Ten Steps to Daily Devotion
Recently, a survey of a group of believers who had reached a certain degree of foundation in age and belief showed that, although over 90% of them regularly attended Sunday worship, only a little more than 30% regularly did daily personal devotion. This was less than the numbers who engaged in service positions, fellowships or committees. It reflected the tendency of the participants to lean towards conspicuous group activities and neglect invisible personal lives. In fact, these results are somewhat similar to that of the “Spiritual Survey” conducted at our church a few months ago.
Of course this is not a healthy situation, because daily devotion is a very important avenue for us to establish an intimate relationship with God. Devotion signifies our desire to communicate with God, worship Him, know Him, wait for Him, and submit to Him. It also represents the root of our being. For plants, unhealthy roots mean the whole plant will not be healthy. Let me now share with you a simple “Ten Steps to Daily Devotion”. I hope that we will all strive to learn it and develop a strongly rooted devotional life, so that we can enjoy more of the excellence of living.
1. Set a time – the perfect time for devotion is in the morning, because your energy is refreshed and extraneous thoughts are fewer. If it is felt that time is too rushed in the morning or thoughts can be more concentrated in the evening, then evening devotion is not unacceptable. Try in the morning to review your insights from the previous evening’s biblical reading and pray in supplication. That too can constitute the day’s power.
2. Find a quiet place – seek a corner where you can be at peace and concentrate on being close to God. Avoid unnecessary interruptions.
3. Begin with a prayer – begin with a simple prayer so that you can prepare your heart to wait for God in quietude, or you can hum a favourite hymn to praise the Lord’s perfect character.
4. Systematic reading of the Bible – devotional reading of the Bible is best done systematically in order and sequence. Don’t wait until the same day to decide on the passage, or just read where you’ve flipped over the pages. If you’re just beginning to develop your life of daily devotion, you can start with the four Gospels in the New Testament, and then continue with each book in turn.
5. Study and contemplate – briefly read the passage and search for the overall theme from a bird’s eye perspective. Don’t choose a passage that’s too long for each time, but carefully reread it a few times, consider intensively the meaning of the passage, and observe the works and character of God.
6. Reflect on life – from contemplating on the meaning of the passage to reflecting on its relationship to yourself. Declare to God the enlightenment gained from the passage, and beseech Him to help you understand what in your life you should be responding to Him about – worship and praise; acknowledgment of sin; admonishment and comfort; renewal of strength; new direction and goal. While reading the Bible, think. While thinking, pray in response. While praying, await the teaching and guidance of the Holy Spirit. That is communicating with God.
7. Utilize tools – after reading and contemplation, make use of certain publications for devotional aid to help you keep from drifting off course in consideration of the passage.
8. Write down insights - this will help you record God’s grace, and let you review your own spiritual growth in the future.
9. Apply passages – find a principle of application from the message of the passage, and then use it in your life. If there is a Golden Verse, memorize and recite it.
10. End with a prayer – the prayer can include thanksgiving and intercession. Ask God to help you apply the passages read to your life substantively, remind you to always walk with Him, and carry out His teachings. Never cast aside God right after your devotion and disregard His existence, returning once again to your life of self-determination and selfish actions.
By: Esther Hung