Many Christians struggle with their personal devotional times, sometimes referred to as quiet times. We know that we should spend time with God reading His Word, praying, thanking and praising Him, but it just seems difficult right?
Time is always tight, Scripture isn’t always easily understood without a lot of work, prayer times feel stale and forced. Does this sound like your own experience?
Many people have turned to different methods of resources to help keep their devotional life healthy. There are tons of options out there; Bible reading plans, Bible notes, devotional books, journalist, Scripture memorisation, mind mapping and singing. Obviously every person is different and therefore their own devotional times will also look different. The truth is though that we should work and fight to keep a healthy devotional life.
Therefore, I though that I would recommend two very different but very helpful resources to assist you in your devotional times with the Lord. The first deals with the Bible and understanding God’s Word and the second deals with prayer and how we communicate with God.
Reading between the lines – Glen Scrivener
In a page or two every morning, Glen walks you through a phrase and he unpacks it by taking you to the Bible. This book offers you 6 months of daily devotionals that are saturated with the beauty of Christ and the gospel. It offers you insights that will stir your heart to praise God and challenge your mind to ponder His majesty. I really enjoy these devotionals because they aren’t too long or too short. You won’t be overwhelmed with information or left short changed, but you will be better equipped to be a follower of Christ as you are always taken back to God’s Word. This book is a tremendous gift to give to a new Christian or a seasoned saint. Glen has done a tremendous job of connecting the Bible with people’s lives and giving good and practical short readings for people to ponder. Reading this every day will encourage you, build up your faith and make you feel better equipped to read the Bible.
This volume is currently £14.99 at 10ofThose, or you can buy both volumes here for £20! That means not just 6 months, but a whole year in both the Old and the New Testament. This is an absolute steal folks and I encourage you to use the offer while you can!
Rating 5/5 (I liked the book so much that it’s got my name on it :D)
Glen Scrivener is an evangelist and author of several books, including 3 2 1: The Story of God, the World, and You and Four Kinds of Christmas. Glen also directs the charity Speak Life. He lives in Eastbourne with his wife Emma and they have two children, Ruby and JJ.
The Heart of God – Kenneth Boa
Maintaining a healthy prayer life isn’t always the easiest thing, is it? The temptation is to skip the praise and adoration and jump right to the shopping list of prayer requests that we’ve stored up. One of the ways that I have found really helpful to change this mindset is to pray Scripture back to God. Kenneth Boas has written a very helpful book which teaches you how to do just that!
Instead of teaching you about prayer, or writing prayers down, this book give you Bible passages everyday and asks you to reflect on them and pray them back to God. This book gives you three months worth of short devotionals that will enrich your prayer life. There are 7 sections to each day…
- Praise and worship
- Personal examination
- Personal concerns
- Concerns for others
- Prayer of thanksgiving
- Concluding prayer
Under each section you’re given at least one, if not more, Bible verses and Boa leaves a reflection question or statement for you to ponder. These will fill your heart with the praises of God, lift your eyes to His glory, help you see your own sinfulness and limitations and it will help you to depend on God more. This is a very different kind of book, but it really helps you think about how you pray without being ‘teachy’. Praying Scripture back to God is a wonderful discipline to get into, why not pick yourself up a copy here and get started?
Dr. Kenneth Boa is president of Reflections Ministries and of Trinity House Publishers. Ken holds a B.S. from Case Institute of Technology, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, a Ph.D. from New York University, and a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford in England. He is the author of over 50 books. Ken and his wife live in Atlanta, Georgia.
I highly recommend that you get both of these books (or all three mentioned) and try them out. Think of it this way, you’ll be growing in your devotional life and discipline and you’ll be testing a Christmas gift (or gifts) that could really be just the gift someone might need this Christmas.