The New Year will be here in a few short days, and I wanted to encourage us all to do something together.
Honestly, how many of us truly read our Bibles regularly? How many of us memorize scripture? Do we see it as important? Well, according to God’s Holy Word, it is very important.
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” — Psalm 119:9-11
Do we want to live purely and make a difference in our generation? We need to live our lives according to the Bible.
Do we want to be in a good relationship with God? We need to read the Bible and memorize it.
How do we know how to live? By the Bible.
And how will we know the Bible if we don’t read it?
This past year, my New Year’s resolution was to read the Bible every day. Now, I had never done this before, so it took some real habit-making for this to happen for me. But now that I have kept it this far, I look back and it has changed my life.
You see, the more we read the Bible, the more we want to read it. The more we see God’s love for us, the more we love Him back and love others. The more we see the example of Jesus, the more we want to follow Him, and the more we follow Him, our life changes too.
Being a Christian is way more than just accepting death-equals-heaven insurance. It is following Christ day after day, and living as a new person in Him. How do we do that? We let go of our sin, and we start living how God wants us to. How do we know how God wants us to live?
We read the Bible.
“Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” — 2 Timothy 1:13
So I want to encourage us all to do something together. It may be a small hard thing for some of us, and it may be a very big hard thing for others.
My proposal is that we read the Bible every day of 2015. But we need to do this out of true sincerity. We need to make it a habit because we want to.
This past year, I read 4 chapters every day to finish the Bible in a year. You can also find a plan online, or read even just one chapter each day. But we need to be spending time with God every day, because this is how we grow.
And you can bet that I’ll be doing it right along with you all.
Share Your Thoughts in the Comment Section!
There are currently 8 Comment(s)
There are currently 8 Comment(s)
Great idea! There really isn’t a better thing to do then really to read the Bible consistently. I personally have a hard time reading it in the day so I read at least a chapter first thing in the morning. And honestly, once you get in the habit of reading the Bible at a set time every day it’s almost impossible to break. Of course, the whole goal of the habit is to “discipline yourself for the purpose of Godliness” (I Timothy 4:7) and to know the Lord more and more. And THAT is the real prize 🙂
Yes! I’ve made it a habit, and I totally agree. Getting to know God more and more has truly changed my life, and for that, I’m really thankful.
Hey Amanda, thank you.
I am currently doing a plan in which I read 5 chapters a day on weekdays to complete the Bible in 50 weeks. Reading everyday is a little difficult on the weekends (unless you include church), but what I really struggle with is memorizing scripture. I have like 5-10 verses memorized. That’s it. I definitely need to start memorizing again.
Yes, I need to be memorizing more also. What’s been helping me is during the school year, I memorize a passage of scripture each week. Reading Counted Worthy (thanks Leah!) helped me to realize the importance of knowing scripture! I agree that reading the Bible is more difficult on the weekends, but Ive made myself do it anyway 😛
Currently, I’m reading and taking notes on one chapter of the New Testament each day, and when January 1 comes along, I will read through the Bible with a plan going through the year. Taking notes and writing out my prayers has helped me a bunch!
I’ve noticed that I need to memorize more too. I’ve found a really good way to memorize, though! I put verses on index cards while I study, and I tape one to my computer, mirror, refrigerator, and next to my bed, and I put one as the lock screen on my iPod. Then I don’t let myself get on the iPod or computer for social media until I read the verse – preferably out loud. My goals is to memorize at least 100 passages in 2015 (about 2 per week), and my method has already helped me to memorize much more than I had been! Maybe y’all will find that helpful.
Wow, that’s a great idea! I sometimes write verses on my mirrors in my room with write-on-wipe-off markers, so that each time I see my mirror? I can still see through it and read it at the same time. 🙂
I do that, too! 🙂
Those ideas are really helpful-I’ll have to do that:)
Yeah, that is helpful. Thanks
My parents found that memorizing scripture as adults was very difficult for them, and so made sure that my siblings and I memorized regularly at young ages. Memorizing is hard no denying, but it’s worth the effort now while your mind will retain it best. And with steady effort it gets easier.
Programs like Awana and the National Bible Bee have proved really helpful, and we’ve come up with techniques ranging from writing verses on the walls of the shower, to rapping them, to learning a phrase each as a family. Good times : )
One really helpful (and free!) tool is the website Memverse. It lets you memorize, review, quiz, and keep track, and will email you reminders. Check it out.
