My current daily devotional routine

What my devotion time looked like this morning

Warning: This post is meant to be descriptive NOT prescriptive. I’m not trying to tell the world that I’ve got this whole thing down or that you need to do what I do. But, I think that sometimes it helps to share what we are up to so that we each have examples we can follow or learn from.

Step One: Prayer

Ok, so step one of my devotion time is really like step 3 or 4 of my day. After waking up I usually stumble downstairs to make the coffee. Sometimes I wish I was one of those Christians that didn’t always talk about coffee (what is it with Christians and the coffee/coffeeshop culture?) but, I am who I am.

Then, on a good day I settle into my couch. Couches are good for devotions because A.) They have a back and a bottom that allow you to sit and B.) Sitting is a good intermediary step between the bed and standing/walking.

Then comes the prayer. Because my mind is usually fairly groggy at this point (and I even consider myself to be a morning person) I start with “The Valley of Vision” a book of Puritan prayers. At this hour in the morning (6:15ish) my mind doesn’t have too many words to think or say. I let the words in this book become my own. I use them as a jumping off point for further prayer later on. With this book, I find myself praying for things that naturally I would never think of. I’ve used different books, but this is the one I’m hooked on lately. You don’t have to be a Puritan (are there any of those?) to read it (I am definitely not!)

Step Two: The Word

Next comes my time in the Bible. Right now I’m reading a chapter in the Old Testament, and one in the New. Today it was Nehemiah 5 and the book of 3rd John. As I read I usually have a highlighter with me to mark the pages up as I read. Later, in Step Three, I will return to these highlighted passages to help focus my reflections. The highlighter I use is a super-fancy Bible highlighter I bought on Amazon. It doesn’t bleed through the pages, and is actually more like a crayon than a typical highlighter. I love it.

I also cannot recommend highly enough the use of a good study Bible. I’ve recommended a few like this one or this one. Even being the genius pastor/seminary graduate I am, I still find myself asking questions and gleaning insights from the notes. Everyone needs one.

Step Three: Reflection

After looking at my highlights again, I start to take notes in my favorite little notebook. I think it’s called a “Travelers Notebook” but, it’s basically a leather cover where I keep 4 notebooks. This thing has changed my organizational life for the better.

Anyway, one of the notebooks is my Bible/Prayer Journal. For a while I was just taking notes/writing quotes/scribbling prayers on blank pages in a Moleskine, but my mind craved more structure. If your brain works the same way, you can check out the pages I use on my Etsy shop. Basically, I have space to ask my questions that I want to look up, space to think about what God is calling me to do/change in life, space to confess, and a spot to reflect on the Good News I heard and the promises God made. I do also have a blank page for any other random things that come to mind or that I want to pray about.

Basically, I have space to ask my questions that I want to look up, space to think about what God is calling me to do/change in life, space to confess, and a spot to reflect on the Good News I heard and the promises God made. I do also have a blank page for any other random things that come to mind or that I want to pray about.

Step Four: Prayer

In the back of the aforementioned notebook I have a few pages where I keep my “Master Prayer List” – basically everything I want to pray for. Anytime someone asks me to pray for them, it goes in this book. I also have a “Prayer Schedule” page. For example, on Mondays I pray for the government and my leaders, Tuesday for the Church/my denomination/and my seminary, Wednesday I pray for the lost, etc.

I try to spend 10-15 minutes in prayer at this point. But, to be honest, even with the structure I’ve given myself I find my mind wandering. Note to self: Stop getting distracted and just do it.

Step Five: Planning the Day

At this point, for all intents and purposes my formal “Devotion” time is over. Now I move onto another notebook that helps me organize my weeks and days. Besides for scribbling down my to-do list, I also note what I’m grateful for, who I can serve this day, where I’ve seen God working, and what would make today great. If this would help you – check out my Etsy shop here.

That’s pretty much it. Again, this was not supposed to be a prescription on “How To Do Devotions” But, maybe (hopefully) someone will be encouraged.

*Check out this article I wrote on how to read the Bible, this one on how to pray, and this one on how to get out of a devotional rut.

If you’ve liked what you read and want to read more, check out our little book called, “Growing Up: In, with, and under Jesus” on Amazon

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