Classes keep you busy, and you look forward to those five minutes you can spend doomscrolling on your phone at the end of the day. I get it. Sometimes you need to turn your brain off and mindlessly scroll. But couldn’t you spend those minutes doing something better for yourself?
What if you spent those five minutes connecting with God instead? Concordia Publishing House has six books that are perfect for the busy student who only has a couple minutes for peace. Each book can be broken up into easy-to-read sections. They are also great for meditation. Read on to see why I recommend these books!
Continue: Poems and Prayers of Hope
As a poetry book, Continue: Poems and Prayers of Hope is easy to read and meditate on. Continue invites the reader to slow down and unwind. Read a poem, meditate, write down your thoughts, and consider writing a response poem! This is one easy way to integrate God back into your overwhelming life while letting your brain engage and rest.
Wherever I Am, You Are Too
Where I am is the
last place I thought I’d be,
but maybe this is
where I need to be,
because wherever I am
You are too. (p. 38)
Perseverance: Praying through Life’s Challenges
College requires perseverance. Classes are challenging, exams are stressful, and studying is exhausting. Sometimes, we forget that we can turn to God in prayer. This Bible study gets that. It’s set up for group or individual study and is broken into sections that are easy to chew on. It has questions and space to write a response, but you certainly aren’t required to write. While appealing to the visual learner, the study encourages the reader to do exactly as the title implies: pray through life’s challenges.
You and I will face fear along our perseverance journey. It’s just part of the process. Fear of failure. Fear of what others might think. Fear that we don’t have what it takes. Fear of backsliding into old habits. See how fear can mess with us? (p. 69)
Overcoming Life’s Sorrows: Learning from Jeremiah
You’re probably thinking that this book is for an older audience than you, but I can tell you that it is interestingly applicable to college life. This book tackles difficult subjects such as anxiety and depression without making the reader feel guilty for having those issues. It recognizes that these things are going to happen no matter how strong your faith is. If you’re looking to discover more about yourself or looking for something to help get you out of a rut, Overcoming Life’s Sorrows: Learning from Jeremiah is the book for you.
Jeremiah gives us vivid accounts of his spiritual life, including his ongoing wrestling with God.
Why does the prophet give so much information about himself? We all instinctively know that when we read about someone else’s life, it leads us to reflect on our own life. By giving us what is close to an autobiography, Jeremiah invites us to consider our losses in light of his—and to see that God’s promises for him are for us as well. (p. 16)
Callings for Life: God’s Plan, Your Purpose
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get so caught up in thinking about all that I’ll do after college that I forget all that I can do during college. This book assists the reader in recognizing that everyone has callings. Multiple. More than one. Your major isn’t your only calling. Your work on campus and time with friends—those are callings too. The author reminds us not to get so caught up thinking about the future that we forget to live in the present.
The liberating truth, however, is that we do not have one great calling in life but instead are given many callings simultaneously. Although these may seem small and insignificant, they have sacred worth, given to us by God’s own hand. This truth is transformative in that it enables us to participate with joy in life’s many relationships, tasks, occupations, and responsibilities knowing that each is a fulfillment of God’s purposes. (p. 6)
Take Heart: God’s Comfort for Anxious Thoughts
Take Heart: God’s Comfort for Anxious Thoughts by Lindsay Hausch is great for slowing down and soothing anxiety. It shares God’s comfort with the reader, who may be stressed from any number of things. I recommend this to college students because of the calming message at the core.
This book will not tell you that if you have more faith, you can overcome anxious thoughts or that your anxieties indicate lack of faith or spiritual immaturity. This book will not make you feel ashamed or alone in your struggle with anxiousness. . . . Consider that your anxious thoughts can be the very place where you can get to know God, and yourself, better. (p. 9)
Minute Messages: Gospel-Filled Devotions for Every Occasion
If you like devotions but can’t seem to find the time or the right one, Minute Messages: Gospel-Filled Devotions for Every Occasion is for you. Each devotion begins with a verse or quotation before a short message and ends with a prayer. These devotions are like little doses of Jesus to reorient your day! I find that they’re perfect for a daily commitment.
We are not on a quest to find the perfect devotion routine. If we found it, the secret would not be in the materials. The most important aspect of devotion to God’s Word is that we hear it and pray in faith. . . . The hardest part of devotions, likewise, is the doing of it. How could it not be? Satan despises the Lord’s Word. He abides it only if it lays silent, dusty on the shelves.
I welcome this little book not as the silver bullet but as more ammunition. (p. xi)
Excerpt adapted from Continue: Poems and Prayers of Hope, copyright © 2022 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Excerpt adapted from Perseverance: Praying through Life’s Challenges, copyright © 2019 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Excerpt adapted from Overcoming Life’s Sorrows: Learning from Jeremiah, copyright © 2021 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Excerpt adapted from Callings for Life: God’s Plan, Your Purpose, copyright © 2020 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Excerpt adapted from Take Heart: God’s Comfort for Anxious Thoughts, copyright © 2021 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Excerpt adapted from Minute Messages: Gospel-Filled Devotions for Every Occasion, copyright © 2021 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.