February 18, 2020

Daily Devotional

When I began my walk of faith 39 years ago, I armed myself with two essential—or what I thought were essential—tools: my King James Bible, and Mountain Trailways For Youth devotional. I read each faithfully each day. Wasn’t that what Christians were supposed to do? I was told we were. So I did.

Today I have around twenty five printed Bibles in my home (yes, including King James) and more at my disposal online. And I have a number of devotional and inspirational books within arm’s reach if I so choose to refer to those. But I have come to rely on one or two Bibles (and one of these really took me by surprise!) and a couple of devotionals. I’ll share those with you this afternoon, but first I want to hear from you. When you sit down to spend time in meditation/contemplation/prayer, what resources do you find most helpful? What others have you tried and put aside?

There are no right or wrong answers here. I just want to hear what you find helpful for you.

And then check back this afternoon to see how your selections match up with mine.

Comments

  1. Helpful to me is Alvin Rogness’, ‘The Word for Every Day’ (daily devotional book).

    1 Minute Daily Word (online daily devotional) http://1minutedailyword.com

    My RSV Bible. (but any version will do in a pinch)

    This blog and many others.

  2. A few thoughts now, I may post a complete bibliography later. I find that for those of us with attention deficit, having some sort of breviary, prayerbook, or liturgical devotions is a powerful tool towards achieving concentration and focus. The constant back and forth between readings, prayers, psalms, litanies, canticles, and collects really keeps things interesting and makes it easy and exciting to follow.

    That being said, the most influential resource I’ve ever used is the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. I got a genuine leather one of eBay for $15. I’ve tried very hard to replace it with Lutheran substitutes, but no matter what, it seems I always come back to it. This book, like nothing else, has taught me to enjoy praying, whereas before it was something I could barely force myself to do briefly and infrequently. Now if only I could learn to enjoy getting up early in the morning!

    Being a musician, I always make consistent use of a hymnal in my private devotions. Click my name to get a recommendation 😛

  3. Here’s mine:
    A breviary (BCP1662, Common Worship, CPH’s Pray Now iPhone app and my 3 vol. Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Hours, depending on where I am, whatever is the most convenient).
    My bible (REB, ESV w/ Apocrypha or NIV)
    A prayer rope/rosary
    Sometimes, a hymnal (Hymns Ancient & Modern, The English Hymnal)

    If at home or close to a computer, I’ll also view something about the lives of the saints whose commemoration/feast day it is.

  4. I keep coming back to My Utmost for His Highest, which I started reading in college (20 years ago) and will pick up again ever few years. I have also used a hymn book at times. I’m waiting on the delivery of a book I ordered, which I think will be my guide this fall… Thomas Merton – A Book of Hours.

  5. For me several things are great resources…a walk in a garden, a work of art, a piece of classical music, a paint brush and some paints, a glass of iced tea on my front porch, rocking a baby…

    • Yes on the paints and brushes! I find an incredible world when I start painting. Even if the items I’m painting don’t quite wind up looking like what I actually saw! I’m usually able to look at the finished painting and say, wow, the colors are spot on even if the shapes aren’t quite right, or gee, I got the shapes just right but gee I messed the colors up.

      The interesting thing is I can look at paintings I did last year and kind of remember where I was at that point, what I was thinking or worried about. Of course, another benefit is it tends to get me outside as my water miscible oils lend themselves to outdoor painting and since I’m into landscapes, that works well.

