By Kirstyn Mayden, Crosswalk.com
Devotional time is a focused, intentional quiet time that is set aside to spend with God through prayer, reading/studying Scripture, or journal writing. Devotional time can include many different methods of connecting with God that include singing, writing, meditating, and/or listening to Christian worship music. There is no one “right” way to spend your devotional time with God – it is most important that we just come.
We come to God just as we are as broken vessels looking to be filled and empowered by His presence. Amidst our daily, busy lives and routines, it is essential that we commit to strengthening and prioritizing our time with God.
When I spend consistent, uninterrupted devotional time with the Lord, my mind is renewed, God speaks to me through His word, and I am strengthened to start my day. For a brief moment, I quiet my soul and surrender my burdens to the Lord. Throughout the year, cultivating our relationship with the Lord is important and summer is a great season to renew a consistent devotional practice.
Summer has longer days, more outdoor time, and presents a creative opportunity to strengthen your devotional time with the Lord. Here are six ways to strengthen your devotional time in the summer:
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/pcess609
1. Choose Your Favorite Time and Place to Spend with God
Read Psalm 1:2
To strengthen your devotional time during the summer, I encourage you to find a time and place that works best for you. I am a morning person and I enjoy the stillness of the morning before my household wakes up and my day begins. If you have a limited amount of time, pick a time of day where you are most alert to listen, study, and be strengthened by God’s presence.
Since it stays light until 8:30 or 9:00 PM, use the outdoors as your backdrop to spend time with God. You may have a favorite chair, outdoor patio, or favorite space in the house. Wherever you are, you want to minimize distractions to focus on spending time with God. We want to give God our best and be fully attentive to hear His voice.
2. Be Creative
Read Colossians 3:23
God wants us to come. There will never be the “perfect” time, scenario, or set-up. There are many creative ways that we can connect with God. I enjoy writing and listening to worship music. You can pray, meditate, sing, write, dance or draw. God speaks to us in many ways and through diverse methods. God is not one-dimensional, but very diverse.
Whatever brings you joy is the way I invite you to spend your devotional time. Try a new and different way to spend and refresh your devotional time with God. As you develop more creativity in your devotional time, God will speak to you in new and exciting ways. Let us not limit the ways in which we can grow our relationship with Him and embrace a creative devotional time.
Photo credit: Unsplash/Nathan Dumlao
3. Keep a Gratitude List
Read Psalm 136:3
There is always something to be thankful for. In your devotional time, I invite you to always give thanks and praise for the ways God is blessing you. When we maintain a heart of gratitude and are intentional about focusing on it, our spirits are uplifted. Remaining grateful also helps to shift our perspective and serves as a reminder of God’s continued faithfulness.
During difficult times and seasons, it is essential to rely on giving gratitude as a source of strength, hope, and encouragement for our weary souls.
4. Meditate on One or Two Scriptures for Encouragement
Another great way to strengthen your devotional time is to mediate on one or two scriptures that resonate with you and that you can lean on during both joyful and challenging times. You can pick out a Scripture verse, write it down, and being to memorize it and refer to it daily.
God speaks to us through Scripture and it is important to remain connected to Him through reading and studying His word. Developing a consistent devotional time with the Lord is not solely a spiritual discipline, but an opportunity to be renewed, strengthened, and encouraged by God’s word for our everyday lives. As we learn and study the scriptures more, we can apply specific scriptures to help us overcome various adversities in our lives.
The Word of God is powerful and it is a tool we can use to stand against the wiles of the enemy.
Photo credit: Unsplash/Hannah Olinger
5. Form a Consistent Schedule
Read Mark 1:35-37
As you continue to strengthen your devotional time, it is important to form a consistent schedule and commitment to spending time with the Lord. While it may not be the same time or place each day, it is important that you prioritize your devotional time. When you consistently make time for God each day, it is an act of worship and an acknowledgement that you are depending on God for strength and direction.
In order for you to cultivate and strengthen your relationship with God, devotional time has to be added to your calendar. Our calendars stay full with various activities that consume our attention, but God is the ultimate source of our strength and sustains us each day. Today, I invite you to recommit to prioritizing your relationship with God by forming a consistent schedule for your devotional time.
6. Give Yourself Grace
When you strengthen your devotional time with God, please remember that there is no perfect way or method. The most important focus is that you devote time reading and studying God’s word for wisdom, praying, and casting your anxieties and burdens to Him. As life continually evolves, please give yourself grace and know that God knows your heart. God’s grace is sufficient and is available to you each day. Just come to God and He will guide, direct, and empower you as you move forward.
While we may have more time at home and longer summer days, recommit to making your devotional time a priority. If you need a jumpstart or motivation, pray to God for direction and connect with Him in new, creative and engaging ways. Continue to give yourself grace, form a consistent schedule, meditate on one to two scriptures, and remain grateful.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/B-C-Designs