One of the simplest but most challenging of routines for a Christian to build into their day-to-day lives is the routine of ‘daily devotionals’ or ‘quiet time’. Growing up in a church youth group, I would often hear sermons which spoke about the importance of daily devotionals. As a result, in my teenage years, I began a daily routine of putting aside a specific amount of time that would be devoted to intentional prayer and Bible reading.
Over the last decade, as I have journeyed through the highs and lows of this discipline of daily devotionals, I can honestly say that the routine of daily devotionals can be both exceptionally fruitful and, at times, incredibly challenging!
An Introduction To Daily Devotionals
The idea of setting aside time each day to intentionally seek God is a good one. It can be a helpful routine for us to build into our lives and it can produce some amazing fruit in our walk with God. However, like any routine in life, we can sometimes end up following the routine of daily devotionals for all the wrong reasons.
Routines are not bad in and of themselves. In fact, many spiritual rhythms and routines can be really helpful and edifying. They can play a significant role in the development of our faith and our walk with God. Routines like prayer, generosity, attending church and spending regular time with other Christians can be crucial cornerstones of our faith. Yet, when it comes to the routine of a daily devotionals, we have to be really careful not to fall into the trap of simply setting time aside to tick a religious box.
One of the keys to keeping our daily devotionals alive and vibrant is by reminding ourselves that the end goal is a deeper intimacy with God. The result of our daily time of prayer and Bible reading should be a closer relationship with God. We should see the fruit of a life which more clearly reflects the influence of Jesus on our lives.
The Importance Of Prayer In Daily Devotionals
Prayer, specifically, is an integral part of our daily devotionals as it is a regular way of communing with God. Prayer is one of the primary means by which we can communicate with God, both bringing to Him our thanks, petitions and requests, and also hearing from Him directly. It is an exercise that we should endeavour to engage in on a regular basis.
As we read in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we are to: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Praying without ceasing may seem an impossible task, and really it is! But we are nonetheless encouraged to build a life of prayer; a life where communicating with God is not an irregular pastime but rather a regular routine, through which we grow in our relationship with Him. Prayer in our time of daily devotionals is a great way of establishing this routine. It is a useful tool for building a strong foundation of prayer in our lives.
How To Pray
So, what does it look like to build this routine of prayer in our daily devotionals?
Well, for each person a daily routine of prayer is naturally going to look different. God has created each of us as unique individuals. As a result, we all interact with God in our own way. God also speaks to us individually, and we hear from God in our own personal way.
However, while each person’s prayer life is unique, there are some things that can help us to develop a prayer life. Here are three useful keys to bear in mind as you consider your own routine of prayer.
- Start somewhere. If you’re unsure how to pray or unsure where to begin, the best piece of advice is to start praying. Simply begin speaking to God in your own words, and trust that He will begin speaking to you.
- Be honest. As best as you can, pray from a place of vulnerability and honesty. God is able to handle your true thoughts and He desires that you be truly honest and vulnerable with Him.
- Remember that your identity is in Christ. No matter how good or bad your prayer life becomes, remember that prayer is not a means by which we are made worthy by God. We are not justified by our faithfulness nor by our lack of faithfulness. God doesn’t judge us by how often we pray to Him. We are children of God, and our identity is first and foremost in Him, not in our religious performance.
Examples Of Prayers
It can sometimes be helpful to have some inspiration about what specifically to pray about during our time of daily devotionals. Here are a few ideas:
- Prayers from Scripture. The Bible contains a number of prayers that we can read and recite in our own prayer lives. Jesus famously taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. You can also find other prayers throughout the New Testament, such as in Colossians 1:9-12 and Ephesians 3:14-21. Read through them in your quiet time and pray them over your own life.
- Write your own prayers. Rather than just speaking out loud when you pray, why not write your prayers down? This can be a helpful exercise in thoughtfully reflecting on your life and bringing your needs and considerations to God. Sometimes physically writing our prayers can be a helpful step in drawing us closer to God.
- Use the Glorify App. The content on the Glorify App has been curated in order to strengthen your devotional time with God. If you are unsure of how to start praying, you could start by trying a guided meditation or an audio prayer on the app.
Prayer is a lifelong adventure that God invites us into. It is an exciting journey of discovery through which we grow in our relationship with God. So, while we can easily caught up in the formulas and the routines of prayer, may we always remember the beautiful simplicity of communing with God. What a miracle it is that we can speak with God each day. And what an amazing God we serve that He desires to speak with us too! He is inviting you today to a place of intimacy with Him.