What works for you?

Take a deep breath and imagine: You’re feeling excited, comfortable, and profoundly connected—to the spirit of God. You’re in His presence. The scripture in front of you is crystal clear. Then, a revelation comes to mind and thrills your heart with hope for a brighter tomorrow.

When such beautiful and cherished moments in the life of a Christian occur, they are memorable—even euphoric.

Cultivating the devotional disciplines and lifestyle that ultimately lead to such desired epiphanies is what the “Deeper Discipleship” aspect of “Strikepoint” is all about.

To learn how people across the territory successfully initiate and conduct their private moments with God, SAconnects (the magazine) asked them to describe their devotional life in response to the following questions:

• Briefly describe your devotional life and how you daily cultivate spiritual disciplines.
• What Christian book(s) are you currently reading?
• What Christian authors have influenced you most?
• Where do you physically conduct your daily devotions?
• What advice do you have for people who are struggling in these busy times to develop a healthy devotional life?

As many as 50 people responded. Common threads are revealed, such as meeting God early in the morning, sitting in a favorite easy chair, sipping coffee or tea in a familiar “space” or “War Room.” Other responses include “doodling, drawing, and coloring” scripture verses; writing entire passages of scripture; reading the same scripture from various translations; enlisting the support of an accountability partner; listening to the Word on audio recordings; using Bible apps on smartphones; and praying for family members while working out in the gym (giving each machine the name of a child or grandchild).

All examples evidence each responder’s exceptionally personal and great britain cheap viagra intimate relationship with God. As one person put it, “He designed us all differently. There is no ‘cookie cutter’ way to have devotions.” As you ponder these practices, let God touch your heart in a new and exciting way.

What our leaders do

Yourdevotionallife_WBamfordCommissioner William A. Bamford

Territorial Commander

I like my day to begin in quiet time with the Lord. Often, I will use music to prepare my soul. This time helps me to reflect, which has developed my periods of solitude with Him.

Because I travel frequently, where I physically conduct my daily devotions varies.  I prefer being in the recliner at my home office. Many times at Territorial Headquarters before people arrive, I’ll close my office door and look out the window at God’s wonderful creation.

To people who are struggling to develop a healthy devotional life, I say to them, carve some time out of the day—no matter what!

What I’m reading:
The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus, by Brennan Manning
Surprised by Joy, by C.S Lewis
Christian authors who have influenced me the most are Max Lucado, Henri Nouwen, and Samuel Logan Brengle.

Yourdevotionallife_LBamfordCommissioner G. Lorraine Bamford

Territorial President of Women’s Ministries

I prefer to occasionally change my personal devotional style for periods of time. At present, I am “scribing” daily (writing and copying Scripture). I use a lectio divina process with each portion of scripture I write. (Latin for “Divine Reading”—scriptural reading of God’s “Living Word,” meditation, and prayer).I conduct my devotions at the kitchen table or in a chair in our bedroom.

My advice for people who are struggling is, if your time with the Lord is becoming routine, change it up! Develop small disciplines at certain times during the day.

What I’m reading:
Sacred Chaos, by Tricia Rohodes
I am also reading books by Henri Nouwen, Liz Curtis Hicks, and Max Lucado.

Yourdevotionallife_PJohnsonColonel Paula Johnson

Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries

I use the S.O.A.P. method for my Bible reading; writing our Scripture, Observation, Application, and a Prayer focused on the verse for the day.Right now, I physically conduct my daily devotions in my den. However, if it’s nice outside, I like to take time on my back patio.

If you are struggling to develop a healthy devotional life, don’t beat yourself up. God wants a seeking heart—not a legalistic one! Take a moment to select a verse and write it out on a notecard. Spend a minute and ask God to apply that verse to your life in a real way. When needed, pull out that card and go over it. This advice is especially helpful for moms who have little children and generic female viagra who need to stay connected.

What I’m reading:
God in My Everything, by Ken Shigematsu
The writings of Ken Gire speak to my soul.

Yourdevotionallife_KJohnsonColonel Kenneth Johnson

Chief Secretary

My devotional life could be described as “Practicing the Presence.”Each day, I strive to maintain an awareness of God’s presence. In my Bible reading and during my prayer walk and ministry duties, I stay centered in the knowledge that God is working in and through me. Whether I’m engaged in boisterous activity or in the discipline of silence, whether I’m feasting or fasting, God helps me make every moment count for Him.

The writings of Dr. James MacDonald speak volumes to me. This is especially true in When Life is Hard. I have also enjoyed Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. Max Lucado has been my “go to” author for devotional material.

