Living a life of devotion to Jesus
Different Christians have radically different collections of devotional practices, and this is OK. One thing about devotions; they all have sort of an arbitrary aspect to them. An example is the woman who touched the hem of Jesus' robe for healing;I doubt if Jesus taught people to do this yet he honored the devotion they expressed when they did.
Another aspect of people's personal devotion to God is that you might not know they are doing it. For example, reading a daily devotional or the Liturgy of the Hours superficially looks the same as reading a novel. Studying the Bible looks like studying calculus. Prayer is sometimes accompanied by hand gestures or kneeling but certainly these gestures are not the key to prayer!
Life is spiritual,our life together with God occurs in the spiritual realm between our soul and God. It is sometimes hard to discern if we even have a relationship with Godsince he has no physical form for us to interact with. But even when interacting with a real flesh and blood person, how to we really know we have connected with them in the depths of their soul? True devotion is a question of faith. We know we love God because we believe we do and because we do seemingly arbitrary things to express this love.
I think a key Bible passage in the understanding and practice of a devotional life is Ephesians 5:19 and 20:Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The elements of a life devoted to Christ are: prayer, meditation, worship, scripture reading, charity,virtuous living, the sacraments, and habitually living the Gifts of the Spiritand the Fruits of the Spirit.
The Bible has much to say about prayer. You can pray for others. You can pray for yourself. You can pray silently or out loud. You can pray by yourself or in groups. Others can pray and you can agree with their prayers. You can pray motionless or with bodily movements such as kneeling, hands together, hands in the air.
Sin hinders our prayer.
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. (1 Peter 3:7)
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psalms 19:14)
Meditation is silent prayer of the heart.
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. (Joshua 1:8)
I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. (Psalms 77:12)
Meditation is deep reflection upon the word of God, upon the Bible, upon God's great and mighty works, upon the Church.
Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. (John 9:31)
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)
Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. (Psalms 29:2)
Worship is directed to God. It can be done privately or in groups. It can be done silently or with bodily involvement such as falling down, kneeling, beating one's breast, etc. Worship of God requires having a proper concept of God. For this reason study and knowledge is important. And where do we get the proper understanding of God? Why, through the Church, of course.
This is so important that the Catholic Church even grants a plenary indulgence for it.
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Charity has 2 aspects...
A key ingredient of salvation is performing good works:of living out the virtuesand avoiding vice.It's not that we are saved by good works but, rather, if you don't have good works you are not really saved. (Sadly, many Christians are taught that they can habitually commit mortal sins with no concern for the effect of this on their salvation.)