Sounds cool! I’ll check it out!
Awana is awesome!! In the highschool program you have to read 1/4 of the Bible every year as well as memorize verses which has been really helpful in getting me to read the Bible more and memorize verses.
It’s kind of like learning a language, I guess. You have more mental capacity for it when you’re younger.
Lol Trent! The Lords prayer is more than 5 verses! You can do it!! BTW… A great reason to read the whole Bible is context. After doing this several times… You start to get the big picture. Whenever possible… Do not stop in the middle of a thought, story or topic. You might read a little less one day and a little more the next.. That’s OK! Keep the context whenever possible. Blessings!
Hey Vic, thank you for replying man!
I am curious though what you meant about five verses?
Lol it means you’ve memorized more than you think!
Ohhhhhh! Okay, now I get it it. Thanks!
Also BTW… 🙂 today I reminded a friend about your forum. He was really excited to hear your still growing!!, sooo hey… Tell a friend!
His name is Chris and he will be hanging out on Here now…
Hey Vic, I apologize for needing more explaining but what do you mean by forum? Aren’t those like FAQs and info on different topics?
Brother… No need for apology… Love you sooo much in Christ! Just referring to these discussions… And communications.
Also tried to explain “soldiers of God”
Yes, memorise more! However, even if you think you only have 5-10 verses memorised, you might be surprised. There are a LOT of verses that I have memorised, not word for word but the general structure, without even trying! I couldn’t tell you where in the bible, but I can loosely quote the verse. I have discovered that if I type what I know into google it will tell me the whole verse so I can look it up. You probably have more scripture memorised in that manner.
I’ve found that when I’m doing dishes is a great time to memorize – I tape up the verses right above the sink.
@nathantasker:disqus ^^ @amandabeguerie:disqus
Yes, the Bible really is the best book out there. Just this past year the Bible has become real to me for the first time in my life, even though I’ve been reading it my whole life. The message of the Gospel has hit me full over the head – it really is incredible. I find myself every day standing in awe of salvation. It’s like God lifted the veil from my face. The Bible has changed my life! It is “alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12) How amazing is that?!
Like really amazing!
I totally agree! Reading Paul’s letters has helped me see the entire Bible and the gospel more clearly. 🙂
This post brings back memories. An almost identical challenge was given to my youth group a few years ago. That next year I read about 3 chapters a day in order to finish reading the whole Bible. In 2014, I too set out to have a devotional time every day, and through God’s grace, I’ve met that goal (Well, I guess there are 2 more days left, but…).
I definitely like the idea of committing to study every day rather than committing to read the Bible in one year. But I want to throw out a couple words of caution, from my experience, for those who are trying to read the Bible every day, in a year, etc:
1) Don’t just read. When I read read the Bible that year, I completely missed out on things because I was just reading. I look back now and think, “Wow, I don’t remember this at all!” Nowadays, I very seldom let myself study more than 2 chapters at once, not that I don’t want to study it, but because I want to study it. And 2 chapters can take an hour if you try. So don’t just read. Study, even if it means it takes you 3 years to go through the Bible. I promise you that you will grow more.
2) Don’t just use a devotional by itself. I did that this past year for a month or so. Devotionals are great (I still use them), but with just a devotional alone I noticed my faith drying out, so to speak. Devotionals cover one – maybe two – verses, not in context, and usually only take 5 minutes or less. Remember, devotionals are man’s words, and while they’re great, they’re not the God-breathed word.
3) Remember that studying is a method. The goal is not to read the Bible every day. That’s a method. The goal is to grow closer to our Father in Heaven. You’re not trying to impress people with your commitment to reading. One of my old scout leaders said he read the Bible 37 times. But his behavior didn’t show it. So if you miss a day, don’t give up! Jump right back in! Your commitment to God is not shown in how much you read each day, but in how much you live for His glory.
By all means, study the Bible every day! This is a fantastic and worthwhile challenge! Thank you, Amanda. I pray that God blesses each of us as we “study to show ourselves approved” this year!
If you read that entire comment, God bless you, my friend. O.o
(because he reads *my* comments 😉 )
And no, it wasn’t really long, and it was really good.
I don’t know which “you” you speak of, but it’s true for Amanda and Nathan.
Those are great points, and I wholeheartedly agree.
I found myself (while reading the Old Testament early this year) reading just to read. What (like I said) helps me a bunch is taking notes, writing out the verses that stick out to me, and writing out my prayers. That way, I’m forcing myself to pay attention and it impacts me a lot more. Thank you for your insight, Nathan!