Being a morning person, I conduct my quiet time with God over a cup of coffee. I have always gravitated to my easy chair and, preferably, face it outside. Looking out at nature helps me center my thoughts on the majesty and magnitude of our Creator.

In a world of competing demands, one has to simply prioritize the eternal matters vs. the temporal ones. Turn off the “blue screen” technological distractions and center on the Creator of the majestic blue sky above you!  Feel no regret or guilt about telling the world, “I am not available right now.” God will honor the “Centered Servant” who gives Him first place.

What I’m reading:
Stay the Course, by Captain Andy Miller
I’m also enjoying Miracles We Have Seen by Harley A. Rotbard, M.D., and I’m getting ready to re-read C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity

Yourdevotionallife_PLaBossiereLt. Colonel Patricia LaBossiere

Territorial Secretary for Spiritual Life Development

I begin each day with prayer and lowest price viagra scripture readings based on Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Clairborne. I review whatever scripture portion I am currently committing to memory. Throughout the day, I strive to maintain an awareness of God’s presence and remain open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to pray for specific individuals or situations as they come to mind. On some evenings, I spend time meditating and journaling; I find it helpful to write out my prayers. On other evenings, I use the “Prayer of Examen” (a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day). At bedtime, I read the evening scripture portions from Common Prayer, review my memory portion again, and pray for people on my prayer list.I physically conduct my daily devotions while seated in a chair in my living room. I have a basket that contains my Bible, several books, my prayer journal, and some pens.

What your devotional life looks like will change, based on your family, work, and circumstances. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Find what works for you right now and do that. If you miss a day (or a week) don’t beat yourself up. Don’t give up. Start again and keep on trying. God will meet you where you are and lead you to where He wants you to be.

What I’m reading:
Sunday, Sabbath and the Weekend, edited by Edward O’Flaherty and Rodney L. Peterson with Timothy A. Norton
Rhythms of Rest: Finding the Spirit of Sabbath in a Busy World, by Shelly Miller
C.S. Lewis and Richard Foster are Christian authors who have influenced me the most.

Yourdevotionallife_JLaBossiereLt. Colonel James LaBossiere

Territorial Program Secretary

My devotional life includes early morning Bible reading and prayer. I enjoy the quiet time with the Lord before the busyness of the day begins. I also try to include devotional readings as well as seasonal studies (Lent, Advent, and others). For this purpose, I often use a Bible reading app with daily readings.I conduct my devotions in my living room in a comfortable chair with my first cup of coffee of the day.

My main advice for people who are struggling to develop a healthy devotional life in these busy times would be to find the devotional style and materials that work for you. Experiment with various materials and time of day. After you feel comfortable, the key issue is consistency and a well–balanced diet of spiritual food to feed your soul.

What I’m reading:
War on Two Fronts: The Redemptive Theology of William Booth, by Roger Green
The Christian authors who have influenced me the most are C.S. Lewis, Max Lucado, Dietrick Bonhoeffer, Timothy Keller, and Henri Nouwen.

Yourdevotionallife_AHinsonEnvoy Anita Hinson

Ministry Development Coordinator, Greater Philadelphia

My daily devotional life starts in the morning and includes intentional and sacred “private time” with the Lord. My time consists of music, prayer, Bible study, and meditating on Scripture.I’ve been moved by many authors, some of whom are Matthew Henry, Ken Gire, Jeremiah Burroughs, Oswald Chambers, John Foxe, John Flavel, and Thomas Moore. Salvation Army authors have also been an excellent source of inspiration, such as Roger Green, General Arnold Brown, General John Larsson, Colonel Henry Gariepy, Commissioner William Francis, Major JoAnn Shade, Major Amy Reardon, and Bob Hostetler.

I have an in–home office that is my “sanctuary space” for Bible study and devotions.

To the best of your ability, set aside a specific time and location for your devotions to be uninterrupted and focused on Jesus and in the Holy Spirit. Link arms with an accountability partner with whom you can briefly share highlights from your devotions.

What I’m reading:
The Hidden Smile of God by John Piper
You Give Me New Life by David Hazzard
Intense Moments with the Savior series by Ken Gire
You Set My Spirit Free, works of John of the Cross

We received as many as 50 responses. You can find them all here by clicking on the plus (+) sign.

