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Personal Devotions

Personal Devotions

By Jill

Do you regularly set aside time to read your Bible and pray? It can be hard to do when it seems like life is so busy sometimes that we barely have time to shower and eat.

Several years ago, I was challenged by someone to commit to spend at least 5 minutes every day in personal devotions (reading my Bible and praying), and if I missed a day, I committed to try to make it up the next day. As followers of Christ, we should really be giving much more time than that each day devoted to our personal spiritual health, but starting small and being intentional to carve out at least 5 minutes a day usually leads to a longer 20-30 minutes and sometimes more!

My devotions look different at different points, but recently they usually consist of a few components:

  1. I suggest you always have a copy of God’s word, the Bible, on hand and although you may not always have a hard copy (I have a Bible app on my phone that I use sometimes too), I think it really is best to regularly use a hard copy for devotions. Using our phones can be good when you don’t have another option, but it can also cause us to get distracted more and make it harder to make notes too. I grew up only using the King James Version (KJV) Bible and still like it, but I’m currently using an ESV study bible my parents got me for Christmas a couple years ago and really love it!
  2. Find a place where you can be alone. I realize you may not always be able to do this, but when I do this it definitely enhances the quality of my “quiet times,” or devotions, because it minimizes distractions and gives me space to regroup and be real with Jesus away from others. Before I was married, this place was usually the “prayer closet,” a small room just outside the girls room at my parents house. Now my quiet place is usually our master bedroom.
  3. Keep a prayer journal. I’ve had different types of journals, but right now I keep a small notebook with me during my devotions which is really more than just prayers. I express my heart to God through my prayers plus write down different meaningful Bible verses, songs and notes on what I’m learning from the Bible, track recent happenings, and take sermon notes for easy review during the week. I feel like writing things down helps me process better as well as avoid getting distracted. Plus, it provides a way for me to look back and see answers to prayer!
  4. Turn on uplifting music! I find that having soft music playing, especially Christian music, helps me focus, encourages me to praise, worship and remember God’s holiness, and also encourages my heart by reminding me of these things and His promises through the uplifting lyrics. I’ve recently been listening to the KLRC app or Pandora stations “Shane and Shane” or “Keith and Kristyn Getty”.

There are lots of Bible reading and prayer plans, but right now I’m not going through a specific plan. I start my time in prayer and worship and try to find specific things I can thank God for that day. Again, I’m not super structured right now with a plan in my Bible reading. I just finished reading slowly through the book of Luke and I’m starting on the book of Matthew now and taking my time reading the study notes and some of the cross references. I’ve also been reading about 5 Psalms each day (day of the month +30, plus each multiple of 5 over that, and you will get through them all in a month!), and occasionally the Proverb that corresponds with the day of the month too. I also have index cards I keep in my Bible as bookmarks with names of people (friends, family, missionaries, etc.) and things I’m praying for plus other verses or prayers I want to be reminded of daily. I usually like to start and end with prayer.

Regardless of how your quiet time is laid out, I hope that you are able to find some time each day, even if just for a little while, to be alone with God and learn more about Him through his words to us, the Bible!

We are in a spiritual battle against good and evil and will face pressures and problems often at unexpected times. We can find strength for the journey and be more prepared through our regular connection with God in prayer and reading the Bible.

If you’re not a Christian, but interested in what this means/want a relationship with Jesus and security in life after death, don’t wait! Follow this link to learn more and then find a Bible believing church in your local area and let the pastor know about your desires and get connected! We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow!

What does your devotion time look like? Do you have a plan you stick to or a devotional book you go through to spur your regular Bible reading? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. Derick Dillard

    Nice! Thanks for sharing babe! One of my favorite daily devotional books is Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost for His Highest.” Right now, I’m going through a daily plan from our church to read through the Bible in a year.

    • susan keller

      I am not really sure that the Bible is the word of God. I would like to believe it is, and I want to believe in Jesus and heaven and hell…well maybe not hell lol. The problem is that no matter how much I try to believe, I can’t. Any advice for someone like me?

