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The struggle to get our son to eat his food—yeah it’s kinda how it feels sometimes to really love your devotions and prayer life. An uphill battle.
My son was a little over two years old and a non–stop busy–body. When it came to dinner time, we didn’t have any problems with him eating his food. Whether nature or nurture—he loved food. But then—it happened. We had just sat down to eat and then all of the sudden he jumped up from the table and ran across the room. He saw his toys and he started to play, but it lasted only for a few moments. He took a few more bites of food, then returned to playing with his toys. After putting the toys away and several failed attempts of getting him to eat, my husband decided to invoke bribery with something that he loves. Ice cream.
He said, “Sebastian, you need to eat your dinner or you don’t get any ice cream.” My two year old son looked at my husband like he had just told him the greatest thing in the world! He immediately grabbed a handful of hamburger and shoved it all in his mouth.
The struggle is real! Getting motivated to do something that you know you need to do—but it is so hard especially when it comes to devotions and prayer.
You know you need to do devotions and spend time in prayer. That feeling of “need to” is often connected to a desire to deepen your faith. But the problem, is that you just don’t have the time. You’re distracted by the busyness of life.
You’re a busy mom.
You work outside the home.
You own your own business.
You’re not a morning person. Then when you do have the time at night—you’re exhausted.
No matter who you are, or what you do—you always seem to run out of time.
Just like we were able to get my son focused on his food, I’ve got 7 Essentials to help you remove the distraction of “you don’t have enough time”.
I have to be honest. These essentials are going to cost you some money.
But you’re faith—has eternal value.
7 Essentials to Nurture Your Devotions and Prayer
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1. Jesus is Calling You—It’s Called The Bible
I don’t know about you, but I personally own a number of bibles. But, the thing that hinders—is that we tend to not read it for ourselves. We take someone else’s word for it in the form of a bible study, a podcast, or a devotional.
Take for instance, Sarah Young. She heard Jesus Calling. Then she wrote him a letter—Dear Jesus. Then she proclaimed Jesus Lives. I don’t want to make this trivial, but would you rather read what He said to Sarah Young? Or do you want to hear what He has to say to you?
God’s Word is living and breathing and active (Heb.4:12)—as you seek Him first, He will lead you and guide you (Mat. 6:33, Prov. 3:5-6). His Word says so. He will speak to you. He will sharpen you into His likeness. Don’t just own a Bible—make it YOUR Bible.
How? Find a translation or a particular Bible that you are drawn to—for me it was the ESV Journaling Bible. This Bible—I swooned over! It’s beautiful, leather, and has a column specifically for journaling. You can click on the picture and check it out for yourself.
ESV Journaling Bible
When a Bible catches your eye—pay attention! If you love the way something looks, you’re more likely to nurture a habit of reading His Word for yourself.
2. Take your pen for a walk.
Write stuff down by journaling what you’re learning, thinking, praying. Write how God is speaking to your heart. When you write it down—there’s no guesswork. You know what happened, what you were thinking, and you can find details rather than trying to jog your memory.
By writing things down you engage your mind, your hands, and your eyes. You’re processing things using multiple senses which initiates a deeper contemplation of the heart. Lastly, when you write things down, you’re more likely to take action that sticks.*
Write the Word — Cultivate Faith Journal
Be Still Journal
3. Keep it simple with a Keurig.
Yes, I’m suggesting a Keurig to help nurture your devotions and prayer! There are some things you can do to give you incentive, but you might want to make sure it’s the right thing!
I’m not naturally a morning person and in ninth grade, I really struggled to get up for school. I got the bright idea to put my alarm clock across the room so I’d have to get out of bed to shut it off. Naturally, it worked. In fact I made a habit of darting out of bed because the sound was so annoying.
Some time later, my cousin came to stay with us for a couple of nights. I gave her my bed and I ended up sleeping in the loft over my bed. In the morning, my alarm clock went off like normal and because I had cultivated a habit of darting out of my bed—I did just that. I fell head first and hitting my head on the floor, I bit all the way through my bottom lip with my teeth. I paid for my particularly plump pout with the price of four stitches and a life lesson learned.
Setting your opportunity clock across the room might not be the best incentive for getting you out of bed in the morning.
On the other hand, the smell of freshly made coffee wafting through the house might just lure you into your cozy prayer and devotion chair.
