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Pastors' Wives Retreat

Pastors' Wives Resource site provided by the Sunday School Discipleship Ministries International, a ministry of the Church of the Nazarene. We want to hear about your experiences, the lessons you’ve learned and how God’s Word and prayer supported and sustained you in the joys and challenges of parsonage life.

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Christ said, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Cor 12:9

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We want to hear about your experiences, the lessons you’ve learned and how God’s Word and prayer supported and sustained you in the joys and challenges of parsonage life.

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PoWeR— the Pastors' Wives Resources website provides resources for the parsonage family. It is also a place where you will find a common bond with those who constantly face the joy and challenges of parsonage life…read more

Quiet Time PDF Print E-mail

I can’t remember when I last heard the expression, “Quiet Time.” It wasn’t in a sermon. Maybe it was in an article I read. A book? Probably. It’s one of those quaint sayings from the 1950s that you seldom hear used anymore, unless you like pop music. Or you’re shopping for a pet bed.

There’s “Time Out,” of course. But that’s an expression related to discipline. When kids hear it, they are quick to reply, “What did I do?” And in the next breath, they point to someone else in the room. And there is also “quiet,” as in the absence of noise. The hearing impaired know all about this condition and how expensive it is to correct.

What I’m talking about is a time specifically set aside to be quiet. Silent. If you have a remote control in your hand, it’s that very tiny button that reads “mute.” Nothing reaching the level of sound that can be heard. It is the reverse of those devices that fit over the top of your ear that are advertised to elevate the sound so that you can hear conversations on the other side of the room. Maybe someone will write a book with the title, “Privacy Lost.” Not being able to hear stuff being said across the room can be a blessing.

The “quiet time” I am referring to may have been what Aristotle had in mind when he wrote, “The ideal man is his own best friend and takes delight in privacy.” You don’t hear much about scheduling quiet times any more. You hear about programs, accessories, and devices that do the opposite—they force you into a tight schedule, socially mixing you with people you would prefer not to socialize with, and music that comes in decibels that are too powerful to measure.

Many years ago the opera star, Lily Pons, wrote an essay entitled “The Mood,” in which she said, “American people are becoming more and more like the Red Queen in ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ who had to keep running in order to stay where she was. The hectic tempo and mass activity of the business world have spread into all phases of modern life. People have forgotten how to slow down, how to be alone.”

I like the way Mother Teresa addressed the concept of being quiet. She said, “God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer.” Those in the Quaker tradition expressed it in a way that is familiar to many of us. They called this quietness, “waiting upon the Lord.” David said in Psalm 27:14, “Wait on the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait on the Lord.”

Developing a “quiet time” requires two disciplines: stopping and starting. By “stopping” I mean “changing directions.” Stop listening to distracting voices; stop talking; stop debating; stop arguing; stop giving directions; stop processing information; stop planning; stop doing games. Turn off the radio, the television, the I-pod, the computer, the Blackberry, the stereo. Just stop, period. Not permanently, but at least for the period of time you want to “wait on the Lord.” How much time should you set aside? It depends on how long it takes you to stop doing what you were doing.

“Starting” requires “changing directions” as well. Select a location, a time where the routine stuff can be set aside. Old timers called the location for the quiet time a “prayer closet.” That doesn’t work for me. I’m a bit claustrophobic. No, I’m very claustrophobic. But dark works for me.  I like to be able to reduce the lighting in the “location.” Once you are “there,” ask God to meet you, to talk to you, to guide you, to bless you. Starting means inviting God into your wait-on-the-Lord location. What is the most important thing to do there? Start listening. Does this mean that if you listen, God will speak audibly to you? No. If you need help here, open your Bible. I like the Psalms. Read with your eyes, not with your lips. Listening and talking don’t go together. Read until you feel that God wants you to stop. Meditate on that verse. Ask God what he wants to say to you about what you have just read. When you’ve got it, write it down. Thank him. Repeat this as often as you can. Bunching some minutes together helps. Bunching hours is even better. But the important thing is to stop…and start. Good things will happen when you do. It’s called quiet time.

To receive Dr. Barnard's weekly publication regularly, send your name and email address to Dr. Tom Barnard at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Back copies of “TM” may be read and downloaded at this website:

A note to Pastors' husbands –  

We welcome pastors’ husbands to visit this page and to provide insights into the needs and challenges you face. Let us know how we can minister to you and assist as you fulfill your supportive roles. Send your comments and suggestions to us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Until then, we welcome you to join the discussions and provide resources on this site...Read More

Prayer support –

Each weekday, Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries International (SDMI) meet for prayer. All requests will be presented to the staff, except those identified as confidential. We’ll pray for you, asking God to work and to extend grace and mercy...Read More

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