© 2016 Dee Dee Parker
“Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord your God.” (1 Chronicles 22:19 NIV)
Have you ever felt the Lord nudging you to write about a topic you believed would benefit others on their Christian walk, but you had no idea how to start? An excellent way to share your message is to write a devotion.
Devotions are short pieces that include at least one Bible verse and a real-life experience that gives insight into the Scripture. The devotion often ends with a prayer and a summary thought.
Here are a few things to remember as you start writing devotions.
- Be concise. You only have a few minutes to engage the reader.
- Don’t preach. Make the reader feel as though you’re two friends having a conversation.
- Use active voice: Joan reads her Bible daily(subject performs the action). Avoid passive voice:The Bible is read by Joan daily (subject receives the action).
Read the devotions of established writers to gain insight on writing your own. Pay attention to how they grab a reader’s interest, how they tie a Scripture to an experience, and how they avoid preachiness. Learn from them, but don’t copy them.
The length of devotions varies from publisher to publisher, so check each publication’s guidelines. Many publications buy first rights, which means you can reuse your devotions elsewhere after a prescribed length of time.
Steps in writing a devotion:
- Pray. Ask for guidance as to what truth the Lord would have you share. Our words can impact a person’s spiritual life either positively or negatively. Make sure you show readers God’s love for them. What an honor to know that what we write today will stay current because it is based on the Word of God, which transcends time.
- Write. I use the hook-book-look-took method. The hook segment uses an interesting story to gain the reader’s attention. The book segment links the story to a Scripture verse. The look segment examines the verse so the meaning will become clear. The took segment includes a question or statement that will inspire the reader to take action. Some call this portion the takeaway.
- Conclude. End the devotion with a short prayer that specifically references the theme of the devotion.
As writers of Christian devotions, we encourage readers to face the challenges of everyday life and to grow in their faith.
Award-winning Appalachian writer Dee Dee Parkerinfuses wisps of Southern grace throughout her writing. Recent First Place winner in Southern Writers Magazine’s Short Story Contest, she has also contributed articles to Chicken Soup for the Soul,Christian Devotions US, Almost an Author, Inspire a Fire, and Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse Jr. Magazine. Proceeds from her children’s book, Josie Jo’s Got to Know, benefit breast cancer research.