by Amanda McKelroy | January 15, 2018
“And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” ~Mark 1:35
- Have a pre-determined time in the morning.
Many people say they do not have time in the morning to sit down and read their Bible, much less extra time to pray. But reality is that you make time for what is important to you. You get up early enough to shower, do your hair, put on makeup, eat breakfast, etc. How much more important should spending time in God’s Word be than doing our hair? Much more! Making time in the morning to read your Bible is as simple as making a morning schedule and determining to follow it.
“I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.” ~Proverbs 8:17
- Go to a designated place.
A big key to successful morning devotions is having a designated spot to meet with the Lord. This should be a place where there are no distractions, no people to try and talk to you, no phone tempting you to check Facebook. It could be the kitchen table – before the rest of the family emerges from their rooms. It may be your favorite easy chair, or maybe a writing desk. Pick a place and try it out. You may try a few places before finding the one that lets you turn off your mental distractions, have no new distractions, and focus on spending time in God’s Word.
“And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.” ~Mark 6:46
Prayer prepares your heart to receive wisdom and understanding from the Scriptures you are going to read. Ask the Lord to empty you of self and mental distractions.
“But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed by God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.” ~Psalm 66:19-20
- Have a Bible-reading plan.
There are many different Bible-reading plans that can be utilized. Some start at Genesis and end at Revelation. Some start at Matthew and have you read the New Testament and then the Old Testament. Some jump you between the Old and New Testaments. Some have you read chronologically. There are many options for Bible reading plans. The necessary thing is to have a plan. A plan gives you accountability. My favorite starting place to recommend is the Proverbs Challenge. Read the Proverbs chapter that corresponds with the date. For example, today is the 15th so this morning I read Proverbs 15. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs so you can read through it once a month, and it takes about five to seven minutes to read a chapter of Proverbs. Do a little research, find a plan that appeals to you, and try it out. If nothing else, try the Proverbs Challenge. Give yourself five minutes each morning to drink a cup of coffee and read a chapter of Proverbs.
- Have an accountability partner.
It is true that having a plan gives you something to be accountable to. But a plan can’t check in with you and ask you how it’s going. Find a friend who’s dependable that will check in with you every few days to see if you’re still on track. Be willing to admit when you didn’t read, and willing to let your accountability partner encourage you to get back on the bandwagon. A little positive peer pressure can go a long way!
- Use a journal.
Journals are great tools. You can record major life events and how God is helping you through them – both good and difficult events. Write down your prayers. Write out verses that touch your heart and any thoughts you had about that verse. Journaling can help you stay consistent, and it’s another source of accountability. Write down the date each day that you journal, and what you read in the Bible that morning (for example: Mark 2-4). When you miss a day, write down the date and a frowny face. It will encourage you to not miss!
In conclusion, morning devotions are a vital part of your day because they will start your day off right by spending time with your Creator and Savior. But morning devotions don’t just happen: they take determination, planning, accountability, and diligence. But nothing worthwhile ever was attained without effort.