Do what you enjoy - Major Jessica DeMichael
I set aside a half hour each morning in my family room after getting my kids of to school, or at my office before I dig into my day. I also sprinkle my devotions throughout the day. While at the office, I listen to Christian music. I also color and doodle cripture verses. This allows me the opportunity to stop during a hectic day and focus on God and His word. I am currently rereading Max Lucado’s, In the Eye of the Storm. Remember, devotions can be different for you. Do what you enjoy when sharing time with God.
Is this important to you? - C.B. Crowell
I conduct devotions at the dining room table, with a cup of tea, my Dad’s King James Version, and a green–colored pencil. I’m reading, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young and The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. I also enjoy; Jen Hatmaker, C.S. Lewis, A.W. Tozier, and Beth Moore. Like any discipline, it’s a daily battle against my lazy self and my crazy schedule. But when I ask God for help, He shows up! Ask yourself, “Is this important to me?” If it is, ask God to help you make it work.
God whispers to my soul - Major Janet Zuniga
Sometimes I’m on the family room sofa, facing the glass doors that lead to the backyard. I see nature as God whispers to my soul. I’m studying the online devotionals of Girlfriends in God. I listen to Christian music. Most evenings, I write portions of the Bible. I use commentaries to further understand the text. I’m reading Su relación con Dios (Your relationship with God) by Dr. Gary Smalley, Celebration of Disciplines by Richard Foster, and The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst. Schedule a time that works best for you to be alone with God.
There’s an app for that - Cadet Kaitlyn Haddix, CFOT
My devotional life begins and ends with prayer. I’ll go to my room, to the dining room, or go outside. I’ll also have a cup of coffee. I’ll read a book of the Bible and then meditate on it. I’m reading Psalms using a phone app. I sing as I pray. I’m big on journaling. I also draw out my prayers. I’m reading The Stress Factor: Finding Rest in an Uneasy World by Brian Charette and Kerry Willis, and Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith by Henri Nouwen. I’ve been influenced by Dr. Alex Varughese, Richard Foster, and Marjorie J. Thompson. Start with a prayer and a verse a day.t
Praying with the sisters - Cadet Elizabeth M. Carvill
My 5:30 a.m., devotional, along with a steaming cup of coffee, is the substance of my day! My kitchen table has become my sanctuary for study. I start with a simple prayer, “Lord reveal yourself to me, speak clearly and help me to listen. Lord, may I get up from this time, changed in heart and mind.” At CFOT, we’ve formulated “Rule of Life,” an outline of 4-5 spiritual disciplines we practice daily. For me, this has been a gift! I meet with some dear sisters to pray and then to exercise together. I‘m reading a devotional book based on the writing of A.W. Tozer. In the words of Nike, “Just do it!” You won’t regret it!
When the Spirit calls, answer - Demetrius Marlowe
Typically, there are distractions and attractions that direct my attention away from doing daily devotions. I counter those forces by studying anywhere I can. I read a Bible story or listen to a Bible study on Blue Letter Bible (a free Bible study software website). I also use the online offerings of Dr. Chuck Missler, founder of the Koinonia House Resource Center. I attend our Men’s Fellowship Breakfast and Sunday school. I’m currently reading The Story by Max Lucado. When the Holy Spirit prompts you to read, study, or fellowship—answer the call.
The world moves fast - Rebecca Zwicker
I start my day with prayer, meditation, and daily reading at home. I’m reading a daily devotional, Simple Abundance: A day book of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Breathnach. I’m also reading five Bible study books from Women of Faith; Embracing Forgiveness, Finding Freedom from A Broken Past, Resting In Him, Being Yourself, and Discovering God’s Will For Your Life. My favorite is How People Grow by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. Our world moves so fast. We must reserve time for God, ourselves, and for others.
Start small and grow - Major Paul S. Knickerbocker
Bible reading, studying, and prayer are first things I do every morning at the far end of the dining table or in the basement. I also journal my thoughts. Before bed, I review the day’s readings and prayers. I also print verses and promises from the Bible and post them strategically around my home and office to remind me. I’m reading, A Man After God’s Own Heart by Jim George, Growing in Christ by Arnie Cole and Michael Ross, and Success Secrets of the World’s Most Cynical Man by Max Davis. Start small and your devotional time will grow as you go along.
Do it when you don’t want to - Deborah Steadman
I do my devotions first thing after waking up in the morning in my living room,. I use the YouVersion Bible app. I’m reading the “One Year Bible” and my devotions come from The Jesus Bible Reading Plan. I’m reading, When The Enemy Strikes by Charles Stanley and Hidden Christmas by Timothy Keller. Our clergy group meets once a month and discusses this book. I’m also inspired by Max Lucado, Frank Peretti, and Beth Moore. Just do it—even when you don’t want to.
I’m young in the faith - Lieutenant Ann Marie Devanney
