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Top Christian Devotionals for Adults and Children

Like most busy moms, time for myself usually takes place well after the kids have gone to bed, or in the early morning hours. One of the activities I look forward to during this “quiet time” is praying, reading my Bible and daily devotional. But with so many Christian devotionals on the market, how do you find the ‘right’ one?


According to Andrea Devin, director, Mariners Church Bookstore in Irvine, most people will select a devotional based on their life stage, and interests at the time. However, Devin cautions that “using a devotional should not replace your regular time reading the Bible, but it can supplement it.”

So, to jumpstart your devotional search, below are a few of my favorite and Devin’s top-selling devotionals in adult, children and tween categories.

Adult Devotionals

“Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence” by Sarah Young
This book may be the most controversial, yet popular Christian devotional of the decade. This 365-day devotional written by missionary Sarah Young has sold more than 10 million books worldwide. After many years of writing in her prayer journal, Young decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever she believed He was saying to her. They are written from Jesus’ point of view (not inspired by Scripture), thus the title “Jesus Calling.”

If you like “Jesus Calling,” check out Young’s “Jesus Today.” For kids, “Jesus Calling Kids” is also a top seller. All “Jesus Calling” titles are 25% off until the end of September at Mariners Bookstore Irvine.

“Streams in the Desert” by L.B. Cowman
This beloved classic has many readers and followers. The book offers wisdom, encouragement, and inspiration by providing daily Scripture passages from the popular New International Version.

“Breaking Free Day by Day” by Beth Moore
“Breaking Free Day by Day” is one of author Beth Moore’s best-selling releases to date. The book’s intent is to show readers “how to make freedom in Christ a daily reality by identifying spiritual strongholds in their lives and overcoming them through the truth of God’s Word.” It is formatted in a simple, convenient day-by-day reading format.

“One Thousand Gifts Devotional” by Ann Voscamp
This devotional offers 60 reflections of grace and gratitude that are purposed for growing your own lifestyle of Christ-focus and communion. Unlike other devotionals, this book claims to offer practical, real life transformation “to begin the radical habit of thanking God for your own one thousand gifts.”

“The Listening Heart: Hearing God in Prayer” by Judith Gordon Morrow
Similar in style to “Jesus Calling” this daily devotion echoes the Father’s love and care by offering hope, comfort, encouragement and more. One reviewer described the book as “love letters” from God.

Kids Devotionals Ages 5-8

“Grace for the Moment 365 Devotions” by Max Lucado
Adapted from the bestselling devotional for adults (with more than 3 million copies sold), this book presents the message of God’s grace in a way that children can understand. The book can be read as a family, or for older readers to enjoy alone.

Other popular devotionals for kids include “God’s Little Princess Devotional Bible” and “God’s Mighty Warrior Devotional Bible” by Sheila Walsh.

Tween Devotionals Ages 8-12

“Be-Tween You & God Devotions for Girls” by Sandra Byrd
This One Year book is a diary-style devotional for tween girls that emphasizes their growing, special relationship with God. My daughter and I read this devotional passage each night, which begins with a statement, thought, or question to God. The book reinforces the thought that tween girls can have a relationship with God, and they can share their intimate thoughts, worries, fears, etc. Some of the topics are not always of interest to my nine-year-old daughter, however, we quickly find another topic on a different day of the year. Each devotion gives biblically based insight into the subject.

Other top-selling tween devotionals include: “365 Days to Knowing God for Guys” and “365 Days to Knowing God for Girls” by Carolyn Larsen. Both devotionals are short, daily reads that appeal to eight to 12-year-old children.

If you’re still unsure of whether a devotional is for you and your family, Devin offers these guiding words: “You may not have time every day to read your Bible, however the content from a devotional can give you a portion of scripture and a thought to ponder. It can help to keep you centered on God. It can help you to find joy in your day, and you can also share what you learned with your children.”

Kristal Zacharias is the mother of two beautiful, vivacious girls, and wife of a hunky husband who works in the action sports industry. For the past 15 years, Kristal has worked for several Fortune 500 companies as a professional communicator. Follow her journey at Clearly Kristal or on Facebook and Twitter.


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