How to Do Daily Devotions

Use these 10 steps to build a purposeful daily devotional time

How to Do Devotions
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Many people view the Christian life as a long list of dos and don'ts. They haven’t yet discovered that spending time with God is a privilege that we get to do and not a chore or obligation that we have to do.

Learning how to do devotions takes only a bit of planning. There's no set standard of what your daily time with God should look like, so relax and take a deep breath. You've got this!

These steps will help you put together a custom devotions plan that's right for you. Within a few weeks—the time it takes to form a habit—you'll be well on your way to exciting new adventures with God. 

Bonus Tips for Doing Daily Devotions

  1. Consider using First15 or Daily Audio Bible, two great tools to help get you started.
  2. Do your devotions for 21 days. By then it will become a habit.
  3. Ask God to give you the desire and discipline to spend time with him each day.
  4. Don’t give up. Eventually, you'll discover the blessings of your obedience.

What You'll Need

  • A Bible or Bible App
  • A pen, pencil, or stylus
  • A notebook or journal
  • A Bible reading plan
  • A Bible study or study aid
  • A quiet place

How to Do Devotions in 10 Steps

Make an Appointment

View your time with God as an appointment on your daily calendar and you'll be less apt to skip it. While there is no right or wrong time of day, doing devotions first thing in the morning is the best time to avoid interruptions. When was the last time you received a phone call or an unexpected visitor at six o'clock in the morning? Perhaps a lunch break fits better into your agenda, or before bed each night. Whatever time you choose, let it be the best time of day for you.

Decide on a Time Frame

There is no standard length of time for doing personal devotions. You decide how much time you can commit to each day. Start with 15 minutes. That time frame may stretch into more as you get the hang of it. Some people can carve out 30 minutes or more a day. It's important to start out with a realistic goal. If you aim too high, a setback will only discourage your efforts.

Choose a Place

Finding the right place is key to your success. If you try to spend quality time with God lying in bed with the lights off, you're setting yourself up to fail. Create a space conducive to daily devotions. Choose a comfortable chair with good lighting. Beside it, keep a basket filled with all of your devotional tools: Bible, pen, highlighter, journal, devotional book, and reading plan. When you arrive to do devotions, everything will be ready for you.

Have an Agenda

Think about how you want to structure your devotions and how much time you will spend on each part of your plan. By creating an outline or agenda for your meeting, you won't be tempted to wander about aimlessly and end up accomplishing nothing.

The next four steps cover typical activities to incorporate into your agenda:

Bible Reading or Bible Study

Choose a Bible reading plan or study guide to help you have a more focused time of devotions. If you open up your Bible and start reading randomly, you'll have a difficult time understanding and applying what you've read to your daily life. You will also struggle to read through the entire Bible if you don't have a systematic plan. If you truly want to grow in faith and to get to know the Lord more intimately, reading through the entire counsel of God's Word is one of the best ways to do this.

Prayer

The simplest way to understand prayer is two-way communication with God. Prayer is getting to talk to the Lord, telling him about your struggles and concerns, and then listening for his voice. Some Christians forget that prayer includes listening. Don't forget to give God time to speak to you in his still small voice (1 Kings 19:12 NKJV). One of the loudest ways God speaks to us is through his living Word. Spend time meditating on what you read and let God speak into your life.

Praise and Worship

God created us to praise and worship him. First Peter 2:9 says, "But you are a chosen people...belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light" (NIV). We can express praise silently or declare it in a loud voice. You may want to include a worship song in your devotional time, or keep handy a list of Bible verses that will help you declare all the ways God is worthy of your praise.

Journaling

Many Christians find that journaling helps them stay on track during their devotional time. Journaling your thoughts and prayers will provide a valuable record for you to return to in the future. You'll be encouraged when you go back and note the progress you’ve made or see the evidence of answered prayers. Journaling is not for everyone. Give it a try and see if it’s right for you. Some Christians go through seasons of journaling as their relationship with God changes and develops. If journaling isn't right for you now, consider just jotting down notes or attempting it again in the future.

Commit to Your Plan

Keeping your commitment is the hardest part of getting started. Determine in your heart to stay the course, even when you fail or miss a day. Don't beat yourself up when you mess up. Just pray and ask God to help you, and then be sure to start over again the next day. The rewards you'll experience as you devote yourself to growing deeper in love with God will be worth it.

Be Flexible

If you get stuck in a rut, try going back to step one. Perhaps your plan is no longer working for you. Don't be afraid to change it up until you find the perfect fit.

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Your Citation
Fairchild, Mary. "How to Do Daily Devotions." Learn Religions, Mar. 4, 2021, learnreligions.com/how-to-do-daily-devotions-701262. Fairchild, Mary. (2021, March 4). How to Do Daily Devotions. Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/how-to-do-daily-devotions-701262 Fairchild, Mary. "How to Do Daily Devotions." Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/how-to-do-daily-devotions-701262 (accessed April 11, 2021).

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