How To Do Devotions: Understanding the Meaning of Devotion Changes Everything

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How to do Devotions

Sometimes the idea of there being a right and wrong way how to do devotions can be so intimidating! But it doesn’t have to be. I think we’ve both overcomplicated the concept and also reduced it so it became a 5-15 minute checkbox on our to-do list.

But the meaning of devotion is so much richer and more amazing than that.

After all, we’ve been invited to draw near, to be still, and rest in Him.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links for your convenience. If you make a purchase through one of the links, I may make a small commission. I only recommend books and resources that I’ve enjoyed personally, or believe that you would like. You can read my full disclosure here. You will also find information on Scripture translations there.

What is the Meaning of Devotion?

What is the Meaning of Devotion?

I’m glad you asked 😉

I want to start with this screenshot from Thesaurus .com.

Devotion: Synonyms include Adoration, affection, allegiance, attachment, dedication, deference, enthusiasm, faithfulness, fealty, ferver, fidelity, intensity, love, passion, piety, reverence, sincerity, worship, zeal...

That doesn’t really sound like sitting down to read a book for 5 minutes out of your day. Affection? Attachment? Enthusiasm and Fealty (Loyalty)? Passion, Sincerity, and Worship? That sounds much more like an “All-In Lifestyle” to me.

Don’t get me wrong, short inspirational devotions are amazing resources that build our faith, encourage us, and recenter our thoughts on Jesus. The days I use one typically go better than when I don’t, because my focus is on Jesus a little more than my problems.

But seriously, If we’re devoted to someone, we’re attached, dedicated, enthusiastic, intensely loyal, deferring our desires in favor of theirs…

Not just “Oh, I have 5 (or 30) minutes set aside for you at this time, and then I’m off to my real life, see ya tomorrow!”


So What Are Devotions?

When we talk about how to do devotions, we’re usually talking about the routine or spiritual discipline of a daily quiet time with God.

There are some really practical tips for how to do devotions out there, even some good ones especially for busy moms.

And that’s an important part, knowing how to do them consistently. Because a neglected relationship withers. Even and especially your relationship with God.

You could use a fun women’s devotional book, or a simple Bible reading plan, or an in-depth Bible study book like this one.

But that is just one corner of your life. And remember, when we accepted Jesus as our savior, we gave Him all of us (or that’s what we’re trying to do, anyway)

Well, What Is A Devotion Lifestyle?

Or what does a life devoted to God look like?

Well, it DOESN’T look like walking around holier than everyone else, because we’re not. It doesn’t look like you’ve fallen for the lie of ‘I’ve been forgiven so I can do whatever I want to’ either.

A lifestyle of devotion to God will include God in every part of your life. Your job, your marriage, parenting, interacting with your parents, the grocery clerk and the time you spend behind the wheel. Your time on social media and your entertainment choices.

Letting Him in to all the dark corners of your heart isn’t usually instantaneous though. Sometimes it feels like He is on a remodeling tour. Going from room to room, getting one thing in line with His will at a time.

When that happens, it feels kind of like this: “Ah, I’m doing good. We finally got this part of my life straightened out, I’m obeying and trusting God more than ever! Life Is Good!” “Wait-something’s not right here. Now this area doesn’t feel right anymore. I hadn’t noticed it was in need of attention, but now…”

Which can either lead to digging in your heels, muscling through, or leaning in to God’s Grace. Your choice, because He isn’t going to force you.

But none of that is very likely if you’re not spending regular, consistent time with God, and in His word. Which is why we’re here talking about how to do devotions today. Now that we have a better idea of the meaning of the word, we can dive into more specific tools for making this a regular part of life.

how to do devotions

How To Do Devotions

So long as you’re consistently having time with God, listening to His heart through His Word, and sharing your heart with him in prayer, it doesn’t have to look the same every day, or the same as someone else’s does.

There’s more than one way. But the essentials are communication and growth.

I mean, if Jesus is my friend, some basic friendship rules should be a good place to start.

If you’re a good friend, you spend time together, you don’t always demand your own way, you learn to trust each other and share things that are going on in your heart and life. You go on adventures together, whether that’s the mall, the mission field or the mountains.

Leaving room in your schedule, conversations, budget, etc. for God to show you something is a good place to start, don’t you think?

Here are a few specific ways that will help you tap into a devoted lifestyle.

How To Do Devotions In A Quiet Home

Whether you’re a morning person, a night owl, or otherwise have a consistent opportunity to have a quiet home space, then your daily quiet time could have a dedicated space and time, complete with your Bible, a devotional book, prayer journal, Christian music, and a cup of your favorite beverage.

