A new week is about to begin. Are you ready? If your week is anything like mine, you’ll dash around to meetings, appointments, lessons, church functions, and social gatherings. You’ll drop off and pick up children. You’ll grocery shop, prepare meals, teach, clean the house, and do laundry. As you move from event to event and from task to task, your phone will chirp, chime, and buzz reminding you of the next place you need to be and noisily urging you to complete the next task.
In the midst of your busy schedule, have you carved out a quiet time to fellowship with the Lord each day?
Christians need to meet with the Lord daily. This special time is often referred to as a time of devotion. Through daily devotion, God will recharge our batteries and fill up our spiritual tanks so that we have the energy, focus, clarity, and peace we need to complete the tasks before us. If you’re wondering how to create a devotional time or you’re looking to improve your current devotional time, read on. Here are six tips to help you make the most of your devotional time.
- Create a portable resource basket. Keep your devotional materials in one place so you won’t have to waste time trying to gather them. You will definitely need your Bible for devotions, but consider adding a hymnal, pen, journal, highlighter, commentary, and concordance. Additional resources in my basket include Know Your Bible: All 66 Books Explained, Children’s Ministry Resource Bible, Smith’s Bible Dictionary, Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary Volume 1: Old Testament, and Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary Volume 2: New Testament.
- Find a quiet space. Be sure to settle down in a place that will allow you to concentrate. I like to do devotions in my sunroom and in my living room too, but my favorite devotional spot is on the large, comfy chair in my bedroom. Consider using outdoor spaces such as porches, decks, and gardens as the setting for your devotional time. If your devotional resources are in a basket, you can easily move them to any devotional space you choose.
- Add reading material. Try supplementing Bible reading with another source to help you better understand what you’ve read. A Bible reading plan or specific study such as the ones listed here can give your devotional time direction and purpose. If you choose not to buy a book, you can access free materials online. My favorite freebies are Morning and Evening by Charles Haddon Spurgeon and these studies by Melanie Newton.
- Find an appropriate time and stick to it. Many people like to do devotional time in the morning because it helps set a positive tone for the day. Others, like me, prefer to have a time of devotion in the evening. Select a time that best suits your schedule and allows you to fully concentrate. God never slumbers or sleeps (Psalm 121:4), so He’s ready to meet whenever you are!
- Make enough time. Don’t look at your devotional time as another task on your daily to do list. This time with the Lord is meant to be meaningful, not rushed. Be sure to give yourself ample time to connect with Him through Bible reading, prayer, study, and reflection. I don’t limit myself with a specific amount of time. I simply progress through the parts of my devotion and stop when I’m done.
- Use the time wisely. Pray. Sing. Read and memorize scripture. Write down the things God shares with you. Consider creating a Bible Study Binder to help you focus and use this special time most effectively. Lisa over at Do Not Depart has an excellent post on how to create a Bible Study Notebook. I love this idea so it has become one of newest personal projects! (Update 2015: Check out this video in which I talk about my completed Bible Study Binder.)
If you’ve not incorporated a time of devotion into your daily routine, give it a try. I think you’ll find it to be a welcome break in the midst of a hectic schedule.
© 2013 – 2015, Andrea Thorpe. All rights reserved.