Hey you might want to change your name on here because it’s exactly the same as mine. Maybe you could add your last name or something? Just a thought…so people don’t get us confused. 🙂
Haha definitely! I’m still figuring out disqus haha 🙂 I will try.
Hmm, I’m doing all this communication on my iPod, so I’m not exactly sure how to change my settings. I’d be happy to though if I knew how!
Haha…just tried…and failed once again. You’re right, it’s a nightmare. Thanks though, I’ll try tomorrow when I’m at my computer.
You too! I should probably try to sleep now.
Thanks, I’m on my computer now. I changed it. does it look different?
Yup! It worked 🙂
Wow, I want a smartphone even less now… lol
I’ve wanted to get a smartphone (when I’m much older, at least in college). But… depending on the smartphone, payments can be *quite* expensive. 🙁 And if Disqus doesn’t work that well, what would I even do on one?? ha
I use the settings page too, though! (pout)
I know there are some cheaper phone carriers, but the $15 grocery store flippy phone my mom has seems like it can’t be beat, pricewise… The reason I would get a smartphone is just convenience (probably why everyone else does, too, actually). An opportunity to access the internet (plus a ton of other things) more conveniently and more frequently throughout the day? Sign me up!! lol Because I always need more opportunities to waste my time…
Oh goodness I just looked at the clock and realized that it’s no longer 10pm, it’s 11, and I was going to go to bed early… (well, whatever that means?)
I’ve done both point number 1 and point number 2. Although I hadn’t experienced that my faith dried out when I was doing just devotionals everyday, in retrospect I can see that my devotional time was a time of hype and excitement in a way that seemed off. I will always remember a point from Oswald Chamber’s My Utmost for His Highest, to not let the feeling of elated inspiration when the Holy Spirit speaks to you become an idol.
Also, not just reading the Bible just so you can say “I’ve read the whole Bible”. I know from personal experience there are people who when they say “I’ve read the whole Bible” or “All Christians should have read the whole Bible at least once” and it makes you feel guilty if you haven’t before. But don’t succumb to peer pressure(or pressure from other humans period). Study it. Study it to know God and learn how to more glorify Him and be like His Son.
Mm. I agree. It’s really important to study the Bible, and not just speed-read through it! I like to study usually at least 1 chapter at a time. I’ve learned to enjoy reading the Bible, and to not see it as a chore!
Me too! To be honest, for a long time I truly didn’t enjoy the Bible most of the time, and did it only because I knew I needed to. Now I love it! The only thing is making time for it out of all the things I “need” to do… (the Bible definitely is the most important thing I should do, though!)
My first thoughts were “Whoa. Nathan = super-Christian. Why is he so perfect?”
And then I got to point three. Thank you. I always quit because I don’t keep up and I get frustrated. But reading isn’t the point, meeting with God is.
HAHA I wish I were a super-Christian! But I have a looooooooooooong way to go. I used to think I was doing pretty well, and then it was like God opened a hidden door and *bam* He showed me tons of areas where I was still failing miserably. Funny how He has a way of doing that…
D. All of the above.
Maybe it was more like *bam* *bam* *bam* *crash* *explosion* *mushroom cloud*
That’s the best description I’ve seen yet from you!
Thank you so much, last year I tried to just read the Bible straight, it didn’t really work. I will definitely try again this New Year! 🙂 I also thought that if I missed a day, I had to stop, but I realize I just wanted to say I read the Bible, not really read it because I wanted too.
Thanks, Nathan. I especially liked the part about not just reading, but actually living by The Book and studying it.
I use i devotional book and i have to read around a chapter from the Bible for that everyday. I find it good in some ways as it brings out things i would not see other wise.
As well as that for the last 9 months i have been trying to read one chapter or two a day extra. I chose a book of the Bible like mark then read a chapter a day then move on to another book. I try to study it sometimes when i’m reading it but i find it hard at times. Studying the Bible is definitely something i need to work on for sure
As for memorizing when i was younger i went to a lot of Bible clubs and they would give you a verse to learn everyday and if you said it right you would get points.
I still remember a few of them but it’s something i need to get back into.
Yes, guidance in Bible reading can be very helpful. In my school curriculum I have Bible commentary and such which is pretty cool. And memorizing…not my strongest suit, but I can tell you for a fact that the verses I memorized in VBS years ago still stick with me!
