After my daily Bible reading and study, I like to spend just a few minutes in a worthwhile Christian book. I really don’t have any specific advice for you here; since everyone’s different, everyone’s reading and reinforcement needs are different; and the circumstances of your life are going to affect what books are available to you. There are lots of sources of recommendations out there; take a recommendation from a source you trust, and read something. I read just a section a day, for 10 or 15 minutes, just enough to give me something to think about. You might enjoy doing that as well.
Next comes music.
When God designed me, he designed in a great appreciation for music, but he chose not to give me much ability to produce it. On the few occasions when I feel like bursting into song in the shower, I quit pretty quickly, out of consideration for others in the house and for my own sense of musical quality.
I find that music is an important part of my daily devotions; I like to place it just before prayer, where it helps set my mind in the right place for my speaking to God. But because of my musical limitations, I find that my own singing doesn’t yield the same result that listening carefully and appreciatively to good, well-performed recorded music does.
So over the years I’ve developed a list of recordings that contribute to my attitude of worship as I enter my prayer time–a playlist, if you will.
I have a couple of preferences that guide my selection:
- Firm commitment to a traditional rather than a contemporary style, though my conscience does allow some contemporary folk (as opposed to rock).
- Since I’m more of a visual than an auditory learner, I prefer videos that include the lyrics either in the video itself or in the comments below.
This is my list at the moment. I add to it all the time as I come across appropriate and effective recordings, and I cycle through the list, one piece a day.
- All I Have Is Christ
- Almighty Father
- Be Unto Your Name
- Behold Our God
- Bow the Knee
- Christ Is Mine Forevermore
- Christ, the Sure and Steady Anchor
- Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery
- Complete in Thee
- Deal Gently with Thy Servants
- Free from Guilt and Free from Sin
- God of Heaven
- Have Mercy on Me
- He Will Hold Me Fast
- Here Is Love (duet, 4 vv)
- Here Is Love (congregational, 2 vv)
- His Mercy Is More
- Holy Is He
- I Repent (a nod to my late friend Ken Bartholomew for introducing me to it)
- Is He Worthy?
- Jesus Shall Reign (non-postmillennial version 🙂 )
- Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer
- Joy Overflowing
- Just as I Am
- My Soul Finds Rest
- O God Beyond All Praising
- O Lord, My Rock and My Redeemer
- O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus
- See the Destined Day Arise
- See What a Morning
- Speak, O Lord
- Still, My Soul, Be Still
- The Perfect Wisdom of Our God
- The Power of the Cross
- There Is a Higher Throne
- This Is My Word
- Trust in God, My Soul
- We Rest on Thee
- What Grace Is Mine
- Worthy the Lamb
One closing observation.
Music is property. I’ve linked to YouTube videos here for purposes of reference and demonstration. But if you intend to use a piece of music over the long term, you should pay for it.