Going Paperless in Your Daily Devotional

by Barry Howard

Through the years I have utilized a lot of different resources for my daily devotional time.  Most of the time my devotional life has involved Bible reading plans or devotional books with daily readings that include scripture, inspirational stories and prayers.

During the past year, however, I have intentionally shifted toward a more paperless lifestyle. In the process, I have discovered several online devotional sites that I found helpful.

While I still have an affinity for systematic Bible reading plans and well-written devotional books, there are at least three advantages to online devotional sites.

First, they can be accessed on any computer or smart device where an Internet connection is available. Therefore, you don’t need to keep up with an extra book, which makes online sites especially helpful when traveling.

Second, most online devotional sites provide complimentary access, and the costs are covered through donations or advertising revenue.

A third and perhaps most important benefit, is that online devotional sites are environmentally friendly. Like any electronic communication, e-devotionals save trees by saving paper.

If you do an Internet search for “online devotional resources” you will discover hundreds of options. Some are published by denominational entities, others by churches, and still others are blogged by private individuals.

A few devotional sites invite you to register your email address and they will send a daily devotional directly to your inbox. Other sites have corresponding “apps” that you can download to your smart device, another way of making access easier.

All of these online sites can be bookmarked or added to your favorites list, so that the site is one click away.

Here are a few of the online devotional sites I have found helpful:

  • D365.org is produced by Passport Camps and provides a daily devotional that is appropriate for students or adults.
  • ExploreFaith.org offers a lectionary based devotional experience in the tradition of The Divine Hours (also known as, The Liturgy of the Hours)—a set of daily prayers that has been used in public and private settings for centuries.
  • Devotional.upperroom.org is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and links to an online version of the popular “Upper Room” booklet, which provides a daily devotional with a theme scripture, a brief illustrative story, and closes with a sentence prayer.
  • Northumbriacommunity.org, a site connected to The Northumbria Community in Ireland, provides a link to The Daily Office, a Celtic tradition of readings and prayers that are appropriate for groups or individuals. Similar to The Divine Hours, the Celtic daily prayer provides options for morning, midday and evening prayers.
  • BibleGateway.com is one of many sites offering an assortment of online Bible reading plans for those wishing to read through the entire Bible in a specific period of time.
  • Sacredspace.ie is a prayer site facilitated by Irish Jesuits and based in Dublin, Ireland. This site is available in multiple languages and helps a Christian practitioner to feel a part of both the ecumenical and international family of faith.

As e-resources continue to multiply, we can expect that online devotional options will continue to increase.

If you enjoy having a cup of coffee in one hand and a hard copy of your Bible or devotional book in the other, then an e-devotional may not be for you.

But if you find that there are advantages in going paperless, be assured that there are good online options that are Bible-based, encouraging and inspirational.

(Barry Howard serves as the senior minister at the First Baptist Church in Pensacola, Fla. He blogs at Barry’s Notes, and you can follow him on Twitter @BarrysNotes.)