This is a very good question, and I appreciate reading each response. As a youth in church, leaders would try to teach us how to have a quiet time. Devotion books or prayer journals, maybe just reading and memorizing certain passages of Scripture. It was hard to even take 5 minutes on a regular basis back then. I love what Francoise said about reading the Bible to learn about God. How wonderful that God wants to be known! For me right now, recently retired from teaching and with no children running around to distract me, quiet times in the morning are very different than when I was working. A devotion book may lead me to Scripture verses that cause me to ponder a truth and journal about it, adding more verses as I go. Recently I found a book called “The Way of Righteousness” by P.D. Branson, an English translation of a series of 100 radio scripts originally written in the Wolof language and broadcast for the Muslims in West Africa. It presents the answer to Job’s question, “How can a man be righteous before God?” by viewing God’s “unalterable purpose throughout human history,” looking from Genesis and through Revelation in a very clear manner for those not familiar with the truth of the Gospel. Reading this and then reading the actual chapters of Scripture covered in the Bible is adding another layer of understanding for me as to God’s overarching eternal plan.
For me, prayer in the mornings is hearing what God is saying in His Word and thanking Him for everything that comes to mind, praising Him for who He is, and praying through the armor of God in Ephesians 6. A friend challenged me to “put on” that armor each morning a few years ago and it is a blessing to focus my mind on the truth that the battle is the Lord’s. As people or situations come to mind, asking for what His will is for them also occurs. Talking with the Lord throughout the day is a natural overflow of the morning. Music and nature are certainly wonderful catalysts for praise and for me, that is usually something that comes at other times in the day. Taking a walk and listening to a good Bible teacher while I walk has also been a blessing but usually happens in the evening for me. The things that are heard and learned during the day add to the quiet time’s lessons or assist the next morning to be richer. I love that Alison and Carrie make the most of the time they have in bits and pieces. “Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” God will bless as we seek Him!
By the way, as a former mathematics teacher, I love all the math references. God’s creation really does show off His glory!!