Today David Powlison guest-posts at Between Two Worlds and his thoughts on prayer have the potential to raise the noise level of your quiet times (yes, moms with toddlers, that is possible!). Here's an excerpt, but you really need to read the entire article for yourself:
"It's fair to say that having a "quiet time" is a misnomer. We should more properly have a "noisy time." By talking out loud we live the reality that we are talking with another person, not simply talking to ourselves inside our own heads....I've known many people whose relationship with God was significantly transformed as they started to speak up with their Father. Previously, "prayer" fizzled out in the internal buzz of self-talk and distractions, worries and responsibilities. Previously, what they thought of as prayer involved certain religious feelings, or a set of seemingly spiritual thoughts, or a vague sense of comfort, awe, and dependency on a higher power. Prayer meandered, and was virtually indistinguishable from thoughts, sometimes indistinguishable from anxieties and obsessions. But as they began to talk aloud to the God who is there, who is not silent, who listens, and who acts, they began to deal with him person-to-person....Out loud prayer became living evidence of an increasingly honest and significant relationship. As they became vocal, their faith was either born or grew up."