In all honesty, I am not sure if I am actively cultivating the spiritual disciplines. Sadly, I am not sure if I can even define them. I often feel quite young in my faith and deem a day “successful” when I read a few verses and jot down a couple of reflective, prayerful sentences. I am simply working on allowing the Lord to define what a life of devotion looks like. I’m having Him lead me rather than subscribe to a particular or defined “devotional life.” I’m reading, Sacred Chaos by Tricia Rhodes and The Story of God, The Story of Us by Sean Gladding.
Wake an hour earlier - Lieutenant Josh Brookman
It’s been a struggle, but I do my devotions early in the morning before coming into the office. I have a chair that is located in a quiet room in my house. I read from my Bible, devotional book, and other Christian books. I’m reading If by Mark Batterson. Intentionally make it a priority to put a time of the day aside for just your devotions. Find a time that works best for you. For me, that means waking up an hour earlier each morning.
Don’t rob God - Major William Edmonds
Every morning in my bedroom, I begin the day with prayer and Bible reading. At noon, I continue praying and interceding for others. Before bed, I thank God for His provisions. I’m reading Chris Tiegreen, a seasoned photojournalist and author of 60 books that challenge common assumptions that hinder a true relationship with God. Stay in prayer while you prepare your Bible studies and sermons. Apply all you learn to your own personal walk with God. Know that you need time alone with God every day and that your time with God is also His time with you. Don’t rob Him.
Schedule your time - Scott Hocker
I begin and end each day with prayer. We have a sun room in our home that is quiet and peaceful. I take 15-30 minutes for journaling. I also spend 15-30 minutes reading a daily devotional, which I subscribe to in my email. In those times, I think of a word and begin writing ways that word can be lived. Words such as grace, love, forgiveness, and repentance come to mind. I’m reading The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines. I’m influenced by C.S. Lewis, Max Lucado, and Henri Nouwen. I have an accountability partner in my devotional life. I also find that scheduling time for devotions keeps it a priority.
Hold yourself accountable - Lieutenant Kate Esker
I conduct my devotions two times a day. Early in the morning, I pray, read my Bible, and meditate on Him. The second time happens while I’m running at the gym. Everything disappears and it’s just me, God, and Christian music blasting through my headphones. At other times, I get together with a group of women. We’re reading Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer with the Bible study guide. I am reading Leading Change by John Kotter and That Incredible Christian by A.W. Tozer.
David Platt and Mark Batterson have deeply inspired me. Start small, with prayer, and hold yourself accountable to someone.
Don’t get discouraged - Wendy Hart
I do devotions in my “War Room,” which is a corner of my office. I have a comfortable chair, good lighting, my Bibles, a songbook, journals, and pens. I read a short devotional, a Scripture, and some lyrics. I meditate on these words and sometimes, I sing them. Then I journal. Honestly, I hate reading, but I stay in conversation with God through audio books and videos. I’m struggling with anger right now, so I have posted in my car, office, fridge, and TV remote Ephesians 4:31. I’m reading Henry Gariepy’s 100 Portraits of Christ and Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver. Kay Arthur, Beth Moore, Joyce Meyer, and Kelly Minter are my favorite women authors. Don’t get discouraged when you are in a season that it seems like prayer isn’t working. Be faithful.
Keep your desire strong - Susanna Eggleston
In the morning, I listen to an audio Bible during my hour commute to work via car. It’s an easy way to read through the Bible in a year. Also, I like to study the Bible by topics such as prayer, faith, and healing in the office and at home. I find by having a daily time for devotionals, my desire for the Word of God grows. But if I skip a few days, I become less interested. That is why it is important to find time daily; it keeps your desire for the things of God strong. I’m currently reading just the Bible, but I also enjoy Kenneth Copeland, Andrew Wommack, and F.F. Bosworth. Make your devotional time an appointment. Start with just 10 minutes a day.
He wants all of you - David Webb
My devotionals start with humility as I a cry out to God for His direction and guidance. From my knees, I then go to the Word. I meditate on what I’ve read, sometimes reading a passage over again. Usually, I’m at my kitchen table or in my living room. I live alone, so I have the luxury of my whole apartment being available to be my “secret place.” I’m reading The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, The Present Future: Six Tough Questions for the Church by Reggie McNeal, and Helps to Holiness by Samuel Logan Brengle. Make Christ your priority. He wants all of you.
Your temperament matters - Major Carol L. Ditmer
I spend time in prayer early in the morning and try to be in conversation with the Lord all day long. I spend time with the Lord in my bedroom, at my corps office, and outdoors. I also enjoy walking the dog and just being quiet. I have homework associated with Bible Study Fellowship. I am always fed spiritually during my sermon preparation, my participation in two Bible study groups, and a weekly prayer group. I am revisiting Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline. I have been most influenced by the prophets and apostles.

