Is it necessary to write your daily devotions?
There are only two necessary ingredients to a devotional: you and God. Everything else is a matter of taste and personal strategy. Advice on devotionals (or quiet times, or whatever you call them) should come off as suggestions, not prescriptions.
What works for someone else might not work for you, and that is okay. Unfortunately when people get excited about what works for them, or are trying to come off as super smart, or sell a book, that tone of “maybe try this” shifts into “this is the only way to do it.”
If someone tells you that saying (or writing) a specific string of words at a specific time of day will lead to a divine presence, they are no longer talking about Christianity. That is a lot more like a magic spell.
The key with devotional time is to try different stuff and see what works for you. Sometimes some thing will work for a little while and then you will get a little bored with it. That is fine, it is not the same thing as getting bored with Jesus. You have to shake it up every now and then.
Some people really like writing things out because the physical act of writing helps them remember things, and also to have something to reflect back on. That is great. I have found that something about my personality really wants to try to have big profound thoughts when I have a pen in my hand. Trying to have big profound thoughts really gets in the way of both honesty and listening, so writing devotionals is not a good plan for me.
I know people who have been walking with the Lord for decades, and in vocational ministry for much of that time, and they are still trying new things in their devotional life. That is key to continuing to grow. Try stuff. Keep what works, toss out what doesn’t, and keep trying new things.
Devotionals are not about getting it right, they are about what works for you.
-Matt from The Bridge