I think most of us have a desire to spend time with God each day. Yet, many of us struggle to make it a reality. We’ve bought the devotional books but never made it past the first few pages and signed up for the emails, but never get round to reading them. If you have decided to try and keep up daily devotions in 2017, here are 12 steps that will help.
Commit to Thirty Days
Most of us have heard that it takes about 21 days to form a habit. Truth is that it usually takes around 66 days, but committing to one month is a good place to start. If you can make it through the initial days, it becomes much easier to keep up daily devotions in 2017. A month is a good block of time to commit to a change since it easily fits in your calendar. Use the first 30 days as a trial run to get organized and see what works best for you.
At jtdyer.com we will be spending the first 30 days of 2017, looking the attributes of God. Since the bible begins with In the beginning God, so will we. Why not join me for 30 days, as we have a better understanding of who God is. You may also sign up to receive devotional by email here or using the form on the right sidebar.
Do it daily
It is much harder to do something regularly if we don’t do it daily. As the saying goes, “tomorrow never comes”. Scripture is compared to food on more than one occasion in the Bible, so as we plan to eat daily, we should also plan to spend time in God’s Word.
If you want to keep up daily devotions in 2017, Don’t try to spend hours in your quiet time on day one. If you are starting at zero, then ten minutes is already a 10x improvement. Try to schedule thirty minutes, that should give you time to pray, maybe listen to a track of a worship song, read a chapter of the Bible, a short devotion, and time to pray and meditate on what God has revealed.
The more consistent your time of devotions is the easier it will be to keep up daily devotions foe the rest of the year. Try doing it the same time, in the same place for your thirty days. When cues like time of day and place are already set, it makes it much easier for us to stick it.
Get a Friend
I am sure you have heard the importance of an accountability partner. If you’re struggling to have time alone in your devotions, invite your spouse, parent or friend to join with you and keep up daily devotions together. That way you will keep each other accountable and you are far less likely to put it off until later. If it doesn’t work daily, choice a reading plan, then meet up with a friend once a week to discuss what God has spoken to you both.
Write down what you’ve read and what God has spoken to you, as well as your prayers and answer to prayers. It will change your life and remind you of how important daily devotions are to your spiritual walk. I don’t have the space to write the full value of journaling here, but I will do in a further article.
Restructure your place of devotions so it won’t tempt you in the first thirty days. For example, do you check your phone first thing each morning, then get lost in facebook and twitter. Put your phone away from your place of devotions. In fact, don’t even pick it up until after you’ve had your devotions. Do you end up being distracted by the radio or TV. Leave them off, or go to another room. If you remove the temptations, you won’t need to struggle with willpowerto keep up daily devotions later.
Know why you need a time of daily devotions
If you’ve read this far, you probably know that you need to make time for devotions each day. The truth is that we always make time for the things we need to do, but not always for the things we want to do. I have never once met someone who said they didn’t have the time to go to the toilet or drink water in 24 hours. Here are 5 Reasons Why Daily Devotions are Essential
Know the consequences
We should also be aware of the consequences. If we don’t commit to keeping up daily devotions we will continue to lack the intimacy in our relationship with that that He desires. We will continue to value the opinions of the world over God’s Word.
Place reminders in an obvious place or even download an app that does it for you. It often helps if you can piggyback off another already formed routine. For example, if sit down with a cup of coffee every morning, leave your Bible and anything else you need on the table the night before. That way, it’s there waiting for you the next morning.
Go to bed early
The main reason why so many people don’t keep up daily devotions each morning is they cannot get out of bed in time, that extra five minutes, becomes twenty and you end up rushing out of the door without time to eat breakfast, never mind read and pray.
Don’t end the devotion when your time is up
Write the key verse down and revisit and meditate on it throughout the day. Allow God to continue speaking to you.