Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.

Psalm 5:3 (NLT)

Depending on how old you are, the word Devotions or Quiet Time, Your Personal Devotions, or your Appointment with God. may conjure up images and feelings of guilt, anxiety, and dread. Whatever the title, it means the same– time alone with God, to read His Word and pray. But why was it so hard to do on a consistent basis?

I have struggled most of my life for that consistency.  I had always been taught to have it in the morning but that never seemed to work, so I tried doing at night before bed. That worked for a while.

But the circumstances in my life changed. I remarried, moved to Arizona, and then encountered a difficult season of my life. I knew I needed to be in God’s word. I decided that if I could get up and read email, news, and blogs in the morning. I could get up and read God’s Word first thing.

I can report that fifteen years have passed with early morning devotions as part of my routine. I developed a system that works for me and I’d like to share it with you.

Early is best because the house is quiet. I don’t turn on the computer or check my phone. I have a nook with a good lamp, a table for my water bottle, my books, glasses, pen, and kleenex  (I don’t want to have to get up for necessities.)

Because of my vision issues, I use my iPad for much of my reading. I have a couple of devotionals along with email devotions, but I really want to spend this time in God’s Word–to listen to Him speak to me. I recommend the app, YouVersion, which works very well on your devices. I am currently reading through the Bible using one of the plans on the app. There are many options–find one that speaks to you.

One thing I have learned is to use Centering Prayer at the beginning of my quiet time. Bible reading is next, followed by journaling. I use my journal to write my prayers to God, always beginning with thanksgiving followed by petitions for the problems and issues of the day. Often I open my heart and let spill out all my worries and frustrations, knowing that God has my back. At the end of the day’s entry, I add a scripture verse from one of the many monthly Scripture Writing Plans on the internet.

Plan 20-30 minutes so that you are not rushed. You want to be able to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. And don’t forget to wait expectantly.

There is no perfect way to do this, but the goal is to do it every day. So give it a try and let me know how it works for you.