Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Overcoming Devotional Attention Deficit: Making A Choice on a Devotional

This year one of my goals is to establish a more "regular" devotional routine. It is not that I don't spend time studying my Bible or prayer, it is just that in the last couple of years I really have not had a plan and stuck to it in this regard. I do one thing one day, and another thing the next. And there is a reason why this happens. I have quite a few devotionals. I like having and using them. Why not use as many of them as possible?

The problem is that I don't get any real consistent teaching, learning and formation by hopping from one devotional to the next. There are times when I want to use special devotional structures. For instance, I like using special studies for Advent and the Lenten season.

Last night I performed an inventory on my devotional resources. I have at least 15 options on my Kindle. That that does not include my YOUVERSION app.

I have at least 48 options for yearly devotionals in print. And then several more that are for forty days, once a week, or the like. To be fair, these also include prayer books, which are, in my opinion, to ritualistic to be described as devotionals. Though, they do guide one's daily prayer life.

There are other seasonal devotionals. And then there are business/leadership meditations from the likes of John Maxwell, Peter Drucker, and Laurie Beth Jones.

In case I forget, having three denominations provides me with three options on the "periodical" kind of devotionals, which include the Upper Room (United Methodist), the Secret Place (American Baptist and Disciples of Christ), and These Days (PCUSA).

So what is a guy to do. They all look neat. Do I want to go trendy and use my devotions from Sarah Young? Do I want to use my devotional time to read Bible verses accompanied with excepts from popular authors? Do I want to get in touch with the church ladies and use the free devotionals I downloaded from Beth Moore? My options are endless.

So then it comes down to, what are my goals?

1. To read through a good portion of the Bible

2. To have a more structured habit of intercessory prayer

3. To be taught by one person through the year and thus renew my mind through a "literary" mentor in the faith.

Thus, the plan will be

1. To use "Uncommon Life" as my regular devotional

2. To use my prayer journal for my regular prayer time

3. To choose a devotional that gets me reading large portions of Scripture, if not all the way through it. This will be either YOUVERSION on my Kindle or PAUSE from NavPress, Write reflections in my bible study journal.

4. To supplement these commitments with other devotionals and prayer books. Plan this out in my devotional planner.

Hope that works. We will see.

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