I have tried so many ways of having a devotional. I have never really cared how or when I do it (although I must admit I have always preferred early mornings in my room), but my main concern has always been consistency. I’m usually pretty good at keeping up methods of having a devotional, but not-skipping-a-day consistency has always been an on going problem.
I have tried reading a Psalm, Proverb and a chapter of New Testament or the Old…I have tried the whole “it’s July 26, thus we read everything 26” idea… I have tried reading big chunks to get the whole story, or little pieces to focus on a small teaching… I have tried the reading through the Bible in a year. Everything taught me and encouraged me, but nothing really kept me consistent. Here are a couple of methods that I have used to help me stay consistent in my walk with God.
- Numbering Your Days
One day, after I’d been writing consistently (I’ve been writing since I was about 15), I decided it’d be a good idea to write a bit everyday on what I had read and learned. I found it to be a great technique and something I looked forward to. Soon after, I began to write Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, etc. on the top of my page. If I skipped a day I went back to Day 1. It has always kept me very motivated to continue as I do not want to lose my streak. I have gone back though, but I have realized that is not the most important thing. That is just a method I am using.
Another method I have used in the past is the S.O.A.P method. I was introduced to this method at a conference I attended a couple of years ago. Each of these letters stand for a word and you write in this order:
S: Scripture, O: Observation, A: Application, P: Prayer
The first step is finding a verse (or a couple of verses) you want to focus on and writing it down. Then you write your observation on this passage. This is usually just a couple of sentences. Now the body of your entry is in the application. Here you can write in what ways you will use this in your life, what you have to change, what will make this better. Lastly, you write a prayer on this verse and what you would like to see come from it. It really is a simple way to go in-depth with many verses. You can read more about this method here.
My favorite part of this all is I now have journals full of the wonderful things God has taught and continues to teach me. I really love these techniques because I combine two things I love (writing and Jesus) and it has made me very consistent in every day devotions. It is so wonderful to know that I can just look back through old notebooks and know I will find everything God has taught me in the past. I can see His faithfulness just by looking back to those days when I first began doing this. I encourage you to find a method that works for you. It may not be this one, but go ahead and find one. Journal it. Journal a lot. It is going to mean so much to look back and see all that God has done for you. It is incredible!
What methods do you use when having your devotions?
Are there any new ones you are wanting to try?