Personal Devotions… Like Making Love?
Now before you call me a blasphemer, I do have a reason for the title. I was asked by a friend how I do personal devotions. I thought about this question for a while and was unable to come up with a solid answer. I mean, for example, sometimes I simply read a verse or a passage of scripture over and over and over. And over…and over. For an hour and recite it back to God in prayer, over and over and over…and over. Sometimes I simply read a verse and then pray for an hour. Other times I just sit there thanking God for his blessings in my life, or crying, or reading. Sometimes I do it in my room, sometimes in my office at work, sometimes under a tree, sometimes in the car…I mean, really there is no rhyme or reason to my devotions. I do not plan the how, I simply plan the when, and sometimes devotions can be spontaneous. The only real constants are that there is bible reading and prayer, and I set a time each day to meet my Lord, alone, without distraction. A quote comes to mind,
“ Trying to describe what I do in prayer would be like telling the world how I make love to my wife. ”
― Dr. J.I. Packer, Knowing God
That is precisely how I feel. Yes there is a pattern to my private prayer and devotions, but the details, the how, that is between my Lord and I. I can tell you that it consists of reading the Word, meditating on it and praying. But that is it. Much like I could tell you the mechanics of love making (don’t worry– I won’t) but to describe it in detail, in its passion, in its completeness…is impossible.
There is no secret formula for devotions. There is no secret magical elixir that will help you to get the most out of your time spent in prayer. The point of devotions, like making love to your spouse, is to simply be there in the moment with Him, drink in his Word, and speak openly and honestly with Him. In this life I find nothing more refreshing, nothing more invigorating, nothing more fulfilling than simply being there, in that moment, with my creator and redeemer. So I could tell you the mechanics of how to have devotions, but if you simply use my techniques, you will simply be thinking too much about doing it the “right way” instead of simply being there, in the moment, free, unashamed, forgiven, and loved.
If you want to know how I do devotions, all I can say to you is to just do it. Pick up your Bible and start reading, and leave the commentary closed. I would use the printed word or a kindle to avoid the distraction of text messages and emails on your phone or computer. Imagine if you answered a text message while making love… Your spouse might not be too happy. To get the most out of your devotions you must be devoted and be disciplined. Devotions and devoted are very similar words. Oh look at that, “Disciplined” and “Disciple” are also very similar. Get my point? This is the only advice I can give you, and plead with you to take to heart. Be devoted in devotions and be disciplined in your discipleship. So no, devotions are not like making love to your spouse, but they are just as important to your relationship with God as sex is to a marriage. So start now.