Daily Devotions by Pastor Julia Howard are posted on a daily basis at: pastorjdhoward.blogspot.com or on our First Baptist Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/firstbaptistniagarafalls/.
1. Use a contemporary translation that is easy for you to understand (e.g. New Revised Standard Version (NRSV); New International Version (NIV); Eugene Peterson’s The Message is especially good).
2. Keep a notebook or journal for you to write down thoughts, ideas, and questions.
3. Before you read, pray for the Holy Spirit to open your mind to understand, and your heart to obey, his Word.
4. Read slowly with an open mind. Read aloud if you find that helpful (many people do!).
5. Express to God in the simplest way the impression the words have made on you. You may want to thank God for the gift they convey, ask the questions they have stirred in you, put into words the longings or needs they have brought up. Keep it simple, praying spontaneously.
“The Christian’s day…also needs definite times of silence, silence under the Word and silence that comes out of the Word. ….Silence is the simple stillness of the individual under the Word of God….Silence is nothing else but waiting for God’s Word and coming from God’s Word with a blessing. But everybody knows that this is something that needs to be practiced and learned, in these days when talkativeness prevails. Real silence, real stillness, really holding one’s tongue comes only as the sober consequence of spiritual stillness.
“But this stillness before the Word will exert its influence upon the whole day….Silence before the Word leads to right hearing and thus also to right speaking of the Word of God at the right time.”
(Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, Harper & Row, 1954, pp. 79f.)
Daily readings adapted from the Book of Common Prayer are also available at: http://www.crivoice.org/daily.html