  6. I use my [Catholic] bible, “God Calling”, and a website run by Irish monks called “Sacred Space”.

  7. Book of Common Prayer and my rosary.

  8. Common Worship: Daily Prayer, NRSV and prayer beads. Sometimes I also enjoy Seven Sacred Pauses.

  9. I am SO undisciplined! I have no routine at all and sometimes don’t pray at all, don’t read the Bible at all, nothing. I have a number of versions of the Bible here, but find that lately I am just as apt to go to biblegateway online to see a number of versions there. I do read a lot of books though. I am finishing up Tom Wright’s John for Everyone (volume 1) after having read his Luke For Everyone. I love his commentaries on the books of the Bible. He is so educated and yet so approachable as well. When I actually do get around to picking up and reading one of the Bibles I have, I just turn to whatever I feel like reading, ordinarily in the New Testament. I do enjoy reading Peterson’s The Message but I also like the NIV I have. At work I have the NRSV and will pick that up during lulls at work. When I know I have gone too long without any real kind of prayer, I will stop and practice Centering Prayer as taught by Thomas Keating. I also use formal prayers like the Our Father (the Lord’s Prayer) and others. I keep thinking I may get a daily devotional type of book, but I look at them online and think that I don’t want to be so directed…read this, think that, ponder this. Perhaps it is a rebelliousness that I have. I don’t know. Maybe one of these days I will just try it anyway.

    • Joanie, I have a Jesus Calling devotional by Sarah Young and it is written in the manner of Jesus speaking to you. I have LOVED it. It’s taking a break right now, but I know I’ll come back to it again. I have given numerous away as gifts. It’s not about “read this, think that, or ponder this” otherwise I wouldn’t like it at all 🙂 It’s been one of those that spoke to me each day exactly what I needed to hear, comforting words from our Savior via Sarah Young. Just my 2 cents for you! I understand rebelliousness 🙂

      • That sounds great, Rebekeh! I will have to check it out. Thanks for writing and for your recommendation.

  10. Streams in the Desert, Daily Light, Internet Monk. One of the best years for me was when I used my hymnal as my “daily devotional.” Also being a history buff and growing up around Moravian history, I have used Moravian Daily Text. “Share My Pleasant Stones” by Eugenia Price, thought provoking.

    Set aside: My Utmost For His Highest – too “radical” for me. Our Daily Bread – too “pat” and preachy.

    • are the Moravians still with us? I encountered references to their religious works while working on texts for Project Gutenberg dealing with abolition and the Underground Railroad.

  11. HCSB study Bible, ESV study Bible

    “Our Daily Bread” and “HCSB Daily Devotional; The Heart of the BibleOne Dat at a Time”

    I really like HCSB, but like others, own at least a dozen translations, paraphrases at least.

    Have a tough time with KJV except Psalms once in a while…

  12. I used to try to get into all the “top” devotional books — My Utmost for His Highest, Streams in the Desert, etc. — but I’ve never been able to stick with a devotional. Once I learned about prayer books, I became much more disciplined in daily devotion. Robert Benson’s “Venite” was very helpful for me. Now it’s simply the Psalms. I try to read the Psalms monthly and pray through at least one psalm each day. Other than that, I read my Bible (ESV or NIV2011).

  13. I’ve used so many books through the years. I’m down to each morning reading Pastor Mark’s daily devtional at lightofthemaste, and Marva Dawn’s daily devotional. On Sat. mornings my favorite devotional is sitting at Pierce Lake, on the north edge of our city, smoking a cigar, watching the blue herrons, geese and ducks, and thinking of the words of the hymn “This is my Father’s World”, over and over and over. Do it almost evey Saturday.

  14. Chad Williams says

    I use the King James Bible, along with My Utmost for His Highest and another devotion by Oswald Chambers, whose title slips my mind right now. I bought a Common Book of Prayer a cople of years ago, but have never been able to figure out how it works. Many days I just read out of Psalms and Proverbs and allow them to direct my prayers at that time.

  15. tigger23505 says

    Essentials — Devotional
    For about a year maybe two years I’ve been using the Episcopal / Anglican Book of Common Prayer. To quote the Greatful Dead “What a long strange trip it’s been.” I first came across the concept of the Daily Office in a quirky novel that I can’t remember the title of at the moment. The next nudge came in the form of T. Davis Bunn’s novel “The Book of Hours.” That again brought up the idea of set times of prayer and if not set forms some guidelines. Any way the result of that was that I got a copy of the current Episcopal Church Book of Common Prayer. But not having grown up with it I had some trouble with the learning curve. Two web sites Road to Emmaus and Mission of St Clare, helped tremendously with that – so I added a bunch of ribon markers to the BCP and also some page dart markers. Most days I use the prebuilt readings at Mission of St Clare to start my day. Lately as I have added a cyber fast to my routine Saturday evening and Sunday morning are old school.