      • Derick & Jill

        Hey Susan! Aww. It makes sense how you could wrestle with that. Maybe you can start by getting a Bible and reading the book of John and pray and ask God to show you who He is and then find a Bible believing church in your area too (call them to connect with them) and if they’re open, you could go, or watch online. Here is a link to help you find a church in your area. If you don’t find anything please contact us again via email on our “contact” page! We want to help you and anyone grow in their understanding of God and his love for you.
        Christianity isn’t about doing all the right things, although it is important to honor God in the way we live our lives because we will someday stand before him and give an account of our actions and attitudes.
        But it is important to realize that we can’t earn our way to heaven. We must understand and admit we are all sinners and realize that Jesus died (took our punishment for us) for our sins and defeated death and brought us victory through his resurrection and that only through this we can have a relationship with him. We must repent and ask him for forgiveness and commit to live for him and let him be the boss of our lives. Then get connected with a church and read our Bible and pray to grow in our faith.
        There is a great movie on Netflix called, “The Case for Christ” it lays out several great points on one atheist man’s journey for the existence of Christ.
        Again, let us know on the “contact” page if you have anymore questions. Feel free to watch our local church services online with us too! They’re streamed live every Sunday at 9:30am (CST) and they have Spanish and kids services too!

        Hope this helps!
        -Derick and Jill

    • Marijke

      Maybe not the best place to write this, but when I prayed for you and the painfull circumstances you’re in with some familiemembers, I had some thoughts I want to share….

      Read Psalm 118:5
      Jesus is Overcomer!

      In my country this song is quite popular. I saw itha been translated, so maybe it will encourage you too!

  2. Amanda

    Thank you for this Jill! I have been saved for 12 years and have never had good Bible reading/prayer habits. It’s so easy to get distracted with other things. I will definitely try to use your guidelines and hopefully get into a regular habit. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Shanna browning

    As a very new bible studier, I have been opening my bible and reading where it opens. I read at least a couple of chapters. I also read a proverb a day. This past weekend, I was on a trip with the ladies group from our church and seen two miracle be brought forth from God. God answered the prayers that had been flowing through our church for months. After many losses, our church will be growing by 2! These mommas have endured so much heartache! Please keep them in your prayers for a healthy pregnancy that will go full term. We are standing in His promises and know that God loves them. They are His precious gifts to us.

  4. Reeta Young

    I fix my cup of tea, feed my cat & dog, then read my Bible & pray first thing in the morning while I’m drinking my tea. Of course I pray all throughout the day when anyone comes to my mind. Thanks for being an inspiration Jill. By the way, I have prayed for you & Derick many times, esp when you were in Central America.

    • Camille Carswell

      Dear Jill,
      Your taste in music is similar to mine because I love the Gettys and Shane and Shane! Since you like them, have you heard City Alight (Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor) or Selah (Before the Throne of God Above)?

  5. Regina

    Good morning Jill. Thank you for sharing how you do your devotional time and I hope other women will share their time too.
    I have a space in our walk in closet that is my “war room” that i set up after seeing the movie War Room.

    I confess that lately I’ve been sitting in a rocking chair in our master bedroom for devotions but I’m realizing now I want to get back to my war room for prayer. I have too many distractions.

    Anyway I have four devotional books I use for my daily devotions. I use Beside the Still Waters, Tea Leaves which is written for and by women, Jesus, Our Perfect Hope by Dr. Charles Stanley and In Touch also by Charles Stanley. I have several hymnals and matching cds to sing along with. I like the KJV Bible but I like to use the CSB Study Bible for Women. It has lots of nice features which are helpful for Bible Study. I too have a Bible (YouVersion) that I use if I’m out and about and I want to look up a verse or I want to read the Bible white at the doctor office.

    I’ve been able to get in at least 30 minutes or more of time in the mornings with the Lord. For me it helps me get through my day better. Oh and I forgot to mention though I’m not always consistent with a reading through the Bible reading plan, I do like the one called Bible Reading Plan for Shirkers and Slackers. This is the one I use in addition to my daily devotions.
    Have a glorious rest of your week.

  6. Christine

    Thank you for posting this! I would love to start reading the bible, but have no clue where to start. I have gone to a non-denominational church a few times and loved it. They started to push me to volunteer during the service. I was there for the service and new to it all. It turned me away very quickly. Maybe by starting this at home it will be a good start!

