Q: Hey Melissa, I am listening to your audio on virtuous women and I have a question. I know it may sound trivial but what do you consider devotional time? What does it consist of? How long is it? I seem to find every excuse why not it’s time to find every reason why I should follow the simple plan. Besides it can’t be any more time consuming than my time wasters that I have no problem doing. Please help and clarify. Thanks.
A: This is a great question. I feel strongly that God does not want us to “squeeze Him in.” He wants us to give Him our undivided attention. Having said that, I am not sure there is a “set amount of time” that is appropriate for our morning devotions. My morning devotions typically last 30 – 45 minutes but sometimes last as long as an hour or only 15 minutes.
I know a lot of people tell you that it is okay to spend your commute talking to God or to squeeze in time whenever it works for you. However, I want you to consider this: Do you think that God wants you only when it is convenient or do you think He wants you to make time for Him? If He was willing to send His only begotten Son to die a horrible, painfully cruel death for you, is it too much to ask that you get up 30 minutes or an hour earlier and rise to meet him before you have any other distractions?
Now, there is nothing wrong with talking to God on your commute or when you take a walk or while you fold the laundry. You should be talking to Him all day long! So do those things in addition to your morning devotion time.
Morning devotions should consist of Bible reading along with perhaps a good devotional or religious book or Bible study book. And prayer. I like to write in my prayer journal. I write down my prayers to God, beautiful passages of Scripture that mean something to me. In my prayer journal I also record major events in our lives – births, deaths, and special days that I want to remember. I don’t necessarily record those things during my devotion time, though.
You should also spend some time just being still – silent and listening for God’s voice. Ask Him to guide you through the day and show you what you should be doing and also to bring opportunities to you to share Him with others.
A good rule of thumb or a formula for prayer that is easy to remember is ACTS.
Adoration – Praise Him for who He is.
Confession – Confess your sins – try to be specific. Ask for forgiveness and consecrate your life to Him daily.
Thanksgiving – Thank Him for those things in your life that you are grateful for.
Supplication – And finally, let Him know your requests. Pray for others. Intercessory prayer is so important!
I encourage you to give it a try! Don’t forget the story of the Morning Manna. If the people of Israel waited too long in the day to gather the Manna from Heaven, it would disappear. So, too, does our blessing from God if we wait until it is convenient to meet Him.There is a special blessing just waiting for you tomorrow morning!
Sincerely, Melissa Ringstaff