Five Elements of a Strong Devotion
What do you think of when you think of devotion to something or someone? Loyalty,
faithfulness and commitment are a few words that come to mind for me, and maybe you think
of the same.
When we write a devotion, that’s exactly what we hope to do — create loyalty, faithfulness and
devotion to Jesus by the way we write.
Let’s take a look at five key elements of devotion writing that will point our reader to Jesus.
- Keep it short. Typically, devotions are 400-1200 words. Also, keep paragraphs short.
In this condensed form of writing, you can create a lot of bang for your buck by
making sure each word is needed and aimed toward your main point.
- Grab attention with a hook. Your introduction should open with a hook — an attention-
grabbing statement to hook your reader into reading the devotion. You can start with a question or an
intriguing statement. You can set a scene or tell a little story (my favorite).
- Journey with your reader. Your reader doesn’t want to feel talked at. Write in a way
that reminds her you’re on a journey together. You can use phrases, if they suit your
voice, such as “Sweet friend” or “Dear reader.” Also, inclusive writing uses phrases
like this: “Maybe you’ve found yourself worried …” or “No doubt you too have thought …”
- Teach one main point based on Scripture. This is where you’ve been leading your
reader — this place where you explain the main point of a Scripture verse or a couple
of verses. You might start by explaining why the verse impacted you, and then unfold
the truths and treasures of the Scripture.
Don’t try to include too much. Because a devotion is short, your focus needs to be
tight and clear. Plus, with a clear focus, your reader is more likely to remember the
treasures you’re uncovering.
- Conclude with a quick summary and call to action. The conclusion can be a few
sentences. You want to summarize your main point, and do not introduce any new
This is also a place where you can include a call to action. Challenge your reader to do
something immediate — today or this week. Maybe it’s a physical action or maybe it’s a
way of thinking. You want to challenge her to apply what she’s learned.
Devotion writing is some of the most rewarding writing we do as Christian writers, as so much
can be said in a few words. And with this concentrated and condensed writing, your reader will
remember your main point and be drawn into devotion to Christ.
Go back to a rough draft of a devotion you’ve already written. Try revising it to ensure you
include these five elements.
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