    Essentials — Bibles
    Print — NIV pocket sized – Carried in my book bag with the BCP
    NIV Bilingual / Latin American Spanish
    NKJV with C I Scofield’s Notes
    Electronic — Olive Tree (android / kindle) also in the book bag
    E-sword on my home office desktop

    Lastly my current reading list:
    A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life — Wm Law
    The Cloud of Unknowing
    Celebration of Discipline — R. J. Foster
    The Holy Spirit — Susan Rohrer

    If I had to pare it down – I would keep in this order
    1) NIV Pocket Size
    2) Book of Common Prayer
    3) My kindle
    4) A small journal
    5) Brown “Indiana Jones” style fedora

  16. Josh S Blake says

    I’m really liking the Voice Bible right now (was excited to see it was reviewed positively here). I keep trying prayer books, but the learning curve gets me stuck each time. I read a lot, right now I’m going through Heroes and Monsters and liking that. N.T. Wright and Scot McKnight have changed my thinking on many things over the past three years.

    • Josh S Blake says

      I also love the works and lectures of Eugene Peterson…I wish I could read the Bible the way he does!

      • Josh, I second your comment on Peterson. I love that man.

      • Amen! He is wonderful. Can you imagine having him as your Pastor? He pastored a church in Bel Air, Maryland (if I remember correctly) for 25 years.

    • N.T. Wright and Scot McKnight…they are great, aren’t they, Josh! Glad to hear you find them helpful too.

      And yes, the prayer book thing with going here, going there in the book does not appeal to me either.

      • Josh S Blake says

        Just looked up some of the stuff from tigger’s comment and the St Claire Mission has links to apps that put all the daily info in one spot for you. Very helpful. Prayer book, here we go again.

      • Josh S Blake says

        Also the Sacred Space website allows you to get twitter updates on their daily readings…seems helpful in this day and age.

  17. Kerri in AK says

    For daily reading I use the Celtic Daily Prayer devotional and the NRSV Green Bible (because it was gifted to me). If I’m lucky to see a give-away copy of the Upper Room, I use that in addition to the previous two. Even though it is available online, I don’t seem to remember to look for it. Currently, I’m also reading Letters and Papers from Prison by Dietrich Bonhoeffer during our community’s silent breakfasts. If I really want a kick in the pants, I read Richard Rohr (Job and the Mystery of Suffering; Simplicity: The Freedom of Letting Go) or Thomas Merton (Thoughts in Solitude).

  18. BCP 1979
    Paraclete Psalter
    NIV or NET

  19. Recently, I’ve simply been reading my bible, with no additional devotional or commentary. I’m reading through large chunks–usually an entire book–at a time. In times of melancholy I tend to return to Psalms, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.

    I’ll probably return to using a devotional at some point. Tozer’s works have been helpful to me in the past. Reading others’ comments about prayer books makes me intrigued with this approach, as well.

  20. Presently on the table in my reading room is my: New Living Translation Life Application Study Bible, The Message, Streams in the Desert and My Utmost for His Highest. Also a prayer journal that I just realized this morning is about out of pages, time to get another.

    A side story: I had been given a plant by my mother last summer and during my pruning and cutting it back a couple weeks ago I noticed another kind of plant buried and not getting enough air/light, so I transplanted it into a smaller pot, but all on its own and set it on a shelf in my reading room. Later I was telling my mother about it and she said, “Oh that’s right, I forgot about that. It’s called a rosary plant.” I’m not Catholic and don’t use rosaries, but still find it quite fitting!

    • RSV Catholic Study Bible; “Sacred Space” web site, Rosary, and always something from the body of work by Thomas Merton. From today’s reading in New Seeds of Contemplation:

      “As long as we are not purified by the love of God and transformed into Him in the union of pure sanctity, we will remain apart from one another, opposed to one another, and union among us will be a precarious and painful thing, full of labor and sorrow and without lasting cohesion.”

