8 Spiritual Principles to Writing a Devotional Part II
13 Oct 2007
In Part one, I addressed the technical side of writing a devotional, how to pick your scripture, find your overall theme, do your research, draw your conclusion, personal application, write it out and Edit it. In this article I want to address the spiritual side of writing a devotional that deals mainly with preparing your heart and your mind when writing your devotional and the value that devotionals carry.
I put together eight principles to spiritually prepare your heart and mind for writing a devotional:
1. Pray: Before you write a devotional you must first pray before during and after and ask God to not only speak to you about the passage you will be writing about but also prepare your own heart to receive it. The majority of devotionals you will write are meant for you first. Prayer also helps you to be more led by the Holy Spirit and enables you to have spiritual understanding of the passages and themes you are writing about.
2. Ponder: Pray for God to help you ponder it for a few minutes so that you can see something youíve never seen before in the passage or through your research or possibly receive something you already know but need to digest to fully to understand it for your self. Itís one thing to think or assume that we know something but itís another to really understand fully what something means.
3. Piece: As you are in prayer ask God to help you piece it together and see the bigger picture, this will help you have a smooth flow from introduction to conclusion. When you are able to see the big picture from beginning to end, it is much easier to communicate it on paper.
4. Practical: In writing devotionals that speak not only to you but to others; another important principle is to keep it practical. Over-spiritualizing by talking in platitudes although it may sound nice and spiritual it does not help the average person apply it practically to their own life today. Keep it simple, make it practical and applicable to every day life and you will find it is more affective..
5. Personalize: Weíve already talked about personal application but personalizing your devotional means to include personal information about you which is okay as long as the focus stays on the overall theme and the scripture passage. Personalizing is optional but for the record I have personalized devotionals and they are great in showing that the writer is a real person that experiences the same issues as anyone else but like I said, you must make sure you stay on point and not make it more about you than the passage you are writing about.
6. Point: No matter what the overall theme is it should always, always point to Jesus! I canít stress this enough. You can stress your theme for example ďHaving Faith through Life StormsĒ using faith as your focus but make sure that Christ, our Heavenly Father and/or His Word is weaved throughout the text. This creates a wholesome dependence on Christ and not on the writer or on the action but on the person who gives us everything we need, Jesus Christ Himself. In doing this we are pointing them to the one who is our healer, our provider and our portion.
7. Personal Prayer: After you end your devotional with a conclusion you can add a personal prayer where you take the conclusion and turn it into a prayer by rewriting it in a way that is personal. For example: If the conclusion is to trust God through lifeís storms, my prayer may sound like this: ďDear Lord, no matter what Iím going through I know that you are faithful and will see me through this. Help me to trust you even when I donít understand and help me to cling to you even when I donít feel like it. Thank you Lord for loving me and hearing my prayers. AmenĒ
8. Precious: Remember in the end that writing devotionals is personal between you and God and whether others read it or not, it is precious because it comes from your heart and that makes it precious to God also. David wrote the Psalms with love and devotion and God called him a man after his own heart. Isnít that all you really want in the end? I know that I do.
I hope these spiritual principles will help give you more to work with when writing your devotionals. The most important principle is to have fun and enjoy writing them. May the Lord bless your devotional endeavors!