On Devotional Times: My Ten Favourite Sentences image

On Devotional Times: My Ten Favourite Sentences

It is sometimes said that devotional times are a peculiarly modern and evangelical phenomenon. I doubt that. Certainly the form of the devotional time practised by evangelicals is modern: personal space, a chair, a Bible, a journal, a pen. Most Christians in history haven't had the money or the literacy for that. But the practice of spending time alone with God, in prayer, often as the day starts, is as old as the Church, and obviously goes back to Jesus himself. So, in an ever-busy world, it is worth thinking about how to make best use of that time.

Sometimes, a flash of insight can come to you in just a sentence, and that has happened to me frequently when it comes to devotional times. (It's what John Piper says about something he read in C. S. Lewis: "Books don't change people; paragraphs do. Sometimes even sentences do.") Of the many things I have read on the subject of devotional or "quiet" times, here are the ten sentences that have most helped me:

“The first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day is to have my soul happy in the Lord.”
- George Müller

“Find out what helps you connect with God, and make a discipline out of it.”
- Pete Greig

“You made us for yourself,
and our hearts find no peace
until they find their rest in you.”
- Augustine

“How I spend this ordinary day in Christ is how I will spend my Christian life.”
- Tish Harrison Warren

“Raking is easy, but all you get is leaves. Digging is hard, but you might find diamonds.”
- John Piper

“Oddly enough, many people struggle to pray because they are focusing on praying, not on God.”
- Paul Miller

“We breathe in revelation. We breathe out response.”
- Matt Redman

“Have you realised that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?”
- Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“Sometimes my morning prayer simply begins like this:
I’m tired,
and I’m grumpy,
but I’m here again.”
- Ray Lowe

“Open my eyes, that I may see
wondrous things in your law.”
- Psalm 119:18

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