  21. ESV Bible
    Valley of Vision
    BCP
    Puritan Paperbacks (Thomas Watson right now).

  22. Isaac (or possibly Obed) says

    The #1 most important of my devotional resources is my 1928 Book of Common Prayer. The way it divides the Psalter into 60 readings (1 morning, 1 evening, 30-day cycle) has been especially helpful. I like to do at least either Morning Prayer or Evening Prayer each day, though I’d like to eventually do both.

    As far as bibles, I’ve got two that I tend to use. I’ve got a thinline ESV that is my “regular” bible. Good size, great celtic cross imprint on the front, and my favorite translation. Often for my devotional time, however, I use this huge honkin’ KJV that I bought at Barnes and Noble as part of their classics series. It’s got an almost-gaudy fancy cross design on the front and back and these wonderful illustrations throughout. Part of the reason I use it often is that since I do my devotions out loud, the KJV helps my elocution. Part of it is the heft is nice. And part of it is the illustrations are great.

    For my reading cycle, I use a daily office lectionary that hat has been proposed by Fr. Michael Fry in the first issue of the journal The North American Anglican. I like it because it actually covers the whole bible (unlike other Anglican lectionaries) as well as a bit of the Apocrypha on a cycle that can either be a whole year (if you do both morning and evening readings) or a two-year cycle if you make the morning readings “year 1” and the evening readings “year 2”. I expect that when ACNA eventually gets its own prayer book together, Fr. Fry’s lectionary will be the one included for the daily office readings.

    • Just looked up the lectionary. I may switch over to it. I just can’t manage to get into the Lutheran Service Book daily lectionary, it doesn’t even have a daily gospel. Glad you mentioned this!

      However, I was under the impression that the ACNA (and the AMiA) both already had their own prayer books. Have you ever considered the one by the Reformed Episcopal Church or the one printed by Lancelot Andrews Press (prepared by Eastern Orthodox in the language of the 1662 BCP)?

      • Isaac (or possibly Obed) says

        I’ve got ’em.

        The AMiA one I have is the 2008 An Anglican Prayerbook. It’s pretty good, and we use it in my homegroup, but it’s never been approved by a council of bishops. It was made by the Prayer Book Society (of which I’m a member) for AMiA as a bridge between modern prayer books and the traditional BCP. It’s been widely used in AMiA, but I don’t know if it has official status. My one major complaint is that it doesn’t include the Psalter. That makes its use in corporate morning and evening prayer more challenging, as it’s more difficult to get everyone on the same page (literally and figuratively) for the recitation of the Psalms.

        The one from Lancelot Andrewes Press is really good, but it meant for use in “Western Rite” parishes for Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions. It’s not quite as simple as the traditional BCP, though it’s clearly the Eastern Orthodox take on the traditional BCP. I really think it’s neat that the Western-Rite Orthodox are using the Anglican liturgy. I prefer the simplicity of the traditional BCP, though.

        The 2003 REC one is almost identical to the 1928 BCP I use, with a few minor variations in terms that are related to the REC’s history. Last year they published an appendix for it that has modern-English renderings of the services. It’s really good, though I have yet to see it in physical print. From what I hear, the REC’s publishing arm is going through some restructuring, and it will be a few months or more before they get back up to snuff. I honestly don’t know how I’d get a hold of a physical copy of the REC’s official BCP at this point, though I’d love to have one.

        In 2011, one of the REC diocese published a provisional book that has been called “BCP2011.” It’s… not good. It wasn’t approved in council, and it’s got a serious theological axe to grind. I don’t have a problem with that, except that the author/publisher says that it’s a modern rendering of the traditional BCP. It’s not. It’s just a different kind of revisionism. Not a big fan of the bait-and-switch. Oh, and the quality of the printing and binding on the copy I have was really bad.

        As far as the ACNA goes, we don’t yet have one that’s official. The ordinal has been published, and the first drafts of the Holy Communion service were used over the summer at Convention, but there’s no finished product yet. It’s still several years out, I’d say.

        • Cool. Thanks for all the detailed review, I’ve considered adding some of these to my collection. But I’m gonna hold out hope for a good Lutheran prayer book that covers all the important basics.

          • Isaac (or possibly Obed) says

            I was wanting to get the Lutheran prayer book one that used to be advertised here ages and ages ago, but I don’t remember the title or the publisher anymore.

