By: Lindsay Elizabeth
Life is busy, and mornings are no exception. There is breakfast to be made, kids to get ready for school, workouts to be completed, dogs to be walked, and so much more to do before the day even starts.
All too often our busy schedules take control of our time, and in return our quiet time with God gets kicked to the curb.
It may seem small, but sacrificing this daily devotional time can do a lot more damage than sacrificing our workout routines.
Starting each day by spending time in prayer with God, reading and studying your Bible is worth waking up earlier or putting off gym time because you are dedicating time to getting to know Him better.
Often times the only thing stopping us from creating a sacred time with God is not having set aside time, or failing to set up a structure to get into a routine of doing so.
Instead of forming a habit of neglect, form a habit of dedication.
Reading your Bible should not only happen when you feel like it. Feelings come and go like the wind. Creating a habit of reading your Bible, no matter how you are feeling, is crucial to a consistent relationship with God.
How to create a habit of spending time doing devotionals each day
1. SET ASIDE TIME
It’s entirely up to you to decide when the best time is for you to dedicate to devotionals. For me personally, I know if I don’t make an effort to do it first thing when I wake up, not only will the course of my day be off, but I will never get them done.
Psalm 5:3 reminds us of the importance of spending time with God first thing when we wake up: “… in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee, and will look up.”
This doesn’t mean our study/devotional time has to be in the morning, but it emphasizes the importance of starting off your day by acknowledging, and thanking God.
2. CREATE STRUCTURE
Another great way to get in the habit of dedicated devotional time is by creating a routine. This type of routine can be helpful in keeping yourself on track each and every day.
Morning is a great time to set aside time to be with God before the hustle and bustle of the day begins. But whenever you decide to delve in, be sure to plan out how you are going to spend your time. An example of how you can structure your routine is by beginning with prayer, then reading a portion of Scripture, followed by writing out your thoughts.
Just like any routine, once you get in the hang of it, you won’t feel right going without it.
3. FIND A GOOD SPOT
Finding a spot in your home where you can focus is extremely important. Even Jesus sought out places where He could be alone to pray (Matthew 26:36-38)!
Wherever you settle down, make sure it’s sufficiently private. Matthew 6:6 instructs: “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
4. SPEND TIME IN PRAYER
Spending time in prayer is simply spending one-on-one time with God. Even if you don’t always have time to dedicate to studying your Bible, remember that spending time in prayer is a great way to start the day.
Prayer allows for open communication between ourselves and the One who created us. Think about that: God gave us the gift of communication with Him — don’t let that pass you by.
B. B. Warfield, who served as the last principal of the Princeton Theological Seminary, said it best:
“Sometimes we hear it said that ten minutes on your knees will give you a truer, deeper, more operative knowledge of God than ten hours over your books. What! Then ten hours over your books on your knees?”
5. KEEP TRACK OF YOUR READING
There are a wide array of benefits that come from tracking your reading. One clear benefit is that it will encourage you to stick with your habit by being a tangible sign of progress.
Even when you don’t feel like reading or spending time with God, keeping track of what you are reading will push you to keep with it. I recommend keeping a list of what verses or chapters you read each day so that you can look back on days that you are feeling unmotivated and give yourself that little push.
6. FIND SOMEONE TO KEEP YOU ACCOUNTABLE
This can be your spouse, significant other, sibling, friend, mentor — you name it. Having someone to keep you accountable about reading the Bible can help keep you on track even when you feel like pressing the snooze button on your alarm clock, or turning on your favorite TV show at night.
I pray that these suggestions help you get into a routine of spending dedicated time with God each day, drawing you get closer to the loving, all-powerful God that we serve.