Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Putting God First This Year

In keeping our priorities straight for the year 2010, I thought it would be fitting to begin the year with a post about the most important Priority of each Christian woman's life--God. Having a consistent, productive devotional life is not something to be figured out once and repeated over and over. It is constantly changing and unique to each person. That's because it is a relationship not a duty as so many of us fall into believing. Here are a few tips and links to help us get started in the right direction as we consider God first this year:

  • Plan it. Our time with God will not just happen. This simply means having a certain time and place where we meet with God. If it's not possible to do it the same time and place every time, it can at least be scheduled in on the calendar so that it will be part of the day.
  • First things First. In Ordering Your Private World, George MacDonald tells us that it is important not to arrive before God's throne "emotionally breathless". To keep from doing this, he journals his thoughts first as a way to empty his mind. For some, it is hard enough to be awake, especially if our devotional time is first thing in the morning. In that case, it may be easier to take the advice of Anne Ortlund in Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman. She spends the first hour waking up, exercising and dressing for the day so she is at her best when it is time to meet with the Lord.
  • Begin with Prayer. This is not a set-in-stone rule, but I have found it helpful because it is easy to read your "assigned" reading for the day, blurt out a few quick words to the Lord and move on without really worshiping Him.
  • Praise First, Petition Later. If I fail to spend the first part of my prayer time praising, I will get to the end of prayer and realize that I have done all the talking and that I have focused mostly on myself and my needs. Focusing on Him in unhurried, adoring praise is the most precious way to talk with the Father.
  • Read the Word according to your needs. I realize there is great value and importance in having a regular Bible reading schedule and sticking to it. However, sometimes I have been at my lowest, needing something from God and have found my daily reading to be the genealogies in the Old Testament. I have a little emergency plan set up where if I need extra wisdom for a certain situation, I add in the Proverb of the day. If I need encouragement or help in praising the Lord, I add in a Psalm or two.
  • If you miss a day, don't give up! If your husband were to go on a business trip and be gone for several days, you would not give up on the relationship (I hope!). You would eagerly anticipate his return and contact him in any way you were able while waiting to see him again. Our relationship with God is much the same way. If circumstances keep us from having our planned quiet time, instead of growing discouraged, we can pray in snatches during the day or take 5 minutes here and there to read a verse or two. Then, we can eagerly anticipate the morning (afternoon, or evening) when we can once again sit at his feet.

Related Links:
Bible Reading Plans @ Women Living Well Blog
Tips for Mommy Devotions

Establishing a Devotional Life: Baby and Toddler Edition
My Daily Bread @ awake
Facing the Demands of "Me Time" @ Pursuing Titus 2

This post took 26 minutes to complete and is part of the Steady Mom's 30 Minute Blog Challenge.


  1. Thanks for sharing! I was wondering where you were lately and was about to send you an email. Hope your holiday was blessed and you're having a wonderful new year!

  2. Amen to all your tips!

    My quiet time is the most critical part of my day! If I miss it, my day just doesn't go as well.

  3. I love what you posted Jennifer. It helped me and I don't even have little kids.

  4. That's a Great 30-minute post, I especially love the "if you miss a day keep going"... It is so like falling off a bike, the longer you leave it the worse it gets to get back on! I wrote a Quiet time post a couple of weeks ago (http://www.se7en.org.za/2009/11/09/sunday-snippet-finding-time-for-quiet-time) and I also said "Keep at it, even when you miss a day" ... I should have put that point first!!! Have a great day!!!