Daily devotions is a term used to describe the practice of Christians beginning and ending their days with Bible reading and prayer. Daily devotions can consist of a structured study using a devotional book or a simple reading of specific passages from the Bible. Some people enjoy reading the Bible in a year's time. Praise, confession, thanksgiving, petition, and intercession are all types of prayer that can be included in daily devotions. For daily devotions, some people use prayer lists. Others prefer to pray while reading the Bible in a more interactive way, listening for God's voice in the passages and responding in prayer. Whatever format our daily devotions take, the most important thing is that they are truly devoted to God and occur on a daily basis, as the name implies.
Daily devotions are essential for spending time with God. Why? "For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of knowledge of God's glory in the face of Christ," Paul explains (2 Corinthians 4:6). When we spend time in God's presence, we have the experience of having God's light shine in our hearts. Of course, knowing God through Christ is the only way to get this light. Each Christian is given the wonderful treasure of the Holy Spirit, and we need faith to believe and act on that truth. In reality, if we truly desire to walk in the light of our Lord, we must spend every day with Him.
"The gospel brings man to God; devotions keep him close to God," someone once said. "Come near to God, and he will come near to you," wrote the apostle James. You sinners, wash your hands, and you double-minded, purify your hearts" (James 4:8). As God's children seek a closer relationship with Him, they will discover that He is closer than ever before. Christians seek to draw closer to God's heart, learn more about Him, obey His commands, and hold on to His promises in their daily devotions. Such a yearning will not exist in the hearts of the impure and double-minded. In fact, they will make every effort to distance themselves from God.
We want to get closer to God through daily devotions. In Israel, the phrase "draw near" was originally associated with the priesthood. The priests represented the people before God under the Old Covenant's rules. The priest, on the other hand, had to be physically and ceremonially clean before approaching God's presence. This meant he had to bathe, dress properly, and make the appropriate sacrifices. His heart had to be in the right place with God. Then he would be able to "draw near" to God on behalf of the people. The term "drawing near" came to mean anyone who approached God's presence in worship and prayer over time.