Online Christian Devotionals
Online Christian devotionals can help you commit to a daily time with Christ which can be an important step in your faith. There are many free online resources that are available to help you do just that. I review some of the most popular choices below.
Read, Pray, Interact
Each of the online devotionals emphasize different aspects. Which of the following are important to you?
- Scripture Reading. I guess we wouldn’t really have a daily Christian devotional unless the site contained a scripture reading. But how rigorous should the reading be? A random reference containing a verse or two? Or entire readings that encompass chapters or more?
- Christian Devotional Application. Some devotionals lean heavily on a real-world application that might speak to you in conjunction with the scripture reading. Other devotional guides rely mainly on scripture with perhaps an additional component of a traditional Christian reading. Finally still others may seek to develop deeper theological understanding more than a practical application.
- Interact with God. Does the devotional inspire you to interact with God by encouraging you to pray, meditate or journal? What kinds of tools or suggestions or sample prayers are available from the particular site. Do these help you to commune with God?
- Format and Portability. Do you desire your devotional to be portable, accessible by your cell phone or e-reader? Would you like an audio version occasionally for those busy days? Do you prefer to print a hard copy? All of these may influence your choice of an online devotional site.
Recommended Online Christian Devotional Sites
- The Daily Office. The Daily Office provides morning and evening prayer, readings from scripture, and other meditations derived from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. The content is provided by The Mission of St. Clare whose stated goal is to "introduce prayer and meditation to people who have never experienced them, and to support people who enjoy the benefits of prayer and meditation but who find difficulty in putting aside time for this practice". The daily content is much longer than most of the other Christian devotionals listed and are primarily focused on worship and communion with God.
The Daily Office is provided in a monthly format. Individuals can download PDF files from their computer. There are also apps for iPhone/iPad as well as versions for Kindle and iSolo e-readers.
- Examen. Examen is a personal Christian devotional journaling site designed for you to reflect on a passage of God's word each day and to write about how the passage is speaking to you. The site requires a login so that it can maintain your journals over time. There are no prepared Christian devotions but rather you choose one of the provided passages and the Examen site guides you with thoughtful questions as you consider the passage. For each question, you can respond prayerfully by journaling in the provided text field. Your journals can be searched by you and exported to PDF files.
- My Utmost for His Highest. Oswald Chambers has written some classic devotionals that have been made available by RBC Ministries. His most popular devotional guide is called My Utmost for His Highest and has been popular since before I was even born. Each reading consists of a single verse and a small devotional message to inspire you to draw nearer to God. The website features one devotional a day, but the devotionals are also categorized by topic so that you can seek out a devotional about a particular topic on any given day.
In addition to the website, the devotional can be printed, read via rss feed, or mobile app.
- Our Daily Bread
. Our Daily Bread is a long running print devotional from RBC Ministries that has made a nice transition to being a modern, online devotional. The devotionals are short consisting of only a couple of paragraphs of practical application. This application usually seeks to emphasize a particular verse that is the focus for the day. Frequently a poem or prayer is included at the conclusion of the devotional. Supplemental readings are also included that provide more context to the focal verse and a suggested Old and New Testament reading for those who seek to read through the Bible each year is also provided.
Electronic versions of the devotional are available from the website and via email, rss feed, or mobile app for android and ipad/ipod/iphone. Both mp3 and itunes audio versions are available. And, as always, the devotional is available as a small pamphlet that can be ordered and delivered to your home quarterly. This devotional is translated into at least 40 different languages.
- Our Daily Journey. Our Daily Journey is yet another daily devotional provided by RBC Ministries. The devotionals provided here tend to have a bit more Biblical depth than the typical devotional. Some of the authors are theologians and Biblical scholars. Rather than focusing on a single verse the devotions tend to look at a brief passage of scripture and are usually four to five paragraphs long. A supplemental Biblical passage is also suggested as companion reading to the main passage.
A standard and mobile website is available that lets you comment on the devotional and read other’s comments. In addition, the devotions can be printed or you can sign up to receive one in your email box each day.
- Today’s Word . This is a short daily devotional provided by Joel and Victoria Olsteen each weekday. The devotional typically focuses on a single Bible verse that is discussed in an edifying way with a paragraph or two. The reader is then challenged to overcome obstacles and live for Him. A short prayer is provided. The only access to this devotional appears to be through the website.
- The Upper Room. The Upper Room devotional is published by a ministry arm of the United Methodist Church. Each daily devotional contains a short Biblical passage to read and a two or three paragraph application. A meditation in the form of a "thought for the day" is provided along with a brief prayer. Email, android and iPod/iPhone apps are provided in addition to the website version.
- You Version. You Version is a social media journaling site that allows you to share your reflections about scripture with others and to read what others have to say about a passage. You create an account on the website and you can choose to share as little or as much as you desire. In many ways the site is similar to the Examen journaling experience. You choose from one of 100’s of reading plans and can journal each day about the passage that was assigned for the day.
The site supports mobile apps for iPod/iPhone and android.
- WordLive. WordLive is a site sponsored by the international mission, Scripture Union. The Christian devotions cover entire books of the Bible over the course of several weeks. The result of this approach is that the devotions feel a little more like a Bible study. Each devotional provides the passage that is studied, a response prayer, a section for deeper study, and background. Some social networking aspects are also available for registered users.
The site supports mobile apps for iPod/iPhone and Android, and has a podcast available. Users can also elect for an email devotional.
Online Christian Devotionals Conclusion
As you can see, there are a number of options when it comes to online Christian devotionals. Try several, and then choose the one that works best for you.
Return to our home page from this page, Christian Devotionals .
A special thanks to Russ A. for his help with the content of this page.