Find a way to be with God that fits your temperament.

Make devotions a habit - Major Thomas Babbitt
I do my devotions every morning in the bathroom as part of my routine. I use Our Daily Bread, Moments with God (a couples’ devotion from crosswalk.com) and a men’s daily devotion from everymanministries.com. I’m currently reading Vignettes of Victory by Paul Marshall. The works of Max Lucado, Oswald Chambers and E. Stanley Jones have influenced my ministry. Devotions must become a habit, part of your daily routine. Make it a priority. Daily communication with God, Scripture reading, and application is essential to growth and maturity.
Use your iphone and ipod - Major Kathleen A. Muir
My morning devotions consist of Old and New Testaments Scriptures, the Daily Office, and a Psalm. I read in my bed on a lap desk. I pray for the church, for people, for myself, and particularly for my nine grandchildren. I also read books on spiritual formation and Christian living. I do a weekly Bible study with Bible Study Fellowship. On Wednesdays, I pray for our president and other leaders. I’ve just read Replenished by Lance Witt, and Sacred Chaos by Tricia Rhodes. I’m currently reading Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst. Listen to the Bible on your iphone or ipod while you are in the car or walking.
Martha or Mary? - Dianne J. Browning
On most mornings around 7 a.m., I’m seeking the Lord’s Word. I’m at my home computer desk where I have an “Accountability Log” on file. I’m praying for the Holy Spirit to lead me to the Bible chapter and verse for that day. Currently, I’m reading Mentor for Life: Finding Purpose through Intentional Discipleship by Natasha Sistrunk Robinson. Other great authors are Hal Lindsey, Jim Cymbala, and Stormie Omartian. Do you want to be a “Martha” or a “Mary”? Jesus spoke favorably of Mary’s choice to sit at His feet. Martha was worried about a lot of things.
Stay positive - Tanesha Fain
I wake up in my room and say a quick prayer and thank God for blessing me with another day. I also read and study the Bible at church. Stay positive and be thankful for everything that you have. If you are going through something, pray about it.
Same Scripture for a year - Major Asit George
For my devotions, I often select a book from the Bible, read the passage, and take notes on my computer. At various periods, I have intentionally read the same Scripture for a year or for months on a daily basis. I’ve read 1 Peter, 1 Psalm 37, and Proverbs 4. Reading the same portion of Scripture creates in me a discipline to wait on God. I listen, learn, and absorb truths.  I’m reading Leading Me by Steve A. Brown and for my personal education, Ruth Haley Barton’s Sacred Rhythms and Pursuing God’s Will Together. Seek God and see God in everything.
Make devotions your TV - Cindy Walton
I conduct daily devotionals at my dining room table in the mornings after my children have gone to school and my husband has left for work. I am blessed with 40 minutes of time alone each day. I just completed the Salvation Army’s Cultivate Spiritual Journey and really have made amazing changes to my spiritual disciplines. My devotional life pours out to the people around me now. I am privileged to work at my corps every day and am able to share the Gospel with our senior citizens and clients. I am currently in search of a good Bible Study. I’m reading books by Max Lucado and Joyce Meyer. Replace ineffective activities such as television watching with devotional time.
It’s a lifelong process - Rosario Reimon-Jenkins
Through the years, my spiritual life has improved and has been enriched by the spirit of the living God. The transformation began about 21 years ago and it continues to this day. I consider my devotional life my number one priority. Praying, fasting, reading, studying in the Scriptures, reflection, and quiet times are what keep me spiritually alive.

My daily readings include the Bible, two devotional books, and daily articles on biblical topics. I read the works of David Wilkerson, C.S. Lewis, Charles Spurgeon, and Dr. Morris Cerullo. Never give up. Enhance your devotional life every day. It is a lifelong process.

