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Devotions 101: What does your devotional time look like?

This question is, in fact, asking about what your devotional time physically looks like because this is a subject that causes us to get stuck in our heads sometimes. What I mean by that is this -

It is not uncommon to hear someone you may think a lot of describe their devotional time in a way that paints a picture of something you’ve never experienced. Even less uncommon is that many are left thinking, “Well my devotional time doesn’t look like that at all, I must not be doing it right."

When we allow our thoughts to go there, we allow the enemy to shift our focus from the real heart of God and nature of our devotions to something outward, almost Pharisaical.

When my heart is genuinely seeking the Lord, the moments I’m spending with Him while I swiffer my kitchen floor have been just as profound and fruitful as when I’m two chapters into a book of the Bible one morning with worship music playing in the background; when everything looks “right.” Our devotional time doesn’t need to be picture perfect to be fruitful.

There is no blueprint for what your time with the Lord needs to look like. But in the Gospels, Jesus shows us something important as He finds quiet time with the Father.

Mark 1 holds one of my favorite passages in Scripture, maybe because it pertains to this idea of devotional time so clearly. It may even be fair to say that it shows us what it shouldn’t look like more than it shows us what it must look like. In verses 29-39, Jesus is healing nearly an entire city of people all day long. Then verse 35 says,

“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.”

What shouldn't our devotional time look like? Chaos. Jesus removed Himself from the busyness to get alone with the Father. He didn’t sit in the middle of the chaos of the crowds, and His disciples, and the work He was doing, and expect to somehow find quiet time with the Father. Could God speak in the midst of that? He sure can. But that shouldn’t be the habit we develop - forcing God to speak louder than the noise we surround ourselves with so we don’t need to step aside and get alone with Him.

When your heart is in pursuit of Him, you’ll be driven to do whatever necessary to have sweet fellowship with him each day.

The answer to the question we’ve asked today should simply, and only, be this: Your devotional time should look like whatever it needs to look like to have focused time with the Lord in His Word, and talking with Him through prayer.

  • Maybe it’s 20 minutes in your car alone after you drop the kids off at school.

  • Maybe it’s an hour in your prayer closet before anyone else wakes up, or after they’re asleep, or before your work day starts and the busyness begins.

  • Maybe it’s time in the Word, and in prayer, on your lunch break.

  • Maybe it’s sitting on your bed with a devotional before you take a shower and listening to worship music or a sermon, or praying while you’re in the shower.

And maybe it’s a hundred other things that leave you with physical time and space to spend with God. There is no time minimum or limit. There is no painted picture you need to emulate. There is no playlist that is guaranteed to make you feel His presence.

There is just you and your heart, and God and His heart, and a desire to spend time with the ultimate Lover of your soul.

Something to Consider…

We make time for work, household tasks, friendships and relationships because we know they matter; they are necessary to life and we find value in them (even the things we don’t necessarily enjoy). Do you give yourself physical time and space to spend with God?

You’ll want to know the answer to this before Day 3 when we unpack the question that naturally flows from this one. And again, I encourage you to be brutally honest with yourself. No lasting change is achieved by painting a picture of ourselves and our intentions that isn’t accurate. The reassuring truth is that if you need the Lord to wake your heart up a little bit, He will. Be bold enough to ask.

~ Alyssa

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