Update: This post is from 2019 with a few updates. I recently returned to using Pray As You Go and wondered why I ever stopped. It’s a rich, beautiful resource which never fails to connect me to God through scripture and stillness. I still highly recommend it.
Followers of Jesus nurture their relationship with God by “doing devotions.” We head to the bookstore, or maybe even our local church, to pick up a guide to read on a daily basis. It’s a great way to build a habit of spending time with God and very helpful for stretching us in our understanding of God’s character and Word.
Here’s where it can be problematic:
- We’re always reading about someone else’s encounter with God in place of having encounters ourselves. We stay at a distance from God.
- Our devotions become knowledge-driven or emotion-driven rather than Scripture-driven and encounter-driven. We may find what we read interesting, we may be stirred by the story, but are we receiving it as a call to apply spiritual truth to our life?
- Our prayer life stays shallow if we only use the prayers of others and never practice praying ourselves.
- We can become forever dependent on an “expert” rather than trusting God wants to speak to us right now, at whatever point we are in our journey of faith.
So do we dump the devotional books/guides and just read the Scripture? Well… Reading Scripture can be a powerful daily devotion option, especially when you use one of these approaches to give you some structure. “Just me and my Bible” can also be intimidating, confusing, and lonely.
It’s no wonder we struggle.
For many of us, we need something in between. We want to encounter God in a transforming way through the Scriptures, but we also need some guidance. I found this in between, this sweet spot of devotional practice, through a resource called Pray as You Go.
Pray As You Go is an audio and written prayer practice offered seven days per week via a free website and app by Jesuit Media Initiatives. It is helpful for both Catholics and Protestants because it’s so Scripture driven.
- Each session begins with a bell or chime followed by music to help you settle into a prayerful frame of mind
- A Scripture is read
- Reflection questions based on the Scripture are offered with time for you to respond by simply talking or listening to God
- The Scripture is read again followed by a closing blessing
The aim of Pray as You Go is to help you to:
- become more aware of God’s presence in your life
- listen to and reflect on God’s Word
- grow in your relationship with God
How I find Pray as You Go helpful
- Its peaceful meditative tone is a very different tone than my loud, full, rushed day. I need this time of stillness and contemplation.
- The questions appeal to my imagination. They open me to explore the Scripture, to listen deeply, to engage it for myself. It is an experience. The questions can also challenge me to look at a passage in a new or deeper way.
- The open-ended questions help me apply what I’m hearing
- I feel connected to a community of believers rather than by myself. I especially like the music selections from around the world.
- It uses texts throughout the Bible so I don’t just read my favorite passages
- I like to settle into a comfortable chair when I use Pray as You Go. Others use it during their morning commute, on a break during the work day, while out for a walk, etc.
- After the 10-13 minute devotion, I’m motivated to continue praying or journaling
I’d love to hear from you!
- Give Pray as You Go a try. How was the experience?
- What is your current devotional practice? How is it helpful to you?
- How have your devotional practices changed as you’ve matured in faith?
May the Lord bless you and bring strength and transformation into your life through your devotional practices. – Lisa <><
Recommendation- Pray As You Go © 2019 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
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