You can structure this time a few different ways, depending on your time and season of life. A couple of ideas are

  • Pray for focus/discernment
  • Read your Bible passage
  • Read devotional
  • Pray and journal
  • Listen to some music based on the passages you read, maybe even dance with Jesus
  • Turn on the music softly in the background
  • Pray for focus/discernment
  • Read your devotional
  • Read the Scriptures referenced for context
  • Pray and journal

Then, write out a post it note of a key concept or verse, and put it where you’ll notice it throughout the day. This helps you keep your focus, and not box God into a specific ‘time’ of your day.

Granted, I DON’T live in a quiet house, but this is my dream of how to do devotions if I did.

How To Do Devotions As A Mom of Little Ones

Here’s where I live. If I get up early, so do they. If I stay up late, they get up earlier. I have brief windows when they have a screen, or are napping, where I can hear myself think. And there are so many things vying for those few moments of uninterrupted brain power.

My daily routine usually consists of whatever devotional I’m reading through (for review purposes) on my Kindle while holding the baby who’s watching Paw Patrol while trying to fall asleep. Not ideal, for him or me, but you go with what works, until it doesn’t anymore. It used to be walking laps around the kitchen with him in the backpack or stroller until he fell asleep.

The accountability factor of a review deadline or expectation helps keep me consistent on days when I’d rather not. Not because I don’t love what I’m reading, but because I’m very picky about what I choose to review. If I don’t think I’ll be able to give at least 4 stars, I’m not likely to accept the challenge.

Daily Devotion Tips and Tricks For Busy Moms

  • Put a devotional calendar on the windowsill above your kitchen sink
  • Write out a scripture for the week on several post-it notes, and post it in high-frequency spots, like above the bathroom sink, washing machine, changing table…
  • Put an app on your phone such as BlueLetterBible or YouVersion, and when you happen to have time, choose to spend your first few minutes there, before jumping over to social media or shopping.
  • Remember, God will never let his word return void, so any effort you put into reading God’s Word will reap a harvest of blessing.
  • Don’t give up because you can’t spend 30, 60, 90 uninterrupted minutes. That season may come, but for now, give yourself grace!
  • Consider the amount of time you spend reading Christian children’s books or Bible stories to your kiddos! If you’re listening while you read, God might just be whispering lessons into your own heart too!
  • Turn on the Christian Music while you’re cleaning, driving, etc. Praise Him while you work. Allow His truths to soak into your soul through the ministry of music.

How To Do Devotions When You’re Physically Active or Athletic

If you go for a walk, or a ride, or a hike, or whatever your particular athletic pleasures are, your daily devotions can be part of that! (Or if you spend a lot of time driving)

On the go? Well, if you bring a device along, you can listen to the Scriptures read out loud through either BlueLetterBible or YouVersion, tune into worship music, or listen to a sermon or Christian book while you are traveling

Or without devices, just observing and praising God is another way. Just noticing, and thanking God for the way He’s enabled your body to do what you’re asking of it. For creating that tree to give you a shady spot to rest. For that stream, that sunset, the crickets and birds… The possibilities are endless here, and so are the benefits!

You could also check out these Faith and Fitness devotionals and workouts which are pretty awesome!

I know that many kids tend to remember things better when their bodies are moving during the learning process, so it stands to reason that if you were that kid, you still are, at least as far as how you remember things. So don’t worry about finding the right place and setting up a comfortable chair. It is perfectly acceptable and wise to get closer to God by inviting him to join you in your activity. Do something with him, and give thanks for the ability and passion he’s given you, enjoy a talk with the Lord!

How To Do Devotions On Your Lunch Break

Maybe your only opportunity for a quiet time is on your lunch break. But the staff break room is small and the co-workers are chatty. And you don’t want to be the ‘odd one’ or lose that fellowship time.

I get it. I worked in a church. And my scripture memorization trick was to write a verse on the dry-erase board, and throughout the week, erase a word or two. My co-workers didn’t get it, and were offended by the missing words on the board in the lunchroom. I eventually stopped trying to explain and did that at home instead.

I tried to have lunch with them a couple of times a week, but the other 3 days, I ‘was busy’ at that time, and had my lunch an hour later. Then I got at least 20 of my 30 minutes un-interrupted.

You have to keep your routine simple in this situation. You’re probably not going to be able to do a prayer journal, that will need to be done at home. But you can read an inspirational book, or reading a chapter of Scripture, and meditate on it. You could probably listen to music or a sermon on your earbuds, maybe work your way through this amazing Anne Graham Lotz Book.