Keep it Simple with a Keurig
4. The Little Black Dress—for your coffee!
I’m kind of a fanatic about mugs, but I’m a firm believer that having the right mug that matches your personality—does something on the inside not just on the outside.
I have a friend who she and her husband are coffee connoisseurs. They have a commercial grade espresso machine and a commercial grade coffee grinder in their kitchen. They’re serious coffee people. But, my favorite thing about my friend and her coffee is that when you visit her she has a rule. You have to drink out of the cup that matches what you’re wearing. It makes her day and everyone gets excited to choose the cup that they like and that follows her rule!
The perfect mug is like the little black dress for your coffee—every girl needs one. Are you someone who is inspired by what you’re mug says? If you are, here are a few to encourage you in your faith.
Grace Upon Grace
He Restores My Soul
5. Set apart a space that holds significance.
Can you picture yourself in this dreamy space?
Part of nurturing a habit of devotions and prayer is creating a space that is yours and for me it is with my own prayer and devotion chair. A chair is way of welcoming God into a deeper place in your heart and in your home.
I wanted my chair to be set apart—different from the rest of the furniture in my home. For me, I bought a brand new chair for prayer and devotions to represent the start of a new legacy. This holds significance for me. It visibly holds accountability for me to meet with Him and my family visually sees that I meet with God on a regular basis. This is key to helping foster a prayer and devotion habit in you and for your children. If they see you doing it, they will do it too.
Just like having coffee with a dear friend, you meet in the Living Room. If you think about it, you don’t sit next to each other on the couch. You each have your own chair. I do the same with God. I have my chair and I set one out for Him too. We have coffee and He teaches, leads, and comforts me with His Word.
Spend time praying about what chair God would lead you to purchase.
6. Put a cherry on top with a chunky blanket.
Now, a spot just isn’t complete without a cozy blanket. Wrapping up in a cozy blanket just adds to the “I’m at home” feeling.
A chunky blanket for your prayer chair is like a grown up version of Linus’ blanket in the Charlie Brown comic strip—you want to take it everywhere! Take that blanket off the bed and cuddle up in your chair. I always have a blanket nearby—even in the summer.
7. Every essential has a spot.
Your space—it’s your space! It’s not for everyone else. Keep your bible, journal, and chunky blanket tucked away in its own spot—in an ottoman or storage cube. It keeps your space tidy, and when you are ready to use it—you know right where to find it.
Good mornings lead to GREAT days!
Start your day with devotions and prayer and be sure that you’ll start your day off right. No more end of day regrets—I ran out of time. For years, I told myself that I was not a morning person—but His Word kept directing me to promises that came in the morning. Here are a few:
His mercies are new every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
The morning greets me with His faithful unfailing love. (Psalm 143:8)
Joy is found in the morning. (Psalm 130:5)
I wanted what these prayers offered and so I used the essentials to help get me up in the morning. They have not disappointed.
Love It and It Will Grow
These seven essentials may seem like they’re just ice cream for your devotions and prayer—like you don’t really need it, do you? Maybe as you’ve read, you’ve tried to convince yourself that you don’t need them. Having a deeper devotion and prayer life—is worth it. I’d encourage you to be really honest with yourself and consider what I’ve shared.
If you love the right tools—you will want to use them.
If you love the right spot—you will want to visit it often.
For the past three years I’ve been a part of a local mops group. At the last meeting of each year I’ve received flowers from my group leaders.
My first year I was given a succulent. My second year I was given a seed packet of Zinnias, my third year I was given a Dahlia plant.
The seed packet—never got planted.
The Dahlia plant is currently dying on my porch. I’ve tried to keep it alive, but I probably didn’t water it as much as I should have. Also, I should’ve planted it in the ground because it is an annual.
The succulent is alive and well. It’s a simple, pretty, all–year–round indoor plant and it’s easy to maintain.
One thing you should know about me is that I love flowers and plants—but not all of them are my favorite. Can you guess which one of the three captured my heart?
The bottom line is this: the essentials that you choose makes a considerable difference in nurturing your devotions and prayer.
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* http://www.dominican.edu/academics/ahss/undergraduate-programs/psych/faculty/assets-gail-matthews/researchsummary2.pdf /Accessed on July 7, 2017.
If your interested in creating a spot you love, here are a few of the things I mentioned in this post to help you with your devotions and prayer. Start those creative juices flowing. Remember—these are only ideas to get you started. You gotta find your ice cream! (Note: The links in this post are affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.)