

Ability to speak in tongues requires you to have faith. A number of us have been Christians  for so long but we still do not speak in the language of the spirit just because we are doubtful. The Book of James records that anyone who is doubtful will not receive anything from God – James 1:7

What kind of thoughts are you entertaining? Do you always doubt God and His power yet you say you are a Christian? Why don’t you spend today praying to God to increase your faith?

Winning Souls at the Drinking Bar

Who do you evangelize to? Are there specific people you should be targeting when evangelizing? Will you evangelize in a drinking bar or to prostitutes on the streets?

Who do you evangelize to? Are there specific people you should be targeting when evangelizing? Will you evangelize in a drinking bar or to prostitutes on the streets?

In the previous post, I mentioned how I broke my “evangelism silence” and ended up speaking to more people than I had ever imagined.  Today, I hope I get readers like you to help me answer the questions a number of questions which will clear certain doubts on the believers’ minds.

I was faced with these problems when a group of us went out last Sunday to evangelize. We passed in front of a drinking bar when we were suddenly approached by a group of men in the bar. They invited us into the bar and asked us to share the word of God with them. They provided us with a time limit of 5 minutes. We prayed and started sharing the word about the love of God based on John 3:16.

The men were silent and receptive until we concluded the message. They asked us if they could ask us questions and probably have a discussion with us based on the word we had shared with them. We told them they could ask us questions but whether we can sit down for the kind of discussion they want to have with us is something we would have to postpone till a later date. These innocent words got the men infuriated. They started using all sort of words to describe us, accusing us of choosing the easier aspect of Christianity.  We were not bothered by their words though because we knew they were under the influence of alcohol but my mind started to wander if as Christians we choose the “easier” route as these men described it.

We know Jesus Christ came for the lost sheep (Matthew 15: 24) so as Christians are we limiting ourselves when it comes to evangelism? Do you suggest specific times and venues go out and win souls? What are your experiences? Let us know your thoughts via Email, Facebook or Twitter.

Evangelism and the Faith

One of our mandates as Christians is to go into the world and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit – Mathew 28:19.  This is also known as the Great Commission. The Great Commission or evangelism is not only speaking to people about God but another way of doing that is through our actions and our words.  People should have a change of hearts by observing your actions.

As we know, we have been mandated to win souls and it is a fact that most of us shy away from this duty that has been bestowed on us. We shy away from this basically because we are afraid people will turn us away or they will not want to listen to what we have for them or they may ask us difficult questions that we may not have answers to.

Personally, I had never evangelized to anyone until it was added to a course I was reading at church. It was not as difficult as I had imagined it. The people I spoke to were much more receptive. Within an hour, we had spoken to over 15 people and we believed they were going to be saved.  I have taken part in three separate evangelism programmes in my church after I was able to break the barrier.

I also believe in what the Bible says Romans 8:30 which says, “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”

You may not feel qualified to speak about the goodness of God with other people but bear in mind that God used Moses who stammered, Jeremiah, Gideon, and others back in the day so if we avail ourselves, God is ready to use us. As my one of the teachers in my church puts it, “this is the work that brings the most blessing to us Christians.”

Have you taken it upon yourself to evangelize to people? How were you able to break the “silence” the first time? We want to hear what you have to say on Twitter and Facebook.

College and Christianity

What do you do when you realize you are drifting from the faith? How do you treat people who don’t believe in what you believe in? This is based on a personal experience.

What do you do when you realize you are drifting from the faith? How do you treat people who don’t believe in what you believe in? This is based on a personal experience.

A number of people are Christians because they are born into the faith. A percentage experiences the goodness of the Lord as they grow up and they turn to the faith. It is also a fact that a number of us backslide somewhere along the way, while a number of us grow even stronger as the years go by.

Until college, I had never encountered anyone who categorically stated they did not belong to any religion and were not Christians at all. In college, I met this special group of people who did not mind being called an atheist and up till now, I continue to meet several people categorically state they did not believe in God. It was during my encounter with these people that I began questioning the existence of God. People presented so many “sound” arguments that God did not exist. My philosophy course did not make the situation easier since our arguments were based on what we experienced through our senses (a posteriori).  It was quite a challenging period for me. There were periods that I stayed in my room on Sundays trying to figure out if God really existed but the truth is I struggled, even more, answering this question outside of the word. The word in Genesis 1 states that God created the world in six days and on the seventh day He rested. I don’t know what else I was looking for.

Although I was going through these moments of challenges, I also met other people who were doing their best for God.  Though I was being challenged on one side, there were others who were serving God in spirit and in truth on the other side. Such people served as motivation to me also during that period of my life. They encouraged me to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness – Matthew 6:33 and I can confidently say that it was in college that I received the Holy Spirit. That was the beginning of a struggle-free relationship with God.  I admit I struggled with my faith but my constant visit to the church and regular conversations with believers enabled me to come out of my confusion and doubt.

Have you been in a similar situation or even worse? Have you experienced any kind of unbelief? How did you overcome it? How do you react when you meet people who do not share in your Faith? Share your experiences with us here or on Facebook or Twitter.