1. Establish a regular place and time – We are creatures of habit. If we know when and where we will meet with God daily we are much more likely to do it. Build it into your daily schedule. If this is new for you, start small, commit to it and God will grow it.
2. Organize your “tool” box – Gather your tools (Bible, reading plan, journal, pen, etc.) and keep them together in your designated spot so you’ll always be prepared. I’ve found having a reading plan greatly increases the chance of me staying in the Word regularly. Without a plan, reading stays haphazard at best. I have several plans available on my “free resources” page.
3. Start with prayer – Ask God to speak to you and help you understand His Word today. Thank Him for meeting with you.
4. Begin to read the Bible – Remember your purpose is to communicate with God. Expect God to speak to you through His Word. Don’t read hastily just to get through the passage. Let God stop you.
5. Meditate on the passage – Meditation is not emptying your mind. It is deep thinking on spiritual truths. As you read, linger over verses that impact you. Ask God questions and “listen” for His answers. Does this passage reveal something you should …
- Does this passage present some truth that should change what you believe or the way you think about God?
- Does this passage prompt you to praise God, thank God for something specific, or trust God in a situation?
- Is there something in this passage you should pray for yourself or for someone else?
- Does this passage bring to mind a sin you need to confess?
- Do the truths in this passage give guidance for a decision you need to make?
You might also like this post: 5 Probing Questions to Meditate on Scripture.
6. Pray as you read – Time with God should be interactive. Respond to God as He speaks to you through His Word. Reading and praying creates a conversation with God.
7. Journal – Record what God says to you and how you will respond. Writing can help you stay focused on God and His voice. You can also read your thoughts later to be reminded of something God taught you, an answered prayer, a time you felt His presence, etc. We humans tend to have short memories.
8. Memorize – Commit to memorize verses God calls special attention to. Knowing Scripture by heart helps us guard against sin, reminds us of God’s promises, provides guidance, and allows us to meditate on God’s Word anywhere and anytime. (You might find these posts helpful: Scripture Memory Tips and 7 Activities to Help You Memorize Scripture.
9. Application – Apply to your life whatever God says to you through prayer and His Word. It may be repentance. It may be a change in behavior. It may be a specific action.