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Kickstart your Devotional Life in 2023

Many of us start off the new year with the resolution to spend more time with the Lord in personal quiet time. The trouble is, what works for one person may not work for another and what works for you in one season to present your heart to the Lord may not be as effective in another season.  

With that in mind, here are some biblically centered resources that may help you learn afresh what time with the Lord might look like in 2023.

Bible Recommendations: 

As Christians, we know that one of the best places to spend time to learn more about the Lord is in his Word. There is no replacement for the Bible when it comes to a resource for personal devotional time.

A great resource for any Bible reader (or aspiring Bible reader) is Matt Smethurst's Before You Open Your Bible. This little book will help you orient your heart well as you approach God's Word.

If you’re still feeling stuck in a rut with your Bible reading, try out a new translation! Sometimes getting into something a little less familiar will help remind you what a treasure trove God’s Word is. Browse our selections of ESVNIV, and NLT Bibles to find a new one to pick up for the new year.

For a great reading plan to take you through the whole Bible in a year, check out this one by our partner The Gospel Coalition or this reading group with Phylicia Masonheimer of Every Woman a Theologian.

If reading the whole Bible in a year feels daunting or you are looking for a new way to get into the text of Scripture, try out a Scripture journal! Pick up one for a book in which you’ve been wanting to spend more time, like Psalms or Luke, and journal or pray your way through it at your own pace.

If you’re looking to dig a bit deeper into your Scripture reading this year, try out a study Bible, a commentary on a particular book, or a Bible overview book like What the Bible is All About by Henrietta Mears.

Devotional Recommendations:

To complement your Bible reading, perhaps this year you could try a daily devotional. We recently talked about the value of devotionals on our podcast, you can listen to our podcast here. Below are a few of our favorites.

  • New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp. 365 daily gospel-centered devotions.

  • Daily Readings by J. C. Ryle. Morning and evening readings on the four gospels for each day of the year.

  • Daily Treasure by C. H. Spurgeon. 366 daily readings through the Psalms accompanied by Spurgeon’s notes.

  • Bringing us to Glory by David Gooding. 365 single page readings focusing on Christ’s work of salvation.

  • Morning and Evening by C. H. Spurgeon. Morning and evening readings by Spurgeon for each day of the year.

  • The Songs of Jesus by Tim Keller. A year of daily devotions on the Psalms.

  • Truth for Life Volume 1 and Volume 2 by Alistair Begg. 365 daily readings centered on the gospel by renowned Bible teacher Alistair Begg.

  • For a little less structured help in kick-starting a devotional practice, check out these undated devotions on books and topics from the Bible.

Devotionals for Families:

One of the ways to practice family discipleship is to start a family devotional practice. There are many different ways to practice this with your family, but one really helpful way to add it to your family life is by connecting it with something you already do each day, like eat! Nancy Guthrie has compiled the One Year of Dinner Table Devotions to help with this. For a smaller 40-day version, see the companion Dinner Table Devotions. Another way to engage with your children in biblical truth is through our Devotional Dippers, fun and topic oriented tools to help your family learn truth together.

If your family is not in a stage of life where doing something together each day is feasible, try using Praying through the Bible for your Kids by Nancy Guthrie. Allow Nancy to help guide you on how to pray Scripture for your children to help you worry less and pray more.

When it all feels like too much:

Sometimes our hearts are just not in a place to engage well in the discipline of a daily devotion time. If that is the case for you as we begin 2023, perhaps start with one of the below books and allow it to lead your heart in worship and pray that the Lord will help you grow in a desire to spend time with him in prayer and Scripture reading.

  • Sheltering Mercy and Endless Grace by Ryan Whitaker Smith and Dan Wilt. These prayers inspired by the Psalms will stir your heart and help renew your prayer life as well as your love for Scripture.

  • The Valley of Vision edited by Arthur Bennett. Sometimes when I struggle to pray, it helps to soak in the prayers of others. I used this collection of Puritan prayers a few years ago as a daily devotion to help me engage with the Lord through the prayers of saints of the past.

Have a devotional favorite that we didn’t include here or need a recommendation for something different? Reach out to us at—we’d love to hear more.

by Brianna Smith

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