How to Form New Devotional Habits

Can you believe that another year has come and gone?!  For many, the start of the new year is a great time to think about new goals for the upcoming year. However, sometimes it’s hard to create goals and stick to them. What’s the secret to setting attainable goals that last all year? How is it possible to achieve them? Read more below on how to set devotional goals and work toward them daily.

Questions to Consider When Setting Devotional Goals

In a fallen world, no one can come to Christ on his or her own. Although we can go to church, pray, and serve others, we cannot do anything by our own strength. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit intercedes for each of us, leading us to faith in Christ. Through saving grace and the gifts of the Gospel, Baptism, Communion, and the Lord’s resurrection, the Holy Spirit sanctifies each of us. Armed with this saving faith, we are able to set goals and trust that the Holy Spirit will help us meet them. Here are some questions to consider when creating devotional goals for the new year:

  • What can I read to grow my faith? Is it a particular Old Testament book? Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians? A particular devotional book?
  • Who can I pray for? What do they need? Do I know someone struggling with a difficult season? Is a missionary group from church leaving soon? What guidance can the Holy Spirit provide?
  • Who will I serve? What will I do? Does one of my neighbors need help running errands? How can I use my talents and time to benefit those around me?

How to Jump-Start Devotional Growth 

We can find many ways to encourage our faith  and set out to achieve so many milestones. But sin can wreak havoc on our plans. Often, the comparison game or other distractions can shift our focus to ourselves rather than on Jesus. The Holy Spirit is always with us, working through our goals and guiding us on the right path. When setting and evaluating faith goals, be sure to

  • stay focused on Jesus. “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10)
  • take it one day at a time. “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)
  • stay strong, even when it’s tough. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
  • be patient as you work through goals. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

How to Set Monthly Devotional Goals

After weighing the options and setting goals, it’s time to act. The challenge to keeping track of new devotional goals is a lack of tangibility or accountability. Sometimes, we can’t tangibly mark growth to our faith, even though it’s happening.

A great way to help track devotional goals, especially the intangible ones, is to keep a journal. Multiple smartphone apps can help you track goals, or a simple pencil and notebook works too. Keep notes on what can be done each month to help strengthen your faith. Perhaps write down a key Bible verse to focus on each month. Or pick a volunteer event to serve at, and record how it impacted you and the greater community.

These Bible Reading Plans will help you spend time in God's Word every day. 

Download Free Bible Reading Plans

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Written by

Delania Byerley

Delania is a copywriter with Concordia Publishing House. She recently graduated from Valparaiso University with her BA in creative writing. On a normal day, you can find her perched under a tree reading a book, writing poetry, listening to music, or exploring St. Louis, the city she calls her new home.

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