On my 13th birthday I opened a gift from a friend and found a book of prayers. Each time I read one my desire to pray grew. (Yes, I was a normal teenager with peer problems and flighty episodes!)
Years later after receiving several lovely wedding gifts of towels and household supplies, I unwrapped a devotional book titled Streams in the Desert, a compilation of daily thoughts and scriptural insights.
Then during my slide into burnout flamed by trying-too-hard-to make-it-all-just-right, I received another gift—this time from an employee. It was the book, My Utmost for His Highest.
Throughout my life reading devotional books has enriched my alone times with God. Sometimes I read several devotions and study scripture for an extended period. Other times I only read one short devotion before I scoot out the door. Some days I have no time to read at all.
Books Have Changed My Life
Yet as I digest the words others have written about what it means to follow Christ, I’m inspired to stay committed to my decision to be a woman after God’s own heart (as imperfect King David was. Acts 13:22)
I still have the daily prayer book I received as a teenager. Recently I scanned the prayer-notes that I jotted in the margins. I chuckled when I noticed that even as a teen I often felt overwhelmed and self-critical. God proved patient and graceful with me then as He is now.
Reading devotions and inspirational messages causes me to want to spend time in prayer, to listen to God and rest in His presence. When I read something that catches my attention, I jot my response or question on the page. Then later I go to the Bible to confirm or challenge what I read.
Reading Draws Me to God
When I’m feeling numb and don’t know what to do I open a devotional book and gain support to move forward. Reading devotional material has been such a vital part of my spiritual journey that I’ve wanted to pass on the joy to others. As a result I’ve written several devotional-type books.
I love how God is teaching the overwhelmed and self-critical teenager who grew up to be an overwhelmed and people-pleasing adult that He loves and cherishes me whether I read the right books or pray just the right prayer or have perfectly consistent faith. He knows my genuine desire to be intimate with Him and serve others. And God continues to teach me through the written words of others who love Him, too. I guess I get caught reading quite a lot!
Rich Inspirational Reads
Here’s a list of devotional type books that have made a big impact on me.
What inspirational-type book has impacted your life?
Joan C. Webb
Writing, teaching, coaching to empower and set free.