            As far as the ’79 BCP goes, I had started with it (well, actually, I started with an Orthodox Jewish Siddur published by Artscroll, but that was in my Messianic days). The ’79 was good to me, though a lot of folks in ACNA don’t like it. Among the traditionalists (whether in ACNA or one of the earlier splinter groups), the ’79 is often lambasted, but a lot of that is hyperbole. I think the real truth is that it’s a symbol of what a lot of them left. Below Eagle mentioned that the ESV’s reputation (at least in certain circles) is that it’s the Bible for fundamentalists, and among many conservative Evangelicals, the NRSV’s reputation is that it’s the Bible for liberals. Both of those claims are less reflective of the actual translation and more reflective of the perceived effective audience. The ’79 is that way for a lot of the folks who left TEC.

            As someone who didn’t ever fight that battle, I think I’ve got a bit more of an objective view. The ’79 is good liturgy, but it’s not quite as theological as the traditional BCP. Or rather, the theology is more generic. The traditional BCP is conscious about what it is teaching, whereas the ’79 seems to be more ecumenical in it’s outset. I think there’s a place for that, which is why I still keep several copies of it around and end up referring to it a lot. Plus, we still have a lot of parishes that still use it for familiarity’s sake.

          • Yeah, I heard a lot about the ’79 being liberal but it took me a while to figure it out. I believer there are changes to the catechism and some of the special services. The Daily Office and Holy Communion rites aren’t effected too much, aside from some “green hippie” undertones in some of the Prayers of the People section. But for me, my wife is ESL, so older traditional language BCP’s were more of an obstacle than facilitator for us to pray together. We used the compline rite for years.

            I believe the Lutheran resource that Spencer was really getting into was the “Treasury of Daily Prayer,” from Concordia Publishing house. I have that, but it’s basically the Daily Office based on the ordinaries of the Lutheran Service book and its lectionary. I got a few issues with it. And it’s a huge book. But the propers contain basically a “hymn lectionary” and readings from the church fathers, which is very nice.

            I may try one of the more traditional all-in-one breviaries. Benedictine Daily Prayer was another one I learned about here. It’s really good, but it barely covers over half the Psalter. For someone used to the BCP thoroughness, this is darned near intolerable. So I may check into the Brotherhood Prayer Book or For All the Saints.

            My challenge is to find a book that balances getting enough psalms and readings in there with having sufficient seasonal variation. Most volumes do either one or the other.

  23. Helpful tools for me at various times:

    Daily Light on the Daily Path
    The Practice of the Presence of God
    The Imitation of Christ
    An Anthology of Devotional Literature (previously published as Fellowship of the Saints)
    The Christian Book of Mystical Verse (compiled by A.W. Tozer)

  24. MelissatheRagamuffin says

    NIV Bible (2011 edition) – I have to have at least large print. Anything smaller gives me a headache. So, no pocket Bible’s for me.
    N.T. Wright’s New Testament for Everyone (currently reading through Luke)
    A Book of Hours – Thomas Merton
    I get a daily reading from Bible Gateway.
    And yes, your Friendly neighborhood Quaker is admitting to – rosary beads. I don’t count prayers on them, but they do soothe me, help me hold still, and help keep me focused. I do, unfortunately, feel really self conscious about having them out around my husband.

    • MelissatheRagamuffin ~ if it helps your self-counciousness you can purchase “just prayer beads” with no particularly denominational meaning.

      Love your Ragamuffin ID. I too am a Ragamuffin with the victorious limp.

      http://www.prayerbeadstore.com/?gclid=CK690emD_rECFQdnOgodZHEAfg

      • MelissatheRagamuffin says

        Those beads are expensive!! I’ve had my rosary since I was a kid, but I don’t think they cost even half as much as they cheapest set of beads I saw on that site. I just need to get over my feeling self conscious.

  25. “Today’s Light” Bible (NIV read-through-the-Bible-in-2-years Bible that my pastor recommended – has short application & explanation before and after each reading)

    I also use the daily devotion/prayer written by one of our pastors that they print in the back of our worship folder each Sun.

