Written by Sarah Evangeline
“Pray and read your Bible.” I remember hearing that sentence many times as I grew up in a Christian home, Christian school and the Church. Even from a young age, I kept questioning myself. But how do I do this? And as an adult today, reflecting back on my journey, I have found that this sentence is empty and insignificant until we actually dig deep to find out what devotion time with our Lord and Creator truly looks like.
Solitude is a place that is set apart for God. It’s a place to be honest and open. We need to learn to let out our soul, because it’s the very centre of our being that is known completely by God. Jesus invited His disciples multiple times to go away to deserted places and rest a while (Luke 5:16). We are all carrying inner exhaustion that can only be healed when we meet God in this sacred place. We find rest, belonging, and renewal here. God’s presence is all around us, and we can bring this sacred space with us wherever we go. Where is your sacred place?
Let’s be honest, prayer can be mundane and unmotivating at times. Still, if we let it, prayer can become a stunning invitation to deepen the way we see ourselves, the world, and our Creator. It’s a place where we can learn to be self-aware and vulnerable. Prayer can be frightening as it leads us to a place that is beyond our control. It’s a beautiful place where we can fully empty ourselves to someone who knows us better than we know ourselves. When we learn to confess it awakens us to God’s forgiveness so we can take responsibility for tomorrow. This sacred place of prayer can flow into the rest of our lives. We can commune with God continuously throughout our day, wherever we go and in any circumstances.
Reading for a relationship
Scripture was meant to become an instrument of God’s voice rather than a tool we use to control our lives. Scripture is about building a foundational trust relationship with God so we can engage with our minds, soul, heart, curiosity, and even imagination. There are many techniques and ways to do this, but I want to share with you my favourite, called Lectio Divina.
Here are the steps:
- Choose a Scripture passage—become quiet in God’s presence and create that sacred space.
- Pray and allow yourself to open up to God.
- Re-read the Scripture passage aloud four times.
- Reflect: Where am I in this text? What do I experience as I allow myself to be in this story?
- Respond: Scripture can touch a place of pain, anger, or past regret that needs to be dealt with.
It’s important that we find this quiet time with Scripture and adopt techniques that work best for us, showing us what the text is actually saying despite the emotions we feel. Yet, it’s equally important to look up from the pages of Scripture into real life in the present moment. All of life is a devotion and when we become fully present to our current surroundings, we can see God in everything and step into the opportunities God lays out before us.
The whole body
Our bodies are the dwelling place of God which means we need to make our whole body the place where we meet Him. What a gift it is to be known this way by our Creator. Devotion with God is the art of learning to bring our whole self—mind and body—before Him. He is always with us, wildly pursuing us, but have you opened yourself up to Him?
All of life can be a devotion. All of life can be a prayer with both structure and spontaneous action. Let this be a joyful celebration of who we are in God’s presence.