Don’t wait, go for it! - Major James W. Betts
I start my day with breakfast at the kitchen table and in the Word and in prayer. Throughout the day, I am aware of God’s presence. When something calls for prayer, I do my best to pray in the moment rather than wait until later. I’m reading Prodigal God, by Tim Keller. I also read Deitrich Bonhoeffer, Eric Metaxas, and Philip Yancey. Don’t wait until you have a perfect plan or a free day.
Don’t beat yourself up - Major Susan Dunigan
My devotions have evolved from being a spiritual discipline to seemingly the breath I breathe. Years ago, I saw devotions as a duty and wrongly felt that I was being judged on my performance of them. Now, I see them as a time of intimacy with God. I have my comfy prayer chair, a basket full of Bibles, devotional materials, a prayer shawl, and coffee.

I read several short devotionals, and write a prayer journal entry. I try to read through the Bible every year.
I’m reading My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp, and He Gave Us this Mountain, by Helen Roseveare. Don’t beat yourself up. He is full of grace and knows your heart.

Be consistent - Barbara Butler
I don’t have a particular time or place where I do my devotions. I’ll talk to God anywhere and anytime. I pray in bed, in the car, while eating dinner, and at work. I pray before getting out of bed. I pray about everything and for everyone in my circle. I use the Bible App on my phone to access devotionals. I read the works of Warren Wiersbe and Joyce Meyer. Whatever you do, do it consistently and connect to God. That’s a true devotional time—alone with Him.
I enjoy Scripture - Lieutenant Larry Fulmer
In my devotional time, I enjoy studying Scripture. Where I study depends on what my day looks like. I enjoy spending time with God at home or in a local coffee shop. Getting into a peaceful atmosphere helps me strip away the stress that life brings so that I can focus on Christ. During the past month, I’ve read several books. I strongly recommend Making Sense of God by Timothy Keller and Deep and Wide: Created Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend by Andy Stanley.

A healthy devotional life takes discipline.

Remember God’s promise - Lieutenant Christopher Hinzman?
I am slowly reading through the book of Romans. Usually, I’m in my prayer room or at the kitchen table. I take it one passage at a time and read through it a few times, reflecting, thinking, and praying through the same passage for a day or two. I then use a Bible study guide by N.T. Wright to explore the same passage to find things that I may not have noticed on my own. I’m reading Prodigal God by Timothy Keller and “Abraham” by Charles Swindoll. More than books, iTunes podcasts have helped me a lot such as Ravi Zacharias’ “Let My People Think” and James MacDonald’s “Walk In the Word.”
Don’t be overwhelmed. Daily devotional time is not something that we do for God as much as it is something God wants us to do with Him. Set small goals and achieve them. Keep your focus on your relationship with Jesus. Don’t believe the feelings of shame that come when you have “dropped the ball.” And don’t believe the arrogant thrill of pride when you do remain faithful! Use the YouVersion Bible App. Find a three or four-day devotional commitment on it and follow through. Remember God’s promise through Jeremiah, “You will seek me and find me when you seek my with all of your heart.”—Jeremiah 29:13.
Be a role model - Adam Morgan
For me, daily devotion is about living a Christian life and being a role model for my children. We practice simple prayers and say grace together. I reflect on the Lord throughout the day and wherever I can—in the shower, in the car, at the dinner table, before bedtime, or at the office. Sometimes I read Scripture or a book or an article. Other times I ask Him for guidance or pray for a friend. I’m reading John Maxwell’s The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership. Michael W. Smith and Oliver North have been influential. Even if you can only spare a few minutes a day, the most important thing is to be intentional.
As you give counsel, pray - Major Brian Thomas
Before everyone gets up, I’m in my leather recliner, reading the Bible, and praying from about 6 a.m. to 7 a.m., as the spirit leads. One of my disciplines is to pray with anyone I give advice to or counsel. I’ve been greatly influenced by the writings of C.S. Lewis, Bob Hostetler, Oswald Chambers, and Samuel Logan Brengle. Schedule a regular time and be committed to it.
It’s a relationship tool - Lieutenant Holly Johnson
Typically, in my bedroom after my kids have gone to sleep, I do my devotions. It’s not always possible, but I try. I currently read the Words of Life devotional book. I read the daily devotion and study Scripture. This practice has been so helpful and spiritually uplifting.  I’m reading So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore. I’ve been influenced by Joyce Meyer. She is real and relevant and doesn’t sugarcoat things. Don’t complicate and overthink the entire devotional life. There aren’t specific rules to follow. Devotions are simply a relationship tool used to build our walk with the Lord.
A spiritual ‘snack’ - Major Mike Morales
Wherever I can and when God guides me, I do a small devotional in the morning, and follow it with a chapter or two from the Bible. Right now, I am reading it chronologically. I also read a chapter or two at night before going to bed. Throughout the day, I read devotions I subscribe to online. They’re quick and thoughtful and give me a “spiritual snack” to chew on. I’m reading Man, Myth, Messiah, by Rice Broocks,  The Circle Maker, by Mark Batteron, Water Walker, by Ted Dekker, Rise of the Fallen, by Chuck Black, andThe Mark, by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. I’ve been influenced by the works of Randy Alcorn, Lee Strobel, Ted Dekker, Bill Myers, Max Lucado, John MacArthur, Warren Weirsbe, and Wayne Gruden. Before leisure activity, take time with God.
Quality over quantity - Patricia Forbes
I wake up early and begin with reading the word at my dining room table, as directed by the Holy Spirit. I may then feel led to pray or worship. If it is a work day, I try to give at least an hour; more if I have no agenda. I’m reading Samuel Logan Brengle’s, When the Holy Ghost Is Come, which I am believe should be required reading for every officer in corps ministry. In addition to the apostles, I’ve been influenced by  the ministries of Roberts Lairdon, Jonathan Cahn, and Frank Peretti. Start with one verse of Scripture that speaks to you. Quality over quantity. I recommend Psalm 23:1. Read it, write it out, meditate on it and memorize it. Through the day, quote it.
If I breathe, I must read! - Major John Stewart
At my age, doing devotions is kind of in place by now. I do not come out of the bathroom without having done my morning devotions. I follow up with coffee and a selected Scripture reading. Other rooms in my house, the chapel, and my car are also locations where I meet with God.On Mondays, I begin reading in preparation for my Sunday sermon, getting more in depth as the week goes on. I am doing a new class at the Adult Rehabilitation Center, so I am reading Every Single Man’s Battle, by Fred Stoeker and Steve Arterburn. I’ve also been inspired by the ministries of John Ortberg and T.D. Jakes.

