Maintaining a habit of devotional reading and prayer <3


Partially for accountability and partially for information and partially because if you know me, you know this is an important part of my daily routine, I am sharing my devotional plan for 2020 today. 

I once had a person I admire and respect greatly express wonder that anyone reads more than one devotional in a morning quiet time. I think it would be pretty awesome to be able to hone my reading down to one thing but to each his or her own. 

Possibly because I have several conversations going on in my head most of the time, I seem to need to hear from God in a multitude of ways. I do notice that often the same message is consistent as I sit down and open my books each morning. 

I also confess that I don’t necessarily get something profound out of every single one of them, every single day. 

I do make general notes in my journal (which is a plain old spiral notebook like you would get in the school supply section of a discount store) from the various readings and often I will find later in the week or month that God is speaking a theme as I look back over the entries. 

Throughout the year I will do a couple of Bible Studies as well plus I like to listen to online sermons and take notes…and these are just added in to the mix. 

I also may adjust my stack as the year progresses depending on any additions that seem to be helping me to grow spiritually, but for the start of 2020 here is the lineup:

#1 My Utmost for His Highest – I have read through this book so many times. And this copy is not my original one. That one was given away as a love offering and is marked up with tears, coffee stains and ink marks galore. My new copy was a gift of love from a friend who knows my need for Oswald Chambers to kick me out of complacency throughout the year. 

#2. Faith that Matters – a collection of writings of various people like Dallas Willard, Henri Nouwen, Tozer, Eugene Peterson and Brennan Manning. This years devotion from my friend Lisa who has unfailingly selected my daily devotional for so many years I have lost track. She prays, buys and throughout the months that follow I wonder how God directed authors, publishers and my dear friend to get something in my hands that would speak directly to my heart the words of comfort, encouragement or conviction that are needed that day. 

#3. 15 Minutes with God for Grandma by Emilie Barnes. A new little short book from same dear friend. I won’t read from this every day and when I have finished it, I will cycle in another similar book that I have been wanting to read…it is a bonus read on days when I have more time. 

#4.Power of a Praying Grandparent by Stormie Omartian. I discovered many years ago that I need help keeping my prayers scriptural and on track and Stormie Omartian provided me with prayer prompts through her “Power of a Praying …” series for years. This new one for grandparents gives me God’s thoughts for our whole family  – I expand the prayers to cover any and all who come to mind as I cycle through the book monthly. 

#5. (in)courage Devotional Bible. My current Bible translation is CSB and by doing the math, I know I have to read around 5 pages a day to cover it this  year. On mornings when I have more time I read more than that because I have learned by experience there will be days I have little time and if I get too far behind, discouragement defeats me and I quit. 

#6. My journal. The only consistent thing about the entries are that I date them and I try and make some notes about anything that jumped out at me. There are days when I pour out my heart and days when I rant and vent and ask God questions. There are days when I try and sketch a picture of how He has spoken to me and I copy verses of Scripture or quotes that really speak to me. There are a lot of arrows and hearts and underlines…big bold capitals and if you analyzed the handwriting you would say fifty different people had written in it…but it’s all me. Just as I am. 

#7. My prayer time is actually spread throughout all of the above. Often as I am reading something I will stop and pray to God about it for my own life or for someone else. Often I find I write a lengthy prayer in my journal at some point but other times it is just a free-flowing conversation with God. Prayer is something that I believe in strongly but something I also struggle with grasping at times. I am better at talking at God then in quieting myself to listen to Him. So for me the most intentional times of prayer occur either by going to a place where I don’t normally sit and just opening my Bible and reading passages of the letters of Paul, Psalms or Proverbs and praying back what I read OR walking with no distractions outside and just asking Him to speak to me are both good methods for this woman to have prayer communion with God.

So that’s my stack and the way I do my quiet time. It’s not the only way or the right way – it’s just the way it works for me.

And yes, I also have about four books scattered in bags and on tables around the house that I am working on finishing. 


I am exhausting to live with. 

Say a prayer for Russ and then let me know what you are planning to do this year to grow closer to God <3

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  1. PS One more! Also reading with my husband “Radical” by David Platt. Started it years ago but got “the nudge” to read it.

  2. Wonderful, Laura! Thanks for this topic and always it encourages me to hear of what works for others. Loved hearing what you’re immersed in for this season. I just told a friend i’ve never had this many books in the mix at one time before. It’s fantastic! After a few years of physically and emotionally charged months, I’m sooo grateful for time, time to sit, time to commune, time to remember what I was even reading the day before.

    My Utmost for His Highest (husband and i are reading this together, but separately)
    One Great Truth, a book my dad put into my hands years ago after he read it but it sat on my shelf until the week after he died.
    Oración- a book on prayer by an old friend-turned-pastor
    The One Year Book of Inspiration for Girlfriends: I think this was inspired by you! A dear friend gifted me with it and we are reading it together but separately 1000 miles apart. Super special!
    Tuesdays With Morrie: I am likely the last person on the planet to have read it, but better late than…
    And my favorite, THE BIBLE. ESV study Bible this time. Going to read chronologically, one-year goal
    Plus a Psalm every day and something from the New Testament
    Prayer is (first time trying this) changing formats. Trial basis. I have 2 prayer apps on my phone and a beautiful “prayer bowl” someone gave me with prayers and names written on cards and placed in the bowl. I go through each card and pray again before putting it back in the bowl. Some days I may hover my hand over that bowl and pray over all, but with thus luxury of time, each one gets devoted attention. Your name is on one of the cards.

    YouTube – praise God for one of the “greater things than this will you do.” Sermons as old as Andrew Murray’s. I listen to many pastors and missionaries- hours and glorious hours, while driving, cleaning, cooking…

    Worship. Please let me go to a new level of praise and worship this year! Worship music fills the air around me when sermons are not being played. The first thing when my eyes open, my endeavor is to praise and connect with the God who kept me through the night and will guide me through the day. He is worthy!

    1. So many things to love about all that you said Melissa. I heard from another gal that she is doing the girlfriend book with some long-distance friends – so fun! And the fact that my name is in your prayer bowl means the world to me, my friend! I love old sermons – I even had a book of collections of some of the greats. Truth is relative across the generations <3 Bless you and thank you for sharing!!!!!! Keep doing so!

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