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:
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!