If I breathe, I must read!

Listen for God’s voice - Major Joy Jugenheimer
I do my devotions and I pray regularly, either in my room or in a certain chair in our living room. This year, I’ve started a faith notebook in which I write thoughts from books and Bible verses that have spoken to my soul. I also keep sermon notes, quotes, and other thoughts there. I’m reading When God Became Small by Phil Needham. The ministries of John Ortberg, Beth Moore, and Steve Brown also inspire me.

It’s important to remember that variety can be very helpful such as music and solitude. I’ve also become intentional about my time in the car. I listen more carefully. Sometimes, I turn off the radio and pray as I drive, listen to my thoughts, or seek God’s voice.

Pray on birthdays too! - Robin Holloway
I sit in my favorite recliner and use my daily devotional to pray for friends who have birthdays. I’m reading Robin Jones Gunn’s Sisterchick novel series. Start out small and work your way up.
Novel ideas - Grace Eisenhart
I like to have a cup of coffee in the morning in my office as I read Scripture, a devotional, and pray. I’m reading Keep It Shut: What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Say Nothing at All,” by Karen Ehman. I also read all of Robin Jones Gunn’s Sisterchick books. Joyce Meyer’s ministry influences and inspires me. Take time for prayer—each day.
Captain Cynthia Crowsen
Before my feet hit the floor, I conduct my devotions in bed. However, I find my car to be an amazing place too. As I drive, I listen to recordings of the Bible or devotional books and I pray. As a mom of young children, this is frequently the only time I have to myself. I just started listening to Philip Yancey’s Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? The first time I actually read it, I was struck by how renewed I felt in my prayer life. I also love Bob Hostetler’s work and regularly reread books by Colonel Henry Gariepy. Don’t limit yourself to traditional schedules or places where devotions “should” be held. There is no “should” when it comes to your personal relationship with God.
Dig deeper in the Word - Lieutenant Cristina Spencer
My devotional life begins in my living room, where I do not have the distraction of TV. I like to try new things to dig deeper into the Word of God and my relationship with Him.
I’m reading Keep It Shut: What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Say Nothing at All, by Karen Ehman. I’m inspired by the ministry of Francis Chan. Pray for self-discipline and for God to give you the knowledge and wisdom to better understand His Word.
Rise a half hour earlier - Major A. Philip Ferreira
My daily devotional time takes place at about 6 a.m. on weekdays; a little later on weekends or while on furlough. I generally conduct them in the comfort of my easy chair in the living room with a cup of coffee and a light breakfast. I consider it a time of communion with my Lord. For the past several years, it has included reading the Bible in a year. This year, I’m doing it through Bible Gateway.com. I’m reading the Bible in “historical” order and using the NIV Readers Version. After I’ve read the Scripture of the day, I generally move on to a daily devotional guide. This year, I am revisiting My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. The next several minutes are devoted to prayer. For about nine years now, I have written my prayers in a journal. This provides some discipline in my prayer life and the opportunity to look back and see where God has answered my prayers. I’m also reading Replenish: Leading from a Healthy Soul, by Lance Witt. I’ve been inspired by Samuel Logan Brengle, Charles Stanley, Stuart and Jill Briscoe, Henry Gariepy, John Larsson, C.S. Lewis, Max Lucado, and Lee Strobel. For people who do not seem to be able to develop a healthy devotional life, I would highly recommend waking up a half hour earlier in the morning. I have learned by experience that when I begin the day with the Lord, I go forth assured of His presence, regardless of what the day ahead has in store for me.
Musical ways of prayer - Lieutenant Giovanni Otero
I wake up early and thank God for His blessings. If I am particularly stressed, I surrender that concern to the Lord so my focus remains on Him and not on my circumstances. Sometimes, I will pray as I play music on my guitar, trumpet, or piano. I’m reading Heart Talks on Holiness by Samuel Logan Brengle and Who was Jesus? by N.T. Wright.

