by Mary Lou Redding
The phrases "doing devotions" or "having devotions" may sound foreign or weird. These phrases are simply ways
people describe spending time with God by reading the Bible (and other Christian literature) and praying. Why
bother to read the Bible and pray? Why is having a regular time with God important? We spend time with God in
order to deepen and strengthen our relationship with the One who created us and yearns to be with us.
But because we are all different and because each of us has a unique relationship with God, no one devotional
pattern will work for everyone. And no one way works for anyone all of the time. Experiment until you find the
time of day, content, and length of time spent that helps you feel connected with God.
You may want to record your thoughts and feelings in a notebook or journal, to help you remember what God has been saying to you. Many people find it helpful to write about concerns and to write a prayer as a way to end their devotional time.
If you are just beginning to take time for reading the Bible and praying, plan to spend about ten minutes. As you become more comfortable with the process, you may find yourself spending a longer time.
OTHER IDEAS TO HELP YOU
The most important thing to remember as we try to grow closer to God is that God is already reaching out to us. God is the one who gives us the desire to grow, and God wants us to grow. We just keep showing up, even when we don't particularly feel holy or loving or eager. And we can trust that if we do so, God will show up, too.
Mary Lou Redding is the former Editorial Director of The Upper Room magazine and author of the books The Lord's Prayer, The Power of a Focused Heart, While We Wait, and Breaking and Mending
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