For those of you who have ever struggled with the concept of how to create a meaningful devotional time, here are 7 simple steps for you (and those you teach).
Teaching Tip: Encourage your church or small group to think about your devotional/quiet-time as not just another thing to do—on top of the already overloaded list of things to do—but as an opportunity to deepen the friendship Jesus calls us into.
Devotional Step 1: Start quiet time by, well, being quiet. The Bible calls it “waiting on God. ”You start by simply sitting down in a place with minimal noise and take a moment to clear your head of any distracting thoughts. Do this until you feel calm and ready to listen to God’s Word.
“Many Christians have so busied themselves with programs and activities that they no longer know how to be silent and meditate on God’s word or recognize the mysteries that are in the Person of Christ.”
–Christian Apologist Ravi Zacharias
Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name; The upright shall dwell in Your presence. – Psalm 140:13
Use a Bible reading plan (try our 30-day plan!) so you’re not wasting time picking a passage. Don’t try to read too quickly or too much. The more slowly you read Scripture, the more you’re able to think about what you’re reading. graphic for Bible
Remember: The Word of God is alive in praise and hymns. Mix it up and use your devotional time to study and pray over the lyrics to your favorite worship songs.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”—Hebrews 4:12
Devotional Step 4: Think About It. Spend some time thinking about the passage. What caught your attention? What were some things you noticed? Did anything connect and convict you? Think through what you focused on—they may be things God wanted you to notice.
“I will meditate on Your precepts And regard Your ways. I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word.” –Psalm 119:15-16
When God speaks to you through his Word, write it down. It not only helps us remember, but it’s also amazing to be able to look back and see how God was (and is) working in our lives. graphic for writing
“Great are the works of the LORD; They are studied by all who delight in them.”—Psalm 111:2
Devotional Step 6: Apply it to your life. Think about what you’ve discovered. Now, try and make one or two applications to your life. If you notice that you found yourself angry at the prodigal son in Luke 15, consider what it may mean in your life. Make your applications specific and realistic. graphic for application
“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”—1 John 3:8
“The amount of time we spend with Jesus, meditating on His Word and His majesty, seeking His face, establishes our fruitfulness in the kingdom.”—Pastor and Author Charles Stanley
What were your thoughts on our ways to develop a Devotional Time with God? We would love to read your thoughts and comments!