Morning sunrise and daily devotionsStruggling with our
Personal or Daily Devotions
and Quiet Times

One of the most common suggestions for new Christians is to have daily devotions or quiet times. Spending time each day with God is crucial to the normal development of a Christian. However, many of us have not clearly thought through their importance or the reasons consistent devotions are so difficult to establish and maintain.

The Understanding Barrier

Unfortunately, the word 'devotions' for many does not create any emotional appeal. It only creates blank faces. Other word or phrases like quiet times or Bible study are sometimes used to mean the same thing. Whatever word or phrase used, must be clearly defined and distinguished from other Christian terminology.

For example, how would the average Christian respond to the question,

What are spiritual devotions anyways?"What are devotions?"

We usually end up telling people what devotions includes. We tell them that they should pray and read the Bible. We rarely sit down with them and show them how to have an effective quiet time.

When we neglect to properly train them, their distorted concepts of devotions resort to their predefined concepts of prayer and Bible reading. This is not enough.

More seriously, however, we have left undescribed the purpose of devotions. The purpose of devotions reveals the importance they are to play in our daily lives. Without understanding this, devotions usual ends up being low on the priority list. Maybe these believers will spend time with the Lord, but they will struggle. These struggles often lead people into legalism.

Before we continue on, we encourage you to evaluate your devotional times with the Lord.


For a deeper insight into your own Christian life, fill out the graph below.

Draw a line graph of your Christian life using the design of the graph or one that you made up. 'Guesstimate' what your devotions have been like (use scale 0-10). Click here for a pdf file to download.

Write down those things which have influenced your devotions in one way or the other. Try to remember what events happened during the significant changes of direction.

Line graph describing personal devotions

In this case the person became a Christian in 1992. He grew a lot in his first two years. He maintained his spiritual life quite well. But starting in 1998, he started to slack off. This was largely due to a conflict with his wife that he did not resolve. Today, he sees habitual sins crowding out his love for the Lord and is seeking to renew his spiritual life with the Lord.

After you have done this, mark where you would like your devotions to be restored to. We could all be idealistic and say '10.' In fact, however, reward comes at a cost. It is better to think about short term goals and make reasonable progress. For example, use a 3 month or 6 month segment of time and strive hard improving devotions during this time. Then come back to this chart and do it over again.

You might think this 'improve devotions' is easy to say but wonder how it is to be done. Continue on reading. We have lots of practical advice on how to improve your personal devotions.


Before we go on, though, we realize it is really God at work in us. So let us pray and devote this time to Him.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 1:6).

"Dear Father, you never wanted your children far from you. It seems we tend to drift. The more distance we keep from you, the more we misunderstand you. The weaker we get. We try hard then to make it on our own, but we fail.

I have failed. I have sinned. Please forgive me for all my sins through Jesus. I need to come back to you. I desire to come closer. Please teach me through the Holy Spirit through this series and other things in life that my life with you might be revived. I want to really meet you, but I need your help to get there. In Christ's Name I pray, Amen."

Let's now see what makes devotions really come alive.  Next

| Introduction | Shaping | Struggling | Excited | Meeting God | Prayer | God's Word | Preparations |
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Biblical Foundations for Freedom

By Paul J. Bucknell