Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
When I talk about my devotional life, I’m often asked what I do during that time. I write in my journal of gratitude. I read scriptures in the Bible and sometimes add inspired readings or lessons. I follow up with prayer. I then meditate. On the days when I’m tired, or I feel uninspired, I still have morning devotion. Why? Because over the course of time, with a steady commitment to seeking a better spiritual life, I’ve found that this works. So, in the spirit of sharing, here’s a closer look at the four quadrants of my morning devotion.
How to Have Morning Devotion
Part 1: Gratitude
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6 NKJV)
Each morning I start the day by writing in my journal of gratitude. Before this, I never really put a lot of thought into being spiritually thankful. I just figured I would rattle off a few things in my prayers and that would cover me for the day. When I started to use a journal, however, I realized that starting the day with a spirit of gratitude shifted my attitude and challenged my outlook. It’s easy to overlook what God has done for us when we focus on the negative; Doing so can even make us ungrateful. If you want to know how God’s hand is working in your life, start actively identifying your blessings instead of dwelling on your shortcomings. It will help you better understand God’s grace and recognize His mercy.
Part 2: Knowledge
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. (Romans 15:4 NKJV)
I love the Bible. I haven’t read it cover to cover yet, but the more I read it, the more I understand who God is. It’s where I find His promises, comfort, chastisement, and expectations. I write in it. I’ve cried on it. I’ve wrinkled quite a few pages too. The words are sacred, but the book itself is just paper. I began to uncover the mysteries locked away in those pages once I stopped treating it like a too-sacred-to-touch piece. To know God is to know His word, and those words are for all of us. The more we read it, the more God speaks to us. And no, a good devotional never hurts. In fact, it can help. Just don’t forget to include the Bible. It’s the foundation upon which everything else stands.
Part 3: Prayer
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. (James 1:6)
Whether you write your prayers down during morning devotion or utter them in your hearts – I find it so important to have genuine conversation with God. Prayer goes both ways. We speak to God, and if we open ourselves up to Him, we will hear His voice. Prayer allows us to enter into a safe place, without judgement. Sometimes, I feel relieved by simply telling God the struggles that are weighing me down. Other times I’m afraid because I know I have disappointed God and I don’t want chastisement. Never let your shortcomings get in the way of amazing communion. God holds us accountable, but His love is never failing. I find a deep sense of gratitude in knowing we can bring all of our burdens to Christ simply because He cares.
Part 4: Meditation
I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word. (Psalms 119:15-16)
Meditation came for me at a time in my life where things were just not going very well. I felt like I needed another way to connect with God. I was at the edge of a cliff, staring down into a dark abyss… I needed God to point me in a new direction. I decided I was over analyzing way too much and not listening nearly enough.
So I would find God early during my morning devotion. I would focus on His goodness and His mercy, quieting my own thoughts so I could start to hear His. I started to actively ask God to abide in me, so I could learn how to abide in Him. It’s not always easy to meditate, because sometimes I just want what I want, but I do it anyway, because deep down inside I am very aware that God’s will is much wiser than my own.
Finding Your Way…
Each person’s journey will be different, as will the way we experience devotion. I hope you find insight from me sharing my process. I continue to make a plethora of mistakes but I much quicker recognize my shortcomings. I’m able to control my actions better. I can see positive changes occurring in my life. I can weather the storms with a little more grace. I can recognize when God answers my prayers. I can deal with God’s no’s with a little more dignity. I feel better in sharing Him with others, because I can finally say I’m starting to truly know Him. So here’s my challenge to you. If you really desire to get to know Him better… wake up, seek God, and repeat. Morning devotion makes all the difference.
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