When you go to church you probably hear people talking about different devotionals. If you go to a Christian bookstore, you probably see a whole section of devotionals. So what are they and why is there so much focus in church about them?
Defining a Devotional
When you look up the term “devotional,” you get definitions like “a short religious service” or a “devotional exercise relating to worship.” It doesn’t really explain what a devotional is or why we do them.
What most people talk about when they talk about devotionals is a book that helps you grow in your relationship with God. It is usually broken down into daily chapters that you can read and pray about.
The key to understanding the devotional is to actually break down the work. “Devotion” is a big clue to a devotional’s use. You show your devotion to God by reading the passage and praying on it every day. So the collection of readings is then known as a devotional.
Using a Devotional
So why would you want to use a devotional? What will it actually do? Well, Christians use their devotionals as a way to grow closer to God and learn more about the Christian life. Devotional books are not meant to be read in one sitting, they are designed for you to read a bit every day and pray on the passages. By praying every day, Christians develop a stronger relationship with God.
Devotions, the act of reading passages and praying, are a staple in most denominations. Yet, it can get pretty overwhelming when you head into that bookstore and see row after row of different devotionals. There are devotionals that also function as journals and devotionals written by famous people. There are also different devotionals for men and women.
In the end, it is a good idea to start with a devotional specifically written for Christian teens. This way you know the daily devotions will be geared toward the things you deal with every day. Then take some time to skim through the pages to see which devotional is written in a way that speaks to you. Just because God is working one way in your friend or someone else at church, doesn’t mean that God wants to work that way in you. You need to choose a devotional that is a good fit for you.