Each year, at about this time of year, I take some time to contemplate the format of the next successive year's Quiet Time. (I call my Quiet Time, "Penuel" because that means the face of God....and it is in these times set apart for him that I most clearly see the face of God.)
Two years ago I read the entire Bible and also contemplated and prayed about the word God had given me for the year. The word was "blameless" and throughout the year, I spent many hours in confession for sins beginning in my childhood and on through out my life since then. Old scruffy areas of guilty were peeled from my soul and I began to feel the joy of the word "Blameless" - God took those sins and buried them in the deep seas of his conscious forgetfulness where they will never again have the power to chew on my soul.
In 2016 I read the New Testament over the span of the year. It was nice to have a leisurely chance to go more slowly and meditate a bit more on Word since I didn't have so much to read each day. I also received two "random" verses arriving in my email daily. I say "random" because very often they were deliberately chosen by God for me that day. And I also read John Piper's devotional as well as of late, Joni Eareckson Tada's as well.
So what is up for 2017? I think I will probably read "My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers. I have read through this devotional book at least 5 times before....but it is probably my favorite devotional out of the many that I have read. And I think that instead of reading more Scripture I will THINK more and read less. I plan on memorizing one verse or passage daily using the Scripture Typer App on my computer and phone. I have not memorized anything new for a month or two and I miss it. I plan on studying each verse using the Key Word Bible which describes the meanings of the words in the Hebrew and Greek- and also to read on the verse in a study Bible.
Also I want to focus more on my prayer time. I have gotten a bit lax in my discipline of prayer. I miss sitting with the Lord and hearing Him speak and telling him of my thoughts and the needs of others in the world as well as the needs of my family.
So all this will consume a pretty good chunk of time. And I have found that if I don't do it first thing (once I'm conscious enough to be coherent) then I never usually do it at all. This is going to take some doing...because you see those early morning hours of late have been dedicated to chatting with friends online. I know my friends are not going to like this decision....but it is a matter of priority. And God must have first place.
My father thought it a bit odd to customize my quiet time in such a manner. But it helps me to get excited once more about about a new year and a new manner of study. This keeps it fresh, deliberate, and devoted. If you are not intentional about your time with the Lord, maybe you can give this some thought and come up with a plan that excites you. Me? I can't wait til Jan 1, 2017.