I have a confession. Even though I am a pastor, I struggle with devotion practices. I am not one of those people whose prayer life is as natural as breathing. I am a Martha not a Mary. (Luke 10:38-42) I’m still working on being as consistent as I need to be.
When I first became as pastor, I thought my first priority was to work hard. I tried to fulfill all the responsibilities in my own strength. Now I know my first priority is to be faithful: to keep my ears tuned to God’s voice, to keep my mind renewed in God’s ways, and to keep my heart soft in God’s hands. Consistent devotion practices are key to faithfulness.
Over the years, I have tried a variety of devotion practices to stay in relationship with God. Below are the ones that have helped me the most. I pray they inspire you to find the practices that are best for you. – Lisa <><
Music: I first came to God through singing; first school choirs and then worship music and church choirs. It is still the primary way I love the Lord with all my heart. I often sing at home as a devotion practice. I also enjoy listening to Christian music in the car.
Journaling: Several years ago, I attended a workshop led by Wayne Cordeiro, the founding pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship in Honolulu, Hawaii. During the conference, he introduced us to a journaling style using the acronym SOAP: Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer. This pattern of scripture reading and response deepened my walk with God dramatically.
Journaling addressed a key problem I was having with my prayer time, staying focused. My mind wandered when I prayed. Journaling also opened me up to being more honest with God and to hearing God more clearly. I am often surprised where the conversation leads as pen touches paper. My spiritual director reminded me recently, “You pray with your pen.” Most of the original material on this blog comes from my journal.
Click here to learn more about this method of journaling.
Creative Writing: Journaling led to creative writing as a devotion practice. (liturgies, prayers, song lyrics and poetry) This blog was born so I could share it with others. I am indebted to my mom for first giving me a love for words and to Nathan E. Kirkpatrick for reawakening my love of poetry.
Art: In 2010, I was introduced to the Mosaic Holy Bible published by Tyndale. It is a full NLT version of the Scriptures plus a weekly reflection. The reflection includes prayers, short theological selections and poetry on a common theme. The portion of the reflection that captured my attention was the art selection for the week. Ever since, I seek out artistic expressions, usually via online searches, as part of my devotion practice.
Photography: In 2011, I rediscovered my connection to God through nature. Taking photographs helps me appreciate our Creator even more. It helps me slow down and look at the world more intentionally and carefully. I’ve incorporated some of these photos into the rotating header on this blog and in some of the blog posts. To me, they reveal God in ways my words never could.