    I use prayers found in the front of my hymnal (Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal)

    A Crucifix helps me focus during prayer.

    I’ve also used “A Diary of Private Prayer” before and loved it.

    When I read the Bible with my children, I use the NLT.

  26. Henri Nouwen Daily Meditation, Sacred Space, This blog. Love to listen to music, this week I am starting my day with a Good Friday hymn http://youtu.be/uzTo-8pusSQ

  27. MelissatheRagamuffin says

    Sacred Space – They need an App for that! *ducks and runs away*

  28. In no particular order:
    The Upper Room
    My NRSV Wesley Study Bible
    This Day: A Wesleyan Way of Prayer (lectionary based prayer and study guide) by Laurence Hull Stookey
    Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and Enuma Okoro
    BCP

  29. Which Bible translations is not imperative to me, but for the past several years I’ve enjoyed the audacity of Peterson’s The Message. However, at this point in my life (age 57) I rarely read the Bible in the morning. Rather, I read whatever book I’m working through at the time. Just last week finished Wright’s How God Became King. I always have a Merton read in the works, the present being Wisdom From the Desert. Robert Capon was my morning read for quite some time. I think I’ve read everything he wrote except for his cook books ;o)

    Truth be known, I ofen as not check in here at iMonk first.

    T

  30. I have an accumulation of Bibles and other books as well, but my main standbys are:

    * A compact ESV with full page-width text and cross-references, which was given to me as a gift. As it happened, I had an unused zip jacket from an old dayplanner that the Bible fit into perfectly, which makes it durable for travel. Whenever the moment comes that I need to turn to Scripture, I reach for that compact ESV, before I will turn to any other Bible.

    * My Utmost for His Highest, which I found as the right book in the right place at the right time during a spiritual crisis on a trip to Korea 8 years ago, and which God still uses to lay lessons on my heart;

    * John Baillie’s A Diary of Private Prayer, which I only just bought recently upon the recommendation on this blog by Chaplain Mike.

    I’ve read from Thomas Cranmer’s Collects and Epistles, The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, The Way of a Pilgrim, and am now reading A Pilgrim’s Progress, but the above books are what sustain me on an ongoing basis.

  31. Richard McNeeley says

    I usually don’t use any books at all, I find the best thing for me is to take my dog for a walk. It gets me away from all distractions.

  32. I have an app on my phone that has the daily office, weekly lectionary texts and weekly prayer from Book of Common Prayer. Best app I ever got by far.

    I’ve been longing for quiet, reflective prayer and worship for a while but my church services are much more upbeat. So about a month or so ago, I made a small prayer table in my living room. It has a candle, incense, a wood-carved cross picture and an icon print of Jesus. So now every morning, I can have my own little worship service as I read through the daily office and pray for my family and friends. I finish by quietly singing the Doxology and repeating the Jesus Creed. I’ve always struggled with daily prayers and this has been really helping me.

    Peace, Brian

  33. My NIV Archaeological Study Bible is indispensable to me, the only challenge being to keep my mind on Scripture when there are so many fascinating sidebars to read. I particularly enjoy the explanations of conflicting views that exist between biblical scholars on various point in the text.

    The monthly email reflections from “Preserving Bible Times” greatly expand my understanding of what I read and hear, as do our weekly conversations on the air with Doug Greenwold of Preserving Bible Times who is a very gifted teacher.

    When I really need encouragement and a renewal of faith, I will pick up my copy of “Mere Christianity” by C. S. Lewis who I consider to be the modern-age apostle to intellectuals everywhere. Frequent visits to iMonk also function as a shot in the arm (and, occasionally, to the head). 🙂

    • “C. S. Lewis who I consider to be the modern-age apostle to intellectuals everywhere.”

      I agree with that!

  34. I love, love, love The Glenstal Book of Prayer for quiet times at home. When I’m a little more rushed I like The Daily Office from Mission St. Clare (http://www.missionstclare.com/english/) and Sacred Space. I also receive emails from the Henri Nouwen Society every morning.

    I do enjoy my ESV…

  35. Randy Thompson says

    Bibles:
    NIV
    NEV
    And, occasionally my late father’s NRSV (with his markings) and my late mother’s KJV Schofield (with her markings—I don’t read the notes).