    • Doreen

      I’ve been doing Good Morning Girls Bible studies for the last year and a half. Courtney Joseph is the Blog writer at Courtney does several Bible studies throughout the year. We just finished 1 Corinthians this week. You can follow her on Facebook or Instagram under the Good Morning Girls name. Her studies are easy to do and you can learn from others as they post about the reading of the day. I usually buy the journal that goes along with the study, not necessary but helpful if you are new to her studies.

      I just started rereading my Proverbs for a Woman’s Day book by Elizabeth George, a book I really enjoyed. I have also enjoyed reading many of Sharon Jaynes’ books.

      Jill…Thanks for sharing your devotions with us!

  7. michelle gallina

    I miss you guys on TV. It was not right that they took you off. I pray all is well with your family! On another note, please research the ESV translation. Pray about it, please. Love to you all! (PS. I am not a KJV only person, I just want reliable translations). :0)

    The ESV Corrupts 1st John 5:7

    Here’s 1st John 5:7 from the ESV…

    “For there are three that testify.”

    Now here’s the trustworthy King James Bible…

    “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”

    Obviously, the ESV is not anywhere near accurate and is a lie of the Devil. Like all other corrupt modern versions of God’s Word, the ESV removes the GODHEAD.

    The ESV Corrupts Philippians 2:6

    Now here’s Philippians 2:6 from the ESV…

    “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,”

    Now here’s the trustworthy King James Bible…
    “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:”

    Clearly, the ESV robs Jesus Christ of His deity, claiming that He couldn’t grasp being equal with God. Yet the King James Bible proclaims that Jesus is Almighty God (Revelation 1:8). God deliver us from the apostasy of our day, from all the Bible-corrupters and Christ-rejecters. It may all sound good on the surface (and I’m sure a lot of naive people will buy into the lie); but the ESV translators butchered the Word of God, even denying the Lord’s deity in Philippians 2:6. Just as with the NIV, the ESV removes the word “worshipped” in Matthew 8:2, replacing it with the weaker word “knelt.” Please read, Worship Jesus. Just as with the NIV perversion, the ESV removes important Biblical terms such as: Godhead, Calvary, Lucifer, sodomite, et cetera. I challenge you to compare all the problems with the NIV to the ESV and you’ll find a striking similarity.

    • Tabi J

      michelle gallina,
      Have you looked at the history of the KJV? King James didn’t authorize it because he wanted an accurate English translation, he had it authorized because he didn’t like the Geneva Bible and wanted people to stop reading it. The Geneva Bible was a popular translation of its time, now largely forgotten because of King James.

      In fact, if you read the introduction of the KJV, it reads this in the 1611 edition: To the most high and mightie Prince, James by the grace of God King of Great Britaine, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. The translators of The Bible, wish Grace, Mercie, and Peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


      The introduction indicated that the the translators did not dedicate the KJV to God, but rather King James. The ONLY reason why it exists in the first place is POLITICS.

  8. Rachel

    I’ve been using my Bible app and doing different devotionals they have on there! It’s amazing how when you start reading the Word, you desire it more and more!
    Right now I’m doing the “God’s Not Done with You” devotional by Tauren Wells. It’s really good! I love listening to inspirational music while I pray too. A good song suggestion is “Wait on the Lord” by James Wilson. I think you’ll love it!
    May God continue to lead and guide you in His word!

    • Angela

      I have a woman’s Bible devotion book that I read and while it is not in anyway the full version of any Bible, it is good for me and I get things out of it and that works for me but I am going to download the Bible app because there are times when I am not home but definitely need guidance . Thank you for sharing especially regarding the Bible app and I respect everyone’s devotion and the way we all practice our own Christianity, whatever we personally do for us selves is exactly what we need for ourselves, in my opinion. Have a great day

  9. Gabby

    Such a great post! I love that challenge to make up quiet time the next day if you miss a day. For my daily devotions, I use a Jesus Calling book that I love. Thanks for sharing, Jill!

    • Angela

      Can you tell me more about the Jesus calling book? Thank you & greatly appreciated

  10. Victoria

    So good to hear that Jill.
    Bibel study is the best every day. God promises to keep young those who read the Word every day and abide in HIM.
    This is our given way to communicate with HIM.
    He gives us so much wisdom, protection, rejuvenation, hope and direction.
    God’s Word is a way of life and God delights us, when we seek Him. For one – because we are vulnerable in this world, and also because He is our save refuge, strong tower, Redeemer, Protector, Peace Giver, Supplier, Heavenly Father, Lover, Husband, Hiding Place.

