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Making Quiet Time Meaningful for Kids in 5 Steps

Jan 1, 2024 | Teach Kids Articles

Spending personal time with God is just as important for kids as it is for you! God wants to spend time with all of His children—big and small, young and old. Sadly, many kids struggle creating a devotional routine, while making quiet time meaningful for kids is a challenge many parents and teachers are ill-equipped to navigate. Here are five tips to start developing devotional habits for kids, establishing a lifetime desire to grow their relationship with God.

1) Teach Kids the Meaning of Quiet Time

The first step towards making quiet time meaningful for kids is to help them understand why devotional habits are important. Without this crucial foundation of understanding, it’s easy for quiet time to become just another chore or responsibility for children, rather than realizing it’s an opportunity to commune with God, Himself.

Instead of limiting their experience with daily devotions to simply reading the Bible for a few minutes, help children see quiet time as a chance to talk with God—opening up their hearts to share their wants, needs, fears, struggles, and joys, while listening for the Holy Spirit’s reply. Developing devotional habits for kids isn’t just about fulfilling a spiritual obligation, it’s about drawing near to God and building a personal relationship with Jesus, while receiving daily guidance on how to navigate the day. Encourage kids to feel welcomed by Jesus by reminding them that God eagerly looks forward to spending time with them too.

2) Create a Quiet Time Nook

Another way to start developing devotional habits for kids is to give them their own special place to have their time alone with God by creating a quiet time nook. This could be anything from a specific chair, a corner in the room, a closet, or a special spot outside—anywhere that is good for focus and has a little bit of privacy, especially in a busy household. Even if a child has their own room, setting up a quiet time nook in a designated place outside of their usual environment can help with making quiet time meaningful for kids and extra special. Be sure to encourage them to make that quiet time nook their own; adding good lighting, a cozy cushion, or something that reminds them how much Jesus loves them.

3) Give Kids Devotional Resources

It’s hard to start developing devotional habits for kids if they don’t have the right tools! Equip kids with everything they need for their quiet time by getting them devotional resources. These devotional essentials include a:

  • Bible;
  • Notebook;
  • Pencil with a good eraser;
  • and a devotional book to help guide their quiet time (optional).

You can provide kids with inexpensive devotional books by visiting CEFPress.com, where Child Evangelism Fellowship® offers devotional books suitable for all ages.

For younger children, consider starting with the Every Day with God devotional books, which covers creation, the person of God, the lives of Moses and Jesus, and the book of Acts all in six engaging 30-day modules. For older children, The Wonder devotional books teaches systematic theology and covers many important discipleship topics across six guided 60-day modules, perfect for reading along with KJV or ESV Bibles.

4) Create a Quiet Time Plan

Once your child understands the meaning of time with God, has a special quiet time nook, and all the devotional resources they need to start, the next step to developing devotional habits for kids is to help them understand the basics of what quiet time looks like. To do this, create a quiet time plan by breaking up their daily devotions into five parts:

  • Opening prayer
  • Bible Reading
  • Reflection
  • Journaling
  • Closing prayer

1. Opening Prayer

First, teach kids to start their devotions with prayer. This prayer should include confessing any sins, thanking God for what He has done for them, asking Him to help them understand what they’re about to read in the Bible today, and asking for the strength to obey what it says and follow Him more closely. Invite kids to open a conversation with God, calling upon the Holy Spirit to direct them to any passage or lesson that He particularly wants them to learn today, while making the commitment to listen to what He has to say. Arguably, it’s this open conversation with God that’s most crucial in making quiet time meaningful for kids.

2. Bible Reading

After prayer, have children read a short passage in the Bible or follow along with one of their devotional books. The number of verses that a child reads could correlate with their age, or they could read a whole chapter each day for older children with more comprehension. The book of Proverbs is a great place for kids to start reading from every day for those nuggets of wisdom.

3. Reflection

After reading, teach children to spend time thinking about what the passage says, means, and what God is saying to them through it. If children are confused by a passage, encourage them to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance or to seek the insight of an adult they trust. Some important questions to ask are “how does this apply to my life today?” or “what is Jesus trying to tell me here?”. Developing devotional habits and making quiet time meaningful for kids requires that they not only spend time in the Word, but also understand what it says and what God is trying to teach them.

4. Journaling

Studies have shown that writing down thoughts not only helps us further process what we’re thinking, but also greatly improves reading comprehension and memory. It’s good to write something every day about what God is teaching you! Help in making quiet time meaningful for kids by not only equipping them with a devotional journal, but encouraging them to use it. Even kids who can’t compose full sentences on their own yet can still copy a few words from the Bible—nourishing souls and minds while developing devotional habits for kids.

5. Closing Prayer

Finally, tell kids to end their quiet time by praying again, thanking God for speaking to them and asking Him to further help them obey all that they learned. A closing prayer after quiet time is also the perfect time for kids to express all their emotions, fears, wants, thankfulness, and needs to God—praying for specific things, for other people, or for special guidance throughout the day. Remind kids that God not only hears us every time we pray, but that it’s a conversation. Encourage them to listen for His reply through the day and coming weeks, making quiet time even more meaningful for kids.

5) Be Consistent

Last but not least, like any habit, developing devotional habits for kids takes time and consistency. You can help reinforce these habits by building a specific hour for quiet time into your family schedule or routines. To help start everyone off with their devotions in the morning, consider playing this fun song to let everyone in the house know it’s time to head to their quiet time nook for personal devotions.

Remember that spending time with God should feel like a joy to children, not a chore. While it’s good to encourage kids to have their own devotions, ultimately you’ll never succeed in making quiet time meaningful for kids unless they also choose themselves to participate. Just like a child’s first decision to become saved, spending time with Jesus should be a personal choice and their heart’s desire—not something done out of obligation or because the adults want them to. The best thing you can do to help start developing devotional habits for kids is lead by example!

By starting young, developing devotional habits for kids in saved children can lay the path that helps them walk with God throughout their entire lives. Let’s all start the New Year out with the resolve to enjoy time with God every morning.

This content is from the CEF podcast Teach Kids.  Listen to more content like this on the Teach Kids podcast through your favorite podcast platform.  #TeachKids #KidsMin

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