Mark D. Roberts

Mark D. Roberts

More God, Less Time? Part 2

On Saturday I put up a link to a fascinating article in the Los Angeles Times: “A closer, faster walk with thee.” This article provided many examples of Christians encouraging other believers to grow in their relationship with God by spending short amounts of devotional time each day (for example, The One Minute Bible or 5 Minute Theologian: Maximum Truth in Minimum Time.)
I encouraged my readers to post their comments, and I received several very good ones (as usual). You might want to check out the variety of perspectives here.
I have a couple of additional comments. First, I actually produce what might be called a Five Minute Daily Devotional. It’s called the Daily Reflection, and it appears each day (as you would expect) at The High It is also emailed to more than 5,000 people. The intent of this Daily Reflection is to offer devotional content so people might grow in their faith. Though the Scripture readings and questions to ponder could lead to more than five minutes of reflection, I expect that most people who use this devotional guide spend about five minutes with it. I don’t apologize for this brevity. I hope to encourage folks in their Scripture reading and prayer. This is a “foot in the door” approach, if you will. (Photo: Crystal Cove State Park beach in Orange County, California)
At the same time, in my own devotional life, I’ve been trying to spend more time in prayer and biblical reflection. I know that when I spend less rushed time with God, I am much more open to God’s presence and more receptive to his peace. When I lived in California, I frequently visited a secluded section of beach where I could walk and pray (see photo above). I’m still trying to find such place in Texas. The nearest beach is three hours away, and I’m told it isn’t quite like California beaches. When I’m out at Laity Lodge, I have plenty of options for “devotional walking.” But I’m still developing new patterns in my “ordinary” life. So, though I think it’s fine if folks begin growing in their faith by spending short amounts of time in communication with the Lord each day, I’m sensing a need to go longer and deeper. I don’t share this to be boastful. It’s just where I am in my own walk with God these days.

  • Thomas Buck

    Dear Mark:
    Any place in the deep woods you can find seclusion? We’ve got both beach and woods here in the U.P., but I know several guys who prefer a fallen log in the woods as a place for talking to God.
    Re: “I don’t share this to be boastful.”
    I doubt if anyone who’s been reading your blog for awhile sensed a boast in this.
    At the prompting of one of the wise men in a Bible study I attend, I’m spending more time trying to listen to the Lord as well as request things from him in my daily devotional time. It’s hard for two reasons – I love hearing MYSELF talk, and sometimes I’m afraid of what He might tell me to do.
    Here’s wishing you success in a closer walk with Him.

  • Dave Imboden

    A great book to consider along these lines is by a pastor (David Hansen) called Long Wandering Prayer. Find some great pull-quotes from it at:

  • Ray

    One of the challenges facing the Church today is finding ways to remain relevant to the culture. When I was growing up I don’t remember my parents being nearly as busy as my wife and I are. And I wasn’t nearly as busy as my kids are. Lifestyles today are just different than they were a generation or two ago. I’m not complaining, just making an observation. I applaude the efforts to adapt the Church and its message to new paradigms, as long as the content isn’t diluted and traditionas are not compromised.

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