Count me among those who struggle to use devotional aids. For the most part I have found that the best help for me is a simple list of readings that help me strategically cover parts or all of the bible within a certain timeframe. I have learned to be gentle with myself in these, to not try to make up days but just let it happen when it happens, to find versions that are 5 or 6 days a week, I tend to journal after reading using the SOAP method. Anyways, I have never been one for prayer guides or those little devotionals with a bit of scripture and a long illustration or story. I have nothing against these (anything that helps anyone get closer to and fall more in love with Jesus is great) they just don’t do it for me.
One tool I have found extremely useful is an website and app loaded with features and—what I particularly have found useful—audios. The app is called Pray as you Go it is free (you may choose to offer support if you like but it isn’t mandatory and there are no frustrating adds to, ahem, motivate you to pay). The app has many features but the daily audio devotional is really what I have spent my time in the app using.
You can stream it daily or you can download a week at a time. The daily devotion includes a song—many different groups and choirs, and styles—a reading, some reflective questions, re-reading with more reflection, then prayerful prompts. It is gentle, and easy to use and, in my experience very satisfying. What I like about it is the ease, that these elements are all packaged together to I can just sit and not have to organize all this myself. I also appreciate that they are short (10-14 min) and thus can be fit in somewhere in the day. Finally, I take a weird sort of satisfaction in knowing that I am joining in reflection and prayer with many others today. I sometime find it feels lonely being Christian and I am bizarrely comforted but he idea that any number of folks might be using this tool at the same time or at least on the same day, asking similar questions, praying similar prayers, and enjoying the presence of the divine in the world. I don’t rely on this for my main devotional life, but it is a helpful addition and on my worst and busiest days it does function as my entire devotional time.
If you are looking for an approachable way to get into daily devotions, or an introduction into subtle and historic devotional practices without doing all the homework of learning about them, their histories, and why’s and whatfors, with this app you can simply settle in and enjoy the work of others, come closer to Jesus as you practice (regardless of how aware you are of it) historic disciplines that have helped Christians all over the globe and in every era along the path of faith.
Please know, this is not a sponsored post (like anyone would sponsor this little blog:) but rather I share this because I use it and like it and I think if you are the type of person to read this then you just might like it too.