A devotion is a piece that illustrates a truth through a story. Almost always, the truth being illustrated is a Scripture from the Bible. Occasionally you’ll run into other truths illustrated in a similar fashion, but these are generally referred to as meditations.
Because devotions are so short, they’re somewhat easier to keep focused. But be sure that every sentence refers back to the Scripture lesson you’re trying to illustrate. In something so brief, side trips—no matter how enlightening, are strictly forbidden.
Terminology Note: Most people outside the industry interchange the words devotion and devotional. Contrary to popular belief they are NOT synonyms. A devotional is a collection of devotions.
Most devotions range from 100 to 700 words in length, with the average being around 250 words. There are certain conventions you should be aware of when you pen a devotion, but few hard and fast rules.
Here are some of the guidelines commonly followed
- There’s always one single lesson per devotion (this is a hard and fast rule)
- There’s a tie into a single Scripture—usually no more than 1-2 verses
- They’re short—generally 150 to 400 words
- The placement of the Scripture—it’s common to have it before or after the body of the devotion
- Thought for the day—some devotions include them and others don’t
- Prayer—again, some have them, some don’t
- Challenge or question—this is another aspect that is up to the publication or author
What devotion sites do you like to read? Where have you submitted devotions? Share your tips and remember –
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