What Is a Devotional and Why Is it Important?

How It Can Help You in Your Faith

Reading devotionals
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If you go to church regularly, you have likely heard people discuss devotionals. In fact, if you go to a Christian bookstore, you will probably see a whole section of devotionals. But many people, particularly teenagers, are not used to devotionals and are not sure how to go about incorporating them into their religious observances.

What Is a Devotional?

A devotional typically refers to a booklet or publication that provides a specific reading for each day. They are used during daily prayer or meditation. The daily passage helps focus your thoughts and guides your prayers, helping you tune out other distractions so you can give God all of your attention.

There are some devotionals specific to certain holy times, such as Advent or Lent. They get their name from how they are used; You show your devotion to God by reading the passage and praying on it every day. So the collection of readings is then known as a devotional.

Using a Devotional

Christians use their devotionals as a way to grow closer to God and learn more about the Christian life. Devotional books are not meant to be read in one sitting; they are designed for you to read a bit every day and pray on the passages. By praying every day, Christians develop a stronger relationship with God.

A good way to start incorporating devotionals is to use them informally. Read a passage to yourself, then take a few minutes to reflect on it. Think about what the passage means and what God intended. Then, think about how the section can be applied to your own life. Consider what lessons you can take away, and what changes you can make in your behavior as a result of what you read. 

Devotions, the act of reading passages and praying, are a staple in most denominations. Yet, it can get pretty overwhelming when you head into that bookstore and see row after row of different devotionals. There are devotionals that also function as journals and devotionals written by famous people. There are also different devotionals for men and women.

Is There a Devotional for Me?

It is a good idea to start with a devotional specifically written for Christian teens. This way, you know the daily devotions will be geared toward the things you deal with every day. Then take some time to skim through the pages to see which devotional is written in a way that speaks to you. Just because God is working one way in your friend or someone else at church, doesn’t mean that God wants to work that way in you. You need to choose a devotional that is a good fit for you.

Devotionals are not necessary to practice your faith, but many people, especially teenagers, find them useful. They can be a great way to focus your attention and consider issues that you would not have thought of otherwise.

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Your Citation
Mahoney, Kelli. "What Is a Devotional and Why Is it Important?" Learn Religions, Sep. 7, 2021, learnreligions.com/what-is-a-devotional-and-why-is-it-important-712556. Mahoney, Kelli. (2021, September 7). What Is a Devotional and Why Is it Important? Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/what-is-a-devotional-and-why-is-it-important-712556 Mahoney, Kelli. "What Is a Devotional and Why Is it Important?" Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/what-is-a-devotional-and-why-is-it-important-712556 (accessed March 28, 2023).

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