Finding the Right Devotional to Use or Gift


One of the best aids for the spiritual journey is a devotional book. Not a Bible Study, not a commentary on the Bible, not preaching or even teaching, per se.

Sometimes the meditations of devotional books can help us connect to God and scripture in a way that we can’t our own.

One thing I learned in my ten years as a bookseller is that there’s some books most people prefer to borrow and some books most people prefer to buy.  Most voracious fiction readers don’t have the budget to buy everything they want to read, so they borrow.  

But one category of books most readers would prefer to own rather than borrow is devotionals.

They also make great gifts to friends and family when you want to give something meaningful that will encourage their spiritual growth. 

The question is, which one is going to meet the need? 

There are thousands of devotionals out there. Amazon has 15,000 for listed for sale. How do you know which one is the right one for you or to give as a gift?

I listed my top picks based on my years as a bookseller as well as the confidence I have in the authors who penned them.

The Classic Devotionals have stood the test of time. Sometimes they are weightier with lots of food for thought. They contain the universal truths that still speak to us today.

The Newer Devotionals tend to be more conversational in tone. The authors are experiencing and dealing with life as we know it today.

(Note: Each picture is an Amazon affiliate link, meaning if you click through and purchase, a percentage will go to support this site.)

Classic Devotionals

Streams in the Desert

by L. B. Cowman, edited by Jim Reimann

Long time best seller written by Lettie B. Cowman, missionary to China and Japan. Focuses on God’s provision and purpose in dark times. First published in 1925, now with updated language.

Morning and Evening

Daily Readings by Charles Spurgeon

Two devotional thoughts for each day: one to be read in the morning and one in the evening. Chock full of wisdom and insight. Profound thoughts.

My Utmost for His Highest

by Oswald Chambers

My favorite devotional for years. Timeless wisdom. Titled after the sentiment that we need to give our best efforts for God’s glory.

Devotional Classics

Selected Readings for Individuals and Groups Edited by Richard Foster and James Bryan Smith

Pulling from classic authors from different Christian backgrounds, this collection emcompasses a variety of traditions.

The Valley of Vision

A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions by Arthur Bennett

Thoughtful, written prayers from the Puritan tradition that continue to instruct and inspire.

Newer Devotionals

Jesus Calling

Experience Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young

Sarah Young writes as if Jesus is speaking to you directly. My current favorite. I love the large print edition that has the scripture verses printed out after the meditation. Relevant and timeless.

New Morning Mercies

A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul Tripp

Down to earth and relatable. Bringing God’s Word and wisdom into practical, everyday life.

Awaken

90 Days with the God Who Speaks by Priscilla Shirer

90 days of devotionals, with two pages of reflections per day. A nice addition is a couple of pages to journal after every day of devotional thoughts.

Too Blessed to be Stressed

3 Minute Devotions for Women by Debora M. Coty

180 devotions that include a verse, short meditation and a prayer. Super short time commitment. Perfect for the busiest schedules.

100 Days to Brave

Devotions for Unlocking Your Most Courageous Self by Annie F. Downs

Meeting us right where we are, Annie F. Down’s explores what it means to be brave. Challenging and encouraging.

Embraced

100 Devotions to Know God’s Love Right Where You Are by Lysa Terkuerst

Focusing on God’s love for us, each day has a scripture verse, meditation and finishes with a prayer. Lysa is gifted in painting pictures from her life to illustrate truths.

Whispers of Hope: 

10 Weeks of Devotional Prayer by Beth Moore

Each daily devotional is followed by two journal pages with space to respond personally to the thoughts in the devotional.

1000 Gifts Devotional

Reflections on Finding Everyday Graces by Ann Voskamp

Ann Voskamp focuses on the importance of gratitude. Acknowledging God’s little gifts and giving thanks for them changes us.

The Love Dare Day by Day

A Year of Devotions for Couples by Stephen and Alex Kendrick

Based on the Love Dare, there are 52 weekly challenges and 7 days per week reflections that correspond to the dares.

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