There are a number of excellent resources available for our daily devotional reading as a part of our daily worship. I try to do my reading early in the morning, usually while riding my exercise bike. Although the resources I use change from time to time, below are seven resources that I would commend to you:
- The Bible. I read through the Bible chronologically, reading a chapter a day. Recently, I’ve been using the new Spurgeon Study Bible, edited by Alistair Begg, for the daily reading, and using the Reformation Study Bible, General Editor, R.C. Sproul, for book introductions.
- Tabletalk Magazine. Tabletalk has been a consistent daily companion of mine since I became a believer. While the monthly magazine from Ligonier Ministries includes many great articles each month, here I’m referring to the daily readings. Each year, the readings follow a theme. The 2018 readings were from the Gospel of John.
- The Songs of Jesus: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Psalms by Tim and Kathy Keller. This daily devotional takes the reader through every verse of the book of Psalms in 365 days, with each devotional providing the reader with a daily reading from a psalm. It also gives the reader a brief meditation on the meaning of the psalm and a prayer to help us to actually use it in our heart and as a way to approach God. The authors ask us to look at the prayers as what they call “on-ramps,” not as complete prayers. They ask us to follow the trajectory of the prayers and keep going, filling each prayer out with personal particulars, as well as always praying in Jesus’s name (John 14:13).
- God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Book of Proverbs by Tim and Kathy Keller. This devotional follows the same format as the Keller’s book The Songs of Jesus: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Psalms. This book uses daily readings from the book of Proverbs.
- The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions by Arthur Bennett. Bennett, (1915-1994), was an English-born minister, tutor, and author who loved to study the Puritans. He has drawn the prayers in this much loved modern-day spiritual classic from what he refers to as the largely forgotten deposit of Puritan spiritual exercises, meditations and aspirations. He states that this book of Puritan prayers has a unity not often found in similar works. The title of the book comes from Isaiah 22:1 “The oracle concerning the valley of vision….” The book was first published in 1975. The research for this book took years to complete, most likely done in the mid-1960’s through the early 1970’s. Bennett’s desire is that the publication of these prayers will help to introduce people of today to the Puritans and their writings. It is a wonderful resource to read in daily devotions, which is how I use it. Bennett states that the book is not intended to be read as a prayer manual. He writes that the soul learns to pray by praying. Thus, the prayers should be used as aspiration units, with the Puritans’ prayers becoming springboards for our own prayers. A final section of the book has been added for occasions of corporate worship.
- Scotty Smith’s Prayers. I’ve enjoyed the writings of Scotty Smith since reading his first book Object of His Affection. I was blessed to have two classes with him at Covenant Seminary a few years ago. Scotty has released two books of prayers, 2011’s Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faithand 2016’s Every Season Prayers: Gospel-Centered Prayers for the Whole of Life. You can also sign up to receive Scotty’s Heavenward prayers to be sent to your email inbox each day.
- Morning and Evening: A New Edition of the Classic Devotional Based on The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. This classic devotional from Charles Spurgeon includes a reading for each morning and evening of the year. Alistair Begg, who has a deep love for Spurgeon’s preaching and this work, has carefully modernized Spurgeon’s English. This edition uses the English Standard Version (ESV) as the scriptural text.
These are seven devotional reading resources that I would commend to you. What books are you planning to use for your daily worship?