Be prayerful – Before you begin your devotion, ask God to show you what topic to develop.
Pick one topic – After deciding on your topic, be focused on that one topic.
Target your audience – Will you be speaking at a Women’s Conference, Faith Promise Conference, Senior Luncheon, or Teen Meeting? Consider the needs of your listeners. Some maybe seeking intimacy with God, seeking better prayer lives, or wanting to improve their testimonies and share their faith. Always consider the most emotional hurts people deal with…loneliness, depression, guilt, shame, abandonment, and grief.
Use an interesting introduction-Too many devotions begin with a “Good morning,” and then a weather report or chit chat. You have about 30 seconds to capture people’s interest or lose them. The best way to establish common ground is by telling a story or talking about a problem everyone faces.
Be yourself and be vulnerable – Don’t forget…you are not perfect. Being vulnerable is not just about sharing areas where you are victorious but also sharing your failures. By doing this, it motivates others, and it lets others see that they’re not the only ones who have struggles and challenges. Speak from your heart.
Don’t use too many points -There are many things you could say when you give a devotion, but it takes far more work to be clear than it does to be confusing. When pressed for time, some people take five or six points that are interesting and staple them together and call it a devotion. It is challenging to condense your thoughts into a single sentence that clearly explains your topic.
Use personal experiences – A good devotion says, “Walk with me a few minutes.” For example: “When I first got saved…During the first few years of marriage… A time when I felt so alone.”
Always check your Scriptures – Make sure you are using correct version and correct references.
Don’t be afraid us use object lessons or a Power Point presentation –Jesus often used things such as a mustard seed, a Roman coin, a lamp, and a bushel. Good object lessons quickly make listeners see the parallel between the object and the lesson.
Inspire action by using an inspirational story to illustrate your points – Most devotions focus on what people need to know, but they fail to answer the crucial question…What am I supposed to do with what I have heard?
Begin a personal devotional journal to help you to prepare devotions:
- A sad or funny experience you’ve had in the past year
- Things you’ve learned while traveling
- Challenging relationships with people at work, home, or school
- An item in a newspaper or magazine that fascinated you
- An editorial or column you strongly disagreed with
- A new challenge you’ve recently faced
- An opinion based on years of experience
- Some insights you’ve learned from a book
- Societal trends that concern you
- An event that restored your faith in mankind
- A poem or song that keeps coming to mind
- Volunteer work that helped you see the suffering of others
- A friend’s sickness or accident that alarmed you