The term “quiet time” was coined in the late nineteenth century from the Christian and Missionary Alliance movement. By the 1940s, it replaced the Anglican concept of “the morning watch.” The morning watch focused on prayer requests while the new “quiet time” focused on Bible study and meditation.
InterVarsity’s 1945 booklet “Quiet Time” popularized the term among evangelical university students. The term went mainstream when Billy Graham started using it in the 1950s during his crusades.*
There are three main problems with the modern concept of a “quiet time” that I wish to address in this article. Let’s take them up one at a time (and please don’t skim lest you miss the nuance).
1) Quiet time has been the source of guilt in evangelical circles for decades.
Here’s how it works. Your pastor tells you that God wants you to have a daily “quiet time” — which essentially means praying and reading your Bible.[Continue Reading…]