    Please, pray for me to meet the right guy and start a godly family.
    Thanks for being there for us.
    I had a dream with you and your kids tonight walking toward some beautiful old building (guess some local state institutionin red). You were in that long dress – stipped red and white, the sun was shining and the grass was green and your two boys were around.
    Have a bright future ahead.
    Please, pray for me, Victoria

  11. Janie Moore

    Thank you for your wonderful post on devotions.

    When I first started digging deeper into the Bible I enjoyed finding monthly Bible verse devotions on Pinterest. I printed out the page, taped it into my notebook, then each day I devoted one page of the notebook to each day of the month.

    I would S.O.A.P. journal the verse while I memorized it. It was a great way to break down the verse so that I could figure out exactly what God was wanting me to learn from it.

    S= Scripture

    Like you, I often find when I do something like this daily I’m spending more time in God’s Word. It seems like this world stops and God’s world opens up. What a joy and peace it brings!

    Thanks again for your post and God bless!

  12. Christina

    I spend about 30 minutes in devotion every night. I call it my God Time. It includes that day’s readings( I’m Catholic, so I get the readings for the week through my church bulletin), the free devotional offered through Billy Graham. org, a lot of Christian blogs and scrolling through the Instagram accounts of prominent Christians like Tim Tebow, Sadie Robertson and of course, the Duggars. Sadie Robertson has a great blog called Live Original, which features new posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Two other websites that have great faith based content are LifeZette and Fox News even though they are not specifically non-secular. By reading faith based blogs and online articles and testimonies, I’m succeeding in staying close to His Word and am also connecting on a heart level to the triumphs and struggles of other believers.

  13. ESS

    Hi Jill,

    I wanted to share a link I thought you might like for your boys (or at least for Israel; Sam is likely a bit young for it). I figured it would get lost in Instagram comments, so I hope it’s okay that I’m sharing it here.

    I’m a teacher of young kids, and I use this site (there’s also an app) to help my students calm down before different activities or transitions. It’s really helps them pause and refresh after a busy activity like visiting the park or taking a lunch break 🙂 or to help a kid who is getting up to trouble cool off and try again. My students especially love Rock-a-bye, Frog Leaps, and Five Finger Breathing.

    Not affiliated with the site in any way…I just have found it really helpful after a coworker recommended, and thought you might like it. In addition to helping the kids, it gives me a few minutes to finish laying out an activity–or a moment to breathe and refocus with them when I need that myself (teacher life, haha) :).

    All the best!

    • ESS

      Oh–and while I’m thinking of good sites, I love too for when I want the kiddos to get some extra movement and energy out and the weather doesn’t permit us to go outside :). They get so excited to make their character “grow” as they earn exercise points! Very different from Stop Think Breathe but another good tool.

      Anyway, sorry again that this is off-topic for this post–just wasn’t sure where to put it!

  14. Reba

    Where’s that blog post you said you were working on?

    • Regina

      Oops! Looks like your comment and this blog post on personal devotions somehow crossed with each other.

      • Reba

        Actually Jill mentioned on Instagram a few days ago that she was working on another big pictures post. That’s the one I’m looking forward to!

  15. gladys

    Any hope of y’all returning to Counting On? The show just isn’t the same without the Dillards!

  16. Reba

    Are you guys ever going to share what REALLY happened with Samuel’s birth? Clearly something went wrong since he was in NICU and Jill hasn’t been able to get pregnant since his birth. Just tell the truth already!

    • A Mom

      Perhaps its none of our business which it isn’t and maybe, just maybe they are spacing their children.

  17. Suzy

    Jill…you should do an online bible study live…maybe just 15 mins or so once a month??

  18. Betty

    Just wanted to thank you for this blog and the YouTube channel. This year I’m trying to be more diligent and set aside time each day to dig into my Bible instead of merely glossing over the “Verse of the Day” via the little Bible app. And what started as 5 minutes has increased to several reading sessions throughout the day. I’ve been saved for 42 years but committing to daily reading has deepened my relationship with the Lord and I’ve learned so much about myself as well.

    God bless you all.


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