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Devotional Life

Are you looking for some solid devotional resources - a resource to help you in your conversations with God? Well ... I might just have the thing for you, but before I offer a few suggestions let me say this:

I have found over the years that my devotional resources have grown considerably. But just because I have ten books on prayer does not mean that I find myself talking to God more frequently or more deeply. Walking with God - to me - is like exercising. I can buy all the fancy gear in the world (like devotional books or prayer books), but it always comes back to the essential task: actually carving out space and then being disciplined in the practice. It is the same with prayer for me. No book can do the important, essential task: sitting still, opening myself to God's Word and allowing myself to be formed to His will.

That said, devotional books and prayer books can be tremendously important and useful. After all, you wouldn't run a marathon with no athletic gear.

A solid devotional resource can take you further in your conversation with God by allowing you to listen to other conversations. This can help us see new aspects of God. It can provide us with new images or metaphors to imagine ourselves or our relationship with Christ.

In any case, here are a few of my favorites:
  1. The Book of Common Worship - Daily Prayer: the ol' classic standby. This book of prayers and worship can help you learn to structure your days around rhythms of prayer. This resource usually includes the majority of the Psalms as well - the original praybook of the Church. Finally, it includes some wonderful prayers by some great saints and prayers for various occasions.
  2. A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God: this resource is produced by the Upper Room Ministries - a division of the Methodist Church that focuses on spiritual formation. I have just begun using this and am really enjoying it. It seeks to walk you through the weeks of the year, focusing on one theme each week through one Psalm and seven different Scripture readings. This resource also includes several readings for each week, which are wonderful pieces of grace and truth.
  3. My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers: This book has been around for almost a hundred years now and is a staple for a lot of daily devotional readers.
  4. Preparing for Jesus & Reliving the Passion: These two resources are both from Walter Wangerin Jr., one of my favorite pastoral-authors. He does a tremendous job of walking you into the rhythms and stories of Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter - the two significant journeys in the Christian year.


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