Main Point: The time we personally spend with God defines us. If we skip spending time with Him, our lives lack true definition. The reasons for studying the Bible and praying are far too great to neglect.
Discussion Starter: Top 10 Reasons for Not Having a Quiet Time
Read these Top 10 Reasons in David Letterman style, starting from 10 and working your way down. Of course, feel free to substitute in some of your own “reasons.”
10. What? I can’t miss The Office right now! Did you see what Dwight just did?
9. I need to spend more time with my family…yeah, that’s it…my family.
8. Call of Duty: Black Ops. Need I say more?
7. I’m too sleepy in the morning to read my Bible. And at night, too.
6. I’ve got so much to do around the house: clean my room, walk the dog, scoop the poop, change the litter box, pick on my little brother….
5. I can’t even pronounce half the people’s names in the Bible!
4. I’m allergic to genuine cowhide leather.
3. If you have one quiet time, God’s going to expect another.
2. Don’t know if I should fold my hands this way, or that way, when I pray.
1. Sorry. I’ve got a rousing game of Full Contact Croquet to get to.
Some of those excuses sound ridiculous, right? OK, all of them sound ridiculous. In fact, there isn’t a good reason to skip a personal time with God each and every day. The benefits of life-defining moments with God simply cannot be ignored. Let’s spend a few moments talking about how we can make sure we have a time with God every day.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we begin, let’s all take a moment to share our names and our favorite person to hang out with.
- ASK A FEW: Were there some “excuses” missing from our list that you can think of?
- ASK A FEW: When people talk about quiet times, they are usually referring to two things: prayer and Bible study. Of those two, which seems to be the most important? Why?
- ASK A FEW: Which of these two seem to be the most difficult for you? Why?
- ASK A FEW: Do you ever feel like not praying or studying the Bible at all? I mean, have you ever asked yourself, “What’s the point?” Why?
Read the following passage:
Psalm 119:9-16 (NIV)
How can a young person keep their way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.
Read the following passage:
Matthew 6:5-13 (NIV)
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
I enjoyed our small group time tonight. I think we covered some really important elements of life: prayer and Bible study. Let me just remind you that Jesus spent time in synagogues reading and studying His Father’s Word. He also spent lots and lots of time in prayer with Him. If Jesus needed that, so do we!
You know, the best reason I’d say to pray and study is simple: God wants to hear from us and be heard by us. In short, God – the Creator of the universe – wants to be alone with you! Pretty cool.
Listen, before we close tonight, I want to have a little fun. We’ve prepared a short skit to sort of illustrate how things can go wrong when we seek to pray to God. Take a look at this simple little sketch to see if any of these roadblocks are hindering your daily devotions with God.
- Narrator: A couple of students were praying in their rooms the night before their very first time in youth group. Listen in to hear what they were praying about.
Guy: Dear God, I am so excited about youth group tomorrow. I just pray that You would draw me…into the presence…of a hot girl! I just know you’re gonna bring me there and the light’s gonna shine down from Heaven on that girl. Lord, I know you hear my prayer.
Girl: God, I just pray that at this new youth group, it will be all girls – no stupid boys. Just girls – but no mean girls.
Guy: God, I know that You’ve laid it on my heart to be a missionary…to the females in my youth group. You’ve given me all the love and compassion they need. I thank You for this call, Lord. It’s not an easy call, but I’ll go. Here I am, send me!
Girl: Oh, Lord, I pray that my hair won’t frizz up during youth group…and that everyone will be nice to me…because I hate mean girls….especially mean church girls! And if there are any dumb boys there, and they get any ideas about talking to me, which of course they will, I just pray You’ll strike them with muteness.
Guy: God, I just have this sense that tomorrow when I go to youth group, there will be some cute girl there who’s ready for me to minister to her. Lead me, by Your spirit, to that girl. Your word says that when we need to talk Your spirit will give us the words to say. So I pray that You’d give me the best pick-up line from heaven! And I thank You that You’ve blessed me with such a pretty face and a muscular body. The combination of myself and Your spirit, no girl can resist. God, you do want me to have a Christian girlfriend, don’t you? So, please point her out to me tonight!”
Girl: And, Lord, don’t let anyone act dumb around me…especially boys looking for cute girls like me at youth group!
If you need more help with this, just hang back a few more minutes when we break up for the evening. The adult leaders in this room know how important it is to have daily times set aside with God. We’d love to help you with this. Just come see us.
Close in Prayer
By Danette Matty; Skit by Danette Matty, Ryan and Liz Underwood
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.