Skip to main content

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.


Popular posts from this blog

Acts 5:1-11 - Questions for reflection & prayer

This past Sunday we looked at one of the more unsettling stories in the Book of Acts:  the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira.  As shared by Luke, this couple sold a piece of land and then proceeded to bring only a portion of the profit to the apostles - laying it at their feet for the good of the community.  However, what appeared to be their grave mistake (pun intended) was their collusion in claiming to have brought all the proceeds to the apostles when - in fact - they were keeping some back for themselves.  Peter announces first to Ananias the Lord's judgment, followed by a similar verdict being handed down to Sapphira a short time later.

Seen by itself, this is a strange story, but it begins to make more sense when we see it as "part of the whole."  The story of Ananias and Sapphira comes right after we hear once again of the community's unity and generosity, including their willingness to share their own goods and resources to take care of one another (ch. 4).  Th…

Acts 6:1-6 - Questions for reflection & prayer

As the Holy Spirit empowers the Christian community, new life emerges and new members are added.  This is a beautiful thing, and it is extremely important to point out that this is God's doing.  God is initiating diversity within the Christian community.  However, this also creates new tensions and new challenges.

Acts 6:1-6 gives us our first glimpse of a tension that will extend all the way to chapter 15, until the leaders of the early Church come up with a way to address the growing differences within the Christian family.  Some feel that they are being left out and that others are getting preferential treatment.  The Hellenized Christians feel they are getting the short end of the stick.

All of this is extremely relevant to thoughts and feelings occurring in our own day and age.  Across the spectrum, a majority of Americans feel like they face some form of discrimination.  But, it also points to an ongoing challenge we all face from time to time, the challenges that arise when…

Life in Greencastle: That Greatest Architect

God's peace to all of you on this beautiful Saturday afternoon.  I hope you are enjoying the warm sunshine.  Perhaps you are even still enjoying one last sunset at the beach.
We stayed fairly close to home this Spring Break, taking two short trips, including one to Turkey Run State Park and the other to Columbus, Indiana.  Anna and I had been longing to go to Columbus for quite some time.  Back in the day, we became friends with Emily and Manish Desai in our small apartment complex in Pasadena, both of whom had recently graduated with degrees in architecture from Cal Poly.  Manish would go on to earn his license in architecture and has designed a number of really beautiful spaces, including private residences but also a church out in the desert for a Native American tribe.  Anna and I have always appreciated Manish and Emily's aesthetic, which is why we knew to take note when they started telling us about Columbus, Indaina a number of years ago.  They didn't know much abo…