I love having my daily devotions (quiet times with God) each day. Daily devotions were never too difficult for me until I got older, started working, and had more things on my to-do list. My day started earlier and I found myself facing options I never thought about before. Do I get up earlier to have morning devotions (and get behind in sleep) or do I wait until I have a break in the afternoon? Should I read my Bible or pray first? Is it best if I read several chapters of Scripture or should I just focus on a small passage? How do I even fit in daily devotions at all?!
Can you relate? Then this post is for you! Whether you are just starting to have devotions, or you’re an “old pro” who needs encouragement, read on! The following 6 tips will help you with your daily devotions.
(Before you dive into the tips: Please remember that walking with God isn’t just about having “daily devotions.” Walking with God means spending time with Him, talking to Him, and abiding in Him throughout your whole day. Daily devotions is just the set apart time we devote to Him each day.)
6 Tips for Daily Devotions
1) Decide on a Time
“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” Psalm 5:3
First, you must decide when your daily devotions will take place. Personally, I think sometime in the morning is best. We find many examples in Scripture of godly men seeking the Lord in the early morning. Jesus Christ also went out early in the morning to pray (1:35). However, I realize that some days and some phases of life just don’t mesh with morning devotions! Find a time that works for you and your schedule. If you can do your devotions in the morning, then great. If not, make sure you choose a time during the day that works for you and then stick with it!
Once you have chosen your time…
2) Find a Special Place
“And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Mark 1:35
Where will you have your devotions? Is there a special, quiet place for you to read your Bible and pray? My special place has changed quite a few times over the years. It used to be on my bed. When I was a nanny it was on the couch in the home where I worked. Over the summer it was on the porch of my cabin. Now, it’s at our kitchen table during the week and on my bed over the weekend. There’s just something special about having a regular place for devotions.
It’s also fun (and memorable) to change things up every now and then. Such as having your devotions outside on a porch, sitting in a different chair, or going for a walk and finding a quiet spot. Sometimes I will sit out in our enclosed porch. This past summer I occasionally had my devotions next to a lake. 🙂
After finding a special place…
3) Have a Bible Reading Plan
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105
God’s word is a light to guide us through our life. However, so many of us just read it haphazardly without much thought. It’s very helpful to follow some sort of Bible reading plan during our daily devotions. Opening up the Bible and reading at random isn’t always the best way to learn (although there are times when the Holy Spirit guides us to certain passages when we read this way). Following a plan will keep us from reading the Bible haphazardly and inconsistently. Lately, for my daily devotions I have been reading one chapter in Proverbs and then slowly reading through the New Testament Epistles. Some days I read several chapters, other days I will read only a few verses so I can think on them a bit longer. Here are some other ideas to try…
- Read one Proverb and a few Psalms each day.
- Work your way through one book of the Bible.
- Read equal amounts from each section of the Bible: the Law (starting in Genesis), History (starting in Joshua), Poetry (starting in Job), the Prophets (starting in Isaiah) and the New Testament (starting in Matthew). This reading plan will take a bit longer than others but will give you a broader view of the Bible as you read through each section.
- Read a set number of chapters from both the Old and New Testament each day.
- You can also search for Bible reading plans online and find lots of topical reading plans.
Choose a plan and give it a try. Be flexible with it, but use it as a simple guide when you open your Bible to read each day.
4) Pray (Before, During, and After)
“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
This is one of the hardest things for me personally. However, it’s important for us to be in a spirit of prayer when we are having our daily devotions. Here is how we can incorporate prayer into each part of our time with God…
Before – Ask the Lord to search your heart, open your eyes, and help you learn. (Psalm 119:18)
During – Continue asking the Lord to speak to your heart, and talk to Him about what you are reading, thank Him, praise Him, etc.
After – Pray and ask the Lord to help you apply what you read to your life.
Choose a time during your devotions (before, during, or after) that you will spend more concentrated time in prayer for specific requests. Saturate your daily devotions in prayer.
5) Keep a Journal
Writing is a discipline and can aid us in our spiritual growth. Writing out Scripture verses is especially helpful… there’s something about reading, seeing, and writing out a verse.
For me, keeping a journal during my daily devotions has been a huge help. Writing down verses, quotes, thoughts and applications helps to solidify what I learn. I then have an easier time remembering what I learned throughout the day. It’s also really special to look back over old entries to see what I was learning/thinking/feeling at certain times over the past year. Here’s a peak into the journal I just completed:
My spiritual journal has also helped me in my prayer life. Writing down my prayers helps me organize all my jumbled thoughts and stay focused.
Start journaling a few thoughts during your devotions. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. My journal is just a spiral bound notebook with a pretty cover. If you are diligent in keeping a spiritual journal, it will help you learn!
6) Stay Accountable & Committed
“…exercise [train] thyself rather unto godliness.” 1 Timothy 4:7
We are told to exercise ourselves unto godliness – that takes discipline. Having devotions on a daily basis, will take a commitment and maybe even some outside accountability. Some days, you will wake up late, you will get behind, or the thought of devotions may completely slip your mind. That’s why we need to be committed to spending time in God’s Word. That’s also why an accountability partner or mentor is helpful as well…
“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour, for if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him that is alone when he falleth: for he hath not another to help him up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Who can you have as an accountability partner? Find someone that can check on you and encourage you in your commitment. It’s best to have someone who is further along in their spiritual growth and walk with God – they will be able to help “pull you up” when you fall because they are already standing strong. Think about it and ask God to give you an accountability partner. (Although please do not let the lack of an accountability partner keep you from having devotions!!).
Be accountable and stay committed!
Some of the best spiritual blessings and insight are received during our special times with God. When we set apart time to spend with the Lord, we will grow in our walk and fellowship with Him. A close walk with God that changes us into the image of Christ, is so vitally important for each one of us. It’s also crucial to the survival of families, our churches, and our nation.
So, will you spend time with God each day?
Share in the comments below!!
- What are your tips for daily devotions?