    Other Resources:
    The Upper Room’s “Pilgrim’s Guide” for Christian leaders (which is a terrific introduction to spiritual writers from all over the theological map)
    “Unseen Warfare” by Theophan the Recluse et al.
    “My Utmost for His Highest”

    I have tried and liked the Book of Hours, but I can’t find the booklet that helps you use the book!

  36. Inglan Lee says

    In no particular order

    1) NIV Bible
    2) Piano
    3) Commentaries (sometimes)
    4) Journal

    I’ve tried devotional books but have never been able to use them consistently.

  37. Bill Metzger says

    My NKJV Bible and The Lutheran Service Book-for the daily lectionary and the praying of hymns. I also have my Greek New Testament standing by to hear God’s deepest thoughts!!! One excellent devotional book is “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young.

  38. Laudate app on iPhone and Kindle. Great if you are Catholic, almost as great if not.

  39. About 10 years ago I picked up an NKJV Bible arranged in chronological order. I found it so enlightening that I have been using it for morning devotions ever since. Occasionally I’ll also use Larry Pierce’s Online Bible software. And I always have a hot cup of tea to fuel the endeavor.

    • And I shouldn’t forget to mention that at work I read the devotionals posted here at IM. I may fume and fuss about the opinion pieces, but I am very edified by the devotional ones.

  40. Bill Metzger says

    Oh yes- my crucifix normally sits before me. Christ crucified!!!

  41. I can’t remember what I did before I got the Treasury Of Daily Prayer from Concordia. I’m a Methodist, but that book speaks to me.

  42. Currently in the midst of leading a whole-Bible study at my church, so current Bible of choice is New Interpreter’s Study Bible (NRSV). Incredibly bulky and heavy, but I’m appreciating the interesting study notes this time around.

    As a prayer guide, I find anything by Reuben Job (Upper Room books) to be very helpful, especially his series “A Guide to Prayer for…” There are several prayer guides in the series, which is lectionary-based. I also find much to recommend in the Daily Hours series of prayer books by Phyllis Tickle. I am returning to a practice of fixed-hour prayer at present, and find these works quite helpful.

  43. Ok, Bible translations: ESV because it’s my tribal standard, and I feel I can both trust and understand it, though I don’t enjoy its style very much. Favorite for style and leisurely reading: NRSV. But due to the higher-critical leanings of the translators (and brutalization of Psalm 22) I don’t feel I can trust it as much. I got my wife the NLT and it works well when we read together. Always keep an NASB on hand for when I want the truth 😛

    Bible editions: The Reformation Study Bible in leather is hands down the best study bible edition I’ve ever seen, much less owned. It has a strong font size, it portable enough to take to church (unlike all other ESV study editions), the leather is not bad, the notes aren’t too much, they summarize the important points quite well. However, I sometimes tire of the rationalistic perspective of the commentators, so at the end of the day I go back to my CPH Lutheran Study Bible. The notes in it are priceless. ESV study bible is on the shelf as a reference if I need it. Wife uses the NLT study bible, the notes are pretty good. Also have the discontinued “Praise and Worship” study bible, edited by Robert Webber, for sentimental reasons. My Oxford Leather NRSV isn’t comparable to a Cambridge and has some slight production quirks, but it is quite pleasurable to use every time. Sitting on the shelf gathering dust are a paperback RSV, the Message, the Quest. I have a volume of the Cotton Patch edition. Not quite as good as the musical, though (which you haven’t lived if you haven’t seen).

  44. Michael Spencer reviewed the Mosaic Bible and I put it on my Amazon wishlist. Someone got it for me a couple years back and I just started going though it this year.

    It had meditations and 4-5 scripture readings centered on a weekly theme. I really like that each week has a theme because it lets me “munch” on the topic. The translation is The Living Translation if I recall correctly. All I know is that it’s not the NIV or NASB which is what I typically read. And it’s not the Message.

    It’s been a great help this year. I look forward to each morning’s reading time, coffee and a few minutes away from the kids notwithstanding.

  45. Bill Metzger says

    TC- You ROCK!!!