I have a confession to make: I lack some discipline in my spiritual life (actually in many other parts of my life as well, but let's focus on just this one area for now). Prayer doesn't come naturally outside of a church setting and I'm haphazard in reading Scripture (though I tear through books on theology and history). Yes, every day at 4pm my IPhone beeps with a reminder about the coming day's lectionary readings and sometimes I actually read them. The Still Speaking Devotional, available from the United Church of Christ, is a great resource delivered each day right into your e-mail box. But I currently have over 42,000 e-mails in my inbox and I obviously don't have time to read everything.
All of this has a point, if you're wondering. I'm enjoying Solo, Eugene Peterson's work billed as a "Uncommon Devotional." It is based on Peterson's modern translation of Scripture. Each day you read one piece of Scripture (Peterson provides the option of expanded reading in case you wonder about the context and I nearly always do so I keep my Harper Collins NRSV Study Bible handy) and asks you to reflect on what you read using the ancient practice of lectio divina (divine reading), a practice that I first became familiar with when taking homiletics at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, MO. It is a meditative, prayerful reading of Scripture best described as a "slow, contemplative praying of the Scriptures." This is the practice that I begin with when writing sermons. Click here for an article from Beliefnet.com for additional information on lectio divina.
I highly recommend the book. Pastors are not immune to neglecting their own spiritual development and this book has provided a much need boost for me. I will say, however, that I regret that the translation offered by Peterson doesn't use more inclusive language and there are times I find his meditative suggestions unhelpful. Nothing is perfect, however, and any faults are overcome by a useful and readable work the use of which has become a nightly ritual for me.