I have been deeply influenced by Brengle’s teaching on holiness and his strong emphasis on trusting God for a clean heart. Francis Chan has also been influential.

The place I conduct my devotions depends on how I will pray. If I am engaging in more musical ways of prayer, I will try to get to the chapel at the corps first thing in the morning before the sun rises. This way, there is more freedom in how loud I can be. The greatest suggestion I can make to anyone struggling with their devotional life currently is to pray for the right desire. Seek His face and deepen your relationship with Him.

Rooftop devotions - Eliana Satterlee
Every morning, I make sure the first thing I do before anything else is read my Bible and spend time in prayer with the Lord. If the weather is nice, I’ll go to the rooftop. I use a journal to help me process what I am reading and to also write some of my prayers to Him. Then I go running outside and use that time to pray before my day gets busy. I am fasting one day a week, which helps me connect with the Lord. I’m reading Helps to Holiness by Samuel Logan Brengle and Radical by David Platt. I’m inspired by Timothy Keller, Samuel Logan Brengle, C.S. Lewis, and Brennan Manning. Fight to get up a little bit earlier in the morning to spend some time with the Lord even if it’s 15 minutes to start. Giving our “first fruits” of the day to Jesus is so important and He really blesses us in that.
Night owl - Major Joshua Lyle
For several years, I’ve been reading the One Year Bible, using a different version each year. I also try to bookmark a verse each day. It’s great to see how God uses those verses at key times. Listening and playing music is also a part of my devotional life. Most days, I find a few moments to play a chorus at the piano or on my cornet. Sometimes, I sing those tunes all day long. I’m reading Replenish: Leading from a Healthy Soul, by Lance Witt, Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul, by Bill Hybels, Stress Less by Don Colbert, and Love and War: Finding the Marriage You’ve Dreamed Of by John and Stasi Eldredge. I’m influenced by A.W. Tozer, John Eldredge, and Samuel Logan Brengle. Most days, I do my study in the evening before I go to bed. I find that my mind is sharpest at night and so I want to give the best part of my day to my Bible study. Don’t give up! Find what works for you and be consistent.
Eliminate all distractions - Robert Mitchell
I conduct my devotions through daily Bible readings and listening to the Bible and sermons on CD during my drive to work or at home in my study. I also teach Sunday school, children’s church, and AWANA (global nonprofit ministry for children). Preparing for these ministries keeps me in God’s Word. I also receive verses on my phone. I read Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening each day. I’m also reading A Peculiar Glory: How the Christian Scriptures Reveal Their Complete Truthfulness” by John Piper. I’ve been influenced by John MacArthur, John Piper, C.S. Lewis, Elisabeth Elliot, Charles Colson, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, J. Vernon McGee, Hal Lindsey, R.C. Sproul, and Lee Strobel. Your devotions have to be intentional and, like any discipline, you must do it every day. Turn off your phone. Not on vibrate—all the way off. Turn off the TV. Eliminate all distractions and, as Jesus commanded, go into your prayer closet. Focus completely on God. Start with five minutes, but you’ll find that soon turns into 15 and then 30 and beyond as you draw closer to God. We all have 24 hours in a day and make time for what is important to us. Shouldn’t time with God be something we schedule and desire as much as a sporting event or concert or some other important event? God deserves your best, not your leftovers.


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