As young believers, one of the first disciplines we learnt was that of starting the day with God. Many of us were introduced to this in the form of family devotions, which often proved to be a major thorn in the flesh because most times we still wanted to sleep, and sometimes we couldn’t really relate to what was going on.
“Let go of externally imposed formulas.”
Now that we are adults, some of us have continued with morning devotions — believe it or not! I’m one of the others who fell by the way side, praying whenever I liked instead of first thing every morning.
When I rediscovered the beauty of feeding my spirit and communing with God first thing in the morning, it was heaven to me. The biggest factor which made a difference between present devotions and past ones is this: there is no formula!
Our parents and Sunday School teachers had formulas they favoured, as did many writers of Christian books. One popular one includes starting off with Bible reading either straight from the Bible or using a devotional. This is followed by singing some praise and worship songs, and then praying.
I struggled to follow this for a long time, until one day when I had a “Jesus didn’t die for this” moment. I let go of externally imposed formulas, and focused on enjoying God in different ways from day to day.
Some days, I wake up and start singing hymns to my God and King. Other days, I enter His presence singing fervent songs, clapping and dancing. When you start practicing the art of offering praise to God and worshipping Him in music, you will find that you cannot praise Him enough. There are even days when this is all I do for a whole hour. Can we ever praise Him enough? I have a playlist of praise and worship songs, and sometimes I don’t even sing; I just simply sit and take in the music while my heart worships.
Have you ever prayed the Psalms? If you haven’t, you’re missing out. They were written to be sung and chanted, so that works great, but the prayers are also heartfelt and intense, often perfect for when you want to express your heart in words. You can even spend time memorising some Psalms and then praying them out loud, or singing them to any tune of your choice, if you’re really into singing. That’s how many old classics came to us!
Listening & Meditating
Morning devotion is also a time to hear from God
, and this happens through His word. Sometimes I sit down and listen to a sermon. Other times I use a devotional or Bible Plan (You Version
have great Bible plans). And then there are times when I just want to read straight from my Bible. God’s word is always refreshing, instructive and nourishing!
Meditation is also a life-changing part of “morning devotion”. This includes focusing on God’s goodness, mercy, power, love and holiness. It also involves pondering His word after reading or listening to it, and also declaring and affirming it verbally.
One of the best things about morning devotion is being able to command your morning, and your day. This is a whole article on its own, but suffice it to say that the words you speak into the atmosphere when you wake up, play a very important role in shaping your day.
Regular prayer remains a staple of course. I pray for myself, and I also pray for others: my husband, my children born and yet to be born, my parents, my siblings, my friends, the unsaved, my business partners, and more. And I thank God for answered prayer.
Every morning devotion is different, yet each one has Jesus at the centre, to the glory of God. And that’s what matters most.
What’s stopping you from starting your day with God?
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This article was first published on 26th February 2018