It’s something, and it keeps you from falling into the trap of “first thing in the morning” being the only acceptable time. Because we are all in different places in our lives and in our spiritual journey. But as long as we make a point to spend time with God regularly, there’s not a right or wrong time of day!

Daily Devotional Tools

Daily Devotional Tools

There are many daily devo tools available, and each one has its place. Maybe this season of your life calls for simple Scripture reading plans. Or maybe you’re looking for devotional books, or journals, or a full-blown Online community to get plugged into.

My hope is that these tools will bless you where you are, and help you one step further along the path Jesus is lighting for you!

Simple Bible Reading Plans

Here are some free simple Bible plans printables that are topical, and somewhat seasonal. Each one comes with some helpful study pages, to give more depth to what you’re reading.

This one is a free 30 day Faith over Fear reading plan that you don’t want to miss. Each day’s reading is just a few verses, plus there are videos on YouTube that go along with each day’s Scripture passage.

There are several simple plans available here, and most of them are free. With topics such as God’s Love, Praising Him in the Storm, Miracles, Christmas, etc, you won’t get bored, and the growth is real!

Daily Devotionals

Some of my favorite daily readings can be found here: for Moms, some fun women’s devotionals, and here are 40+ short inspirational devotions for a variety of ages and stages. These are great to give you a plan and a place to start reading the Bible regularly

I just went through this free 5 day devotional for Christian moms who are overwhelmed by their kiddos’ big emotions. between the Biblical truths that Lindsey points out and the science that she mentions, I found this to be SO AWESOME and HELPFUL.

Whether your kid’s meltdowns and discipline issues don’t seem ‘that bad’ or if they’re off the charts, I highly recommend you taking the time for this devotional. Each day you get about a 5-minute video, and there are a couple of pages to journal.

Lindsey gets just how difficult it is for overwhelmed moms to find time, or even know how to do devotions on a regular basis, and I find her very encouraging and understanding, which is something we moms need more of!

Crayons, how to pray the scriptures for your Children

Bible, Gratitude and Prayer Journals

I recently discovered this new printable pdf Trust in The Lord Bible Journaling kit, and since I’m new to the idea of Bible journaling, I found it to be a great place to start! I’m really enjoying myself while using it. You don’t have to be very creative to get the most out of it!

There’s a simple Bible reading plan on trusting the Lord, all kinds of traceable Bible verses and quotes, and a simple daily Bible journaling page that has room for your daily reading references and notes, a gratitude list, prayer requests, and room for your artistic side, whether you’re drawing, tracing word-art, or something else entirely.

A prayer journal is something I keep hearing about, and I know my mom keeps one, but I’ve never gotten started. I’ve tried a few apps, and I like the idea, but it just hasn’t clicked yet.

I’m trying this printable Prayer, Praise and Promise journal right now, and am really liking it. It’s helping me develop more than just a head-prayer habit, and I like it! It’s simple, and gives lots of room for you to prayer journal or prayer doodle, and has scripture, prayer request and gratitude list sections right there, making this a great option for quiet time routines on a busy schedule!

This free Praying the Names of Jesus prayer journal is another really good way to get started, as it gives you a mini Bible study and prayer journal in one!

The Joyful Living Toolbox is another cool resource. It’s a combination of printables: a gratitude journal, lots of gratitude prompts, a prayer journal, scripture cards and coloring pages, random acts of kindness list, and so much more. If you’re feeling down, and know that Joy in Jesus is the only answer, this toolkit and its journaling pages may be just what you’re looking for.

My free Faith and Devotion Reading Journal is another cool option to consider. Having the ability to take whatever Christian fiction book you’re reading and have a customized conversation with God about what came of it is awesome!

Online Christian Community

Maybe you’re ready for a bit more of a challenge, and a bit more support/community. Sojo Academy is what you’re looking for.

Each month our leaders give us a workbook to guide us as we study the Bible and a scripture reading/writing plan for the month. Then they add a bunch of bonus materials. Over on the private Facebook group, there are over 650 Christian women who form a community that is really awesome. Between praying for each other, encouraging, and chatting about what we’re studying, it’s a wonderful place to be.

There’s grace, because life is crazy, so there’s no pressure to ‘keep up’ or anything like that. There are practical tips, real people going through life together, even at a great distance from one another.

Do You Feel More Confident in How to Do Devotions Now?

Hopefully we are in agreement that devotion is more than just the scheduled appointment with God to check off your to-do list every day! But as that is a part of the Christian life, I really hope this has encouraged you with tips, strategies, and tools for enjoying consistent time with God in your daily life!

What tips do you have for how make this happen regularly without stressing yourself out?

Until Next Time, Love God, Love Books, Shine The Light!!

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