Great post, I think reading Gods word daily is a great goal to have. Sometimes I think we loose sight of how vital it is to daily immerse our self in the word. Something to keep in mind is reading the bible shouldn’t be something we do out of responsibility or guilt, but rather it should be done out of a love for God. A thirst for his word. A strong desire for him. Then in the end, its not some dreaded task, its something we look forward to. It becomes a privilege rather than a chore.
Yes! I totally agree! Thanks for sharing Hope!
Something I’ve found very helpful:
I had an extra paperback Bible around which I didn’t use much–it’s not my ‘main’ copy. When our Sunday School began reading through the Bible in eight months, I found myself speeding through several chapters every day and struggling to really focus on them.
So I took my extra Bible, a highlighter, and a pen, and set out to highlight, underline, or otherwise mark every mention of God that tells you something about Him–His character, likes, dislikes, attributes, and so forth. Not only does this keep me alert and engaged as I read, it has taught me so much about the character of God.
For instance, highlighting His majesty through the Pentateuch left me in awe even in books of the law which are easy to skim. Instead of dreading getting through the day’s required allotment (a horrible attitude towards Bible reading!) I am excited to continue my hunt for God.
I got this idea a couple years ago from an article on the Desiring God blog, but had never tried it. If you’ve decided to read multiple chapters daily and are having trouble really focusing, this helps a lot.
That sounds great! Thanks for sharing.
That sounds like a really cool idea. O.o You could get a cheap new Bible every year and go through underlining a different subject each time. Gonna have to do that!
That sounds like a really good idea! And if you don’t want to get a new Bible each year, you could highlight in different colors and have a key of sorts.
Great idea Leah! I’m planning to purchase another when I finish this one, maybe go looking for love, mercy, or truth.
Esther, just wanted to let you know what a blessing this idea has been. I ordered a $3 paperback Bible off Amazon and have been highlighting my way through all the mentions of God in my daily readings. It’s been wonderful! I’m so excited to be in the Word daily and not zoning out as I read. Thank you!
I’m going to use a Bible I’ve had around, too! Thank you Esther!
I’m thrilled to hear it Leah!
You’ll find you can go through highlighters pretty quickly!
Hmmmmmmm…I just might take you up on that :). Great challenge for January of the New Year! Romans has so much awesome stuff packed into it.
That’s awesome!! Still going strong? Yeah, I did it for a week with Isaiah 53, and in just a week God revealed so much stuff to me. It’s so cool how He can use the same verses and yet still teach us new stuff every day!
with what seems like everyone (myself included) talking about Romans, I have a sudden desire to memorise the whole book. Its only 16 chapters (hmm… 4 times longer than the book of Philippians, though I succeeded in memorising that). I keep thinking about how I heard that Old Testament Priests had the whole Pentateuch memorised…
Yeah, those priests should have been the holiest people in the world!
If you do it I’ll do it 🙂
I think I will…
I want to finish Matthew 5-7 (the sermon on the mount) first though…
Whoa!! Hey, if you’re up for it, go for it! I could never, ever do that :). You memorized all of Philippians? Wow. But definitely at least read Romans 6, I’m on day two of reading and I’m already getting so much from it.
With man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible…
Oh, Romans! I did a challenge last year that was reading Romans 1-8 every day for a month. That was intense. Some family stuff came up at the end of the month, so I ended up only doing 25 days, but it was still a good experience.
Was the Romans challenge from Grace Mally’s blog in September of 2013? I did that too! It was intense, but it was really good! Looking back I think I could have gotten even more out of it if I would have taken the time to write down thoughts, look up more cross references, etc. However, I’m thinking about studying Romans more next year.
Yes, it was, Elizabeth! And I agree. I could have gotten more out of it if I did that too. Though, to be honest, just fitting the reading in got rather challenging.
Wait, Grace Mally has a blog? I have to check this out!
Thanks so much Leah for posting this–after reading it I decided to try doing the Romans 1-8 challenge this January and it has been absolutely awesome so far. God is teaching me a lot from it and a daily reminder of the gospel is really changing my perspective. His word is truly living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword!
That’s awesome to hear, Grace! Good for you. 🙂 I hope you continue to learn a lot.
I think I’ve found a way to do it. We own a book by the Mally siblings–Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends–and in the back it had an e-mail address at which you could contact them (linked to that blog) so I sent an e-mail to that address and we will see if that works. Thanks for your help Leah! 🙂
Also, Grace Mally, who started the challenge said I might share this with you (http://tomorrowsforefathers.com/gracenotes/?p=10399), and said she’d be happy to send you the list of tips she sent to all of us who did the challenge before if she had your email. 😉
How would I get that to her? Can’t find any contact info for her blog even.
Huh. Well, you could try leaving a comment on the blog post I linked to. Or, if you’re comfortable doing so, you could use the contact form on my blog (http://leahegood.com) to give me your email, and I’d get that to her ASAP.
Well I’ve got to say this is the most sensible of the proposed resolutions for 2015 I’ve heard yet 🙂 I know there’s nothing particularly wrong with spending more time with friends, less overtime at work, and taking time to smell the roses, but what is more important than spending time each day to soak up the words of the all-wise, all-powerful God of the universe? I’ll take a little step down off the holiness chair here to admit that I have not actually kept that commitment for a whole year before. It’s not something that I’m proud of, but many times I would go a week or more without spending the time with The Lord that I needed to stay strong. The words from Psalm 119 you shared above prove true; we’ve got to keep in it! 2014 was the closest I’ve come yet to reading every day, but there’s no time like today to start the commitment. Hey thanks for your article! I’m in.
Waita be honest and real and take that “step down off the holiness chair”!!
Yep. I also miss at least a day almost every year. I’ve already missed a day in 2015.
Hey, don’t get discouraged! that tends to be a big hangup for me with any kind of resolution- if I mess up, I feel like oh well maybe next year. But if you want to make a goal for a year, that 365 day period can start anytime 🙂 I actually started “officially” reading everyday the week before new year’s day. Pick it up wherever you are, mark that day down, and go from there. Baby steps, dude…you’ll do it!
“A just man falls seven times, and rises up again…” Proverbs 24:16
God got me to finally start really reading my Bible regularly when I was 17 (5 years ago) and it dramatically changed my life for the better forever. I know my salvation was very important, but as far as life-changing events go that had immediate, visible effects, nothing changed my life more than when I started to read my Bible every day in mid-2009.
For those of you looking to memorize more in 2015, I recommend checking out Memverse, a free online tool for memorizing Scripture. (I am biased, as it was a big part of winning the 2010 National Bible Bee, and has continued to allow me to retain old and learn new verses. I also volunteer as a developer for the site.)
If you can commit to just a few minutes each day, consistently, Memverse will help you use that time most effectively. Consistency over the long haul is more important than how much time you can give daily.
I have found it helpful to get a Bible app that doesn’t require a wi-fi connection, so if you’re riding a bus, car, train, or what have you somewhere, you can pull it out and start reading. Also, it is handy to shut your own wi-fi off so it isn’t distracting you.
I agree that five-minute devotionals aren’t going to be the same as reading an entire chapter of the Bible, but making sure you at least get a few verses in your head before you walk out of your house and face the world is a must. So, if you really aren’t a morning person, do a quick devotional then, and then get to the Bible reading in the afternoon or late morning. I’ve found that it works well for me if I do it that way.
Great ideas, Charlotte! I do the exact same thing, as far as the offline Bible reading, whenever I have a spare moment or two. I’ve used those times this year to read the Bible like a book, starting at the beginning and working my way through. On top of study, it’s nice to be able to read the Bible like a storybook. It helps to keep things in context and look at scripture from another perspective.
YouVersion is awesome! I love having access to the Bible almost anywhere!
I never really thought about keeping prayers on a spreadsheet, but that sounds like a really good idea! I generally keep stuff like that in a Microsoft One Note journal. That way, I can write down stuff at school, where I’m not allowed to have my phone. Thanks for the idea! @programguy:disqus
Wow! those questions will definitely be added to my daily routine.
I can see how this would be good… adding it to my routine too!
I’d probably add ” How did I mess up?”
That’s so cool Sam! I’ll definitely use those questions.
And Romans 12
Wow! I suppose I was beginning to wonder if other teens actually read their bibles…
A couple years ago I started really reading through the bible… I have been through the whole bible and am 1/3 through again. When I first started I was reading one or two chapters a day… now I am at 3-5 and sometimes I have to force myself to stop reading and do my school work… A few things I would say:
1 Set a time for bible reading. Many people have probably heard this before. I know for me personally, I thrive on routine and if there is not a slotted time, it won’t happen. I am a morning bird, so the whole house is peaceful while I eat breakfast and head back up to my room for bible time.
2 Don’t feel chained to reading chronologically. When I started reading the bible for good, I really didn’t want to start off with the Pentateuch. I had tried that before. My answer was to start in the New Testament, then jump back to Psalms and read to Malachi, and then go back to Genesis and finish with Job. This helped me a lot.
3 WRITE IN YOUR BIBLE! Bible pencil crayons, bible highlighters, pencil, Crayola crayon, sticky flags, it’s all in my bible! (my Mom said the Crayola crayon might make pages stick eventually, so I don’t use that anymore.) Write in the margins too! It will help you remember what you read, and it will help you find that passage again later.
With the chapters of scripture that I have memorized, my biggest strategy was to read it over and over and over. Then when I actually started to take the passage apart word for word it was easy! My other tip is to record yourself reading the passage. I used my MP3, and then would listen as I fell asleep. Soothing, and helpful.
Hey Amanda, Thanks for challenging everyone out here. I read through the Bible in a year last year and I saw my faith grow like crazy. I just started a new Bible reading plan today to get an early start 🙂 I know that others have said this but you can not just skim the pages you have to study it even if that means reading a chapter over a couple times. Also, I love the idea of memorizing scripture even more. I would like to do that more than I do now. I am working on memorizing Romans 12 now. It is so great! If you would love another good challenge to go along with this, try incorporating a prayer time into your devotion time. My mom and I have had long conversations on the importance of prayer and how to practice it. Not only should we learn to read God’s words, we should learn to have a conversation with him and have a more personal relationship with him. Try reading the book “Prayer” by Timothy Keller.
Thanks again for challenging everybody, like I said I saw my faith really grow when I started getting in the habit of reading the Bible every day. I know a lot of people do not see the importance of reading scripture but the word of God really impacts.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow and discerning thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
Blessings on your Bible reading!
My biggest struggle is prayer. I have no problem praying throughout the day, but when it comes time to just spend five minutes talking to God, I tend to get distracted very easily. I’ve been praying through the Psalms lately (but rather sporadically 🙂 That and memorization are definitely on top of my New Year’s resolution list 🙂
Yes, I struggle with prayer too. It’s easy for me to pray for people but just having a conversation is hard. I will pray for you and your prayer life 🙂
Thank you!! 🙂 I’ll be praying for you and your prayer life as well 🙂
Personally, I find prayer conversation easy, but praying for people hard. It becomes more of a list than a prayer. I have a large number of people I want to pray for by name (missionaries, pastors, family members, etc.) but it becomes so repetitive to pray the same thing everyday. Any suggestions?
I’ve been praying through the Psalms a little bit. Basically you use every verse as a prayer prompt and spend five-ish minutes praying through that particular Psalm. It’s realy cool – my biggest thing is staying consistent 🙂
Love that idea!
I can’t take any credit for it. I got it from another rebelutionary’s comment a couple of wweks ago 🙂
Sometimes, when I have a prayer list (which is something I need to get back into), I’ll take, say, 21 people and divide them into 3 people per day for each week. And even with that, what can help with repetition is praying for something specific and different each time for the same person. For instance, if you’re praying for a missionary, maybe pray for their safety one day or week, their spiritul welfare the next, their effectiveness in ministry the next, and so on.
Maybe that’s helpful, I don’t know. It’s definitely something I need to work on too. But even when things may seem repetitious, keep in mind the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18! 🙂
So I have a few different types of people that I pray for. I have missionaries, ministries, family members, friends, people who don’t know Jesus and my own personal growth. Every day in my Bible reading journal I put down 1 prayer request from about 3 or 4 categories. (example: 1 missionary, 1 ministry and 1 family member) I then do a quick prayer over them and keep them in my thoughts that day. Does that make any sense??? That is what helps me pray for lists of people.
If you have an iPod or iPhone, the app PrayerMate is a great one that helps with this idea. You divide the people/subjects you are praying for into categories, and then you tell it how many from each category you want it to bring up each day. There are a bunch more options as well to help customize it however you want.
Yep that’s a hard one…I find that actually praying direct verses from God’s Word for a specific person is a neat way to mix things up. And you can substitute his/her name whenever it says “I” or “me”. For example, Psalm 20:
“In times of trouble, may the LORD answer (insert name)’s cry. May the name of the God of Jacob keep (insert name) safe from all harm…May he grant (insert name)’s heart’s desires and make all