Reading and studying my Bible have always been important to me, but sadly I haven’t always made them a priority. For years I would tap the snooze button one too many times, too many days a week. After a while sleeping in and skipping my quiet time became the norm. And the tomorrow that I planned on finally getting back into the habit never came.
It wasn’t until a Sunday a couple of months ago when we were getting ready for church that it hit me. I couldn’t find my Bible. It had been too many days since I picked it up to even remember where it was. I ended up finding it in the van where I left it the Sunday before.
I sat in shame as we rode to church. Not only did I know that I had failed, my kids did too. It was then that I decided to no longer would I let my flesh get the better of me. Sleep is nice, but time in God’s word is better.
Because I know the value of planning, I had to come up with a better way of going about this. The lazy mommy, shuffling around, searching for her Bible had to go.
So after some prayer, thought, and research, I came up with five Bible study tips that were effective for me.
Purposefully set aside time to meet with God
Mornings work better for me for Bible study because I can get up before the kids. That time might look differently for you, and that’s okay. Just pick a time of day or night when you are at your best. Are you a night owl? Maybe your best time would be in the evening. Don’t get hung up on the idea that you can only study the Word in the morning.
Once you decide on a good time, set an alarm. If you’re like me, you might need two alarms. I set one on my phone and one on my actual alarm clock.
Plan a place to do your Bible study
Most of us are not able to sit anywhere and focus. Find a place that is comfortable, well lit, and distraction free. Maybe a favorite chair or nook? My favorite spot to sit in my kitchen. I keep my Bible study materials on a shelf close by.
If you don’t have a go-to spot or if space is limited, put together a Bible study basket. Find a basket or tote to keep your materials in. That way you can grab your basket and move to a convenient location to meditate.
Prepare your materials
One of the biggest distractions I have experienced is needing to get up and get something once I’ve sat down to read my Bible. It seems that once I get up, I never get back to it. I decide to start a quick load of laundry since I’m up. Or maybe I see some leftover snack on the floor that needs swept. Or —my favorite—the creaky, hardwood floors wake up the kids and my quiet time is really over.
My point? Get your things together so you are ready to start before you sit down. These are materials I recommend keeping in your Bible study area/basket:
- Bible dictionary
- pens, pencils and highlighters
- journal or notebook
- prayer guide
- Bible reading plan
Prepare your heart and mind
This is a big one for me. As I thought about my struggle with focusing, I realized two things: I hadn’t really prayed and I hadn’t cleared my mind beforehand. I know it’s not just me who immediately begins to mentally list all the things I need to get done when it’s time to pray.
“Lord, help me to apply your words to my heart. . . Let me see people as you see them. . . Did I take the meat out of the freezer? . . . Jesus, we love you and need your guidance. . . Is today Tuesday or Wednesday?”
To remedy that, I make daily lists before I start my Bible study. I take just a few minutes to jot down everything that comes to mind. Doing a quick brain dump has really helped me stay focused when it matters most.
Also, I begin my morning prayers with confessions. I’d hate to miss out on guidance, protection or blessings because I have unrepented sin in my life, so I lay all the rotten things I have done at His feet.
It’s much harder to forget to do something when someone else is keeping you accountable. Find someone to walk beside you in your walk of faith. Maybe a friend or relative? If you don’t have someone in your life personally who is willing to keep you accountable, there are several online places to get connected.
If you are uncomfortable with strangers, simply start a Bible study Facebook group with your girlfriends!
There are many ways to make our time with God part of a daily routine. These simple ideas have greatly helped me stay faithful to my much-needed quiet time with the King.
What has helped you stay faithful to your daily Bible study?