An example of a structured devotional time
1. Come before the Lord. Have a time of silence being aware of who it is you are approaching.
2. Ask the Lord for the Spirit of prayer and praise.
3. Confess any known sin.
4. Recognise that the Lord has forgiven you by the blood of Jesus. Enter into praise (a chorus book or hymn book is good to have handy). If there are besetting sins or difficulties you are facing, make a note of Bible verses that help you, and make good use of them.
Scripture verses may help meditation and will lead to prayer. Let the truth of them lead you into praise. Here are some examples:
1 Peter 5:7
2 Corinthians 5:17
1 John 1:7-9
1 John 4:4
1 Corinthians 6:20
1 John 2:1
2 Timothy 1:7
2 Peter 1:3-4
These are just some, but you will have others which are special to you. This could be a point at which you begin learning a memory verse over several days. You could even use a short devotional reading at this point, such as an extract from the commentary of Matthew Henry.
5. Turn to the Bible with a prayer that God would open his word to you (Psalm 119:18).
- There are so many ways of using the Bible: don't get bogged down by incredibly long reading plans. You can do that at some other point in the day. Look for God to speak.
- One plan is to read a part of the Old Testament
and a Gospel portion on one day; a psalm, or part of a psalm, with another part
of the New Testament on the next day.
- You're not cramming for an exam; you want to hear from God and feed on his word, and to grow in the knowledge of Christ Jesus.
6. Pray about what you've just read.
7. Ask for God's power and grace for all that is coming this day (expected or unexpected).
8. Pray for your family or household.
9. Pray for finances and health.
10.Pray for opportunities to witness.
11.Pray for people you know, for the government, for politicians, and for other countries. Pray also for missions.
This will grow in time: you don't need to be praying for hours. Limit yourself to begin with. It is not unspiritual to have a fixed time with God. It is your appointment with the King: he knows you've got to get on with your day.
12.End in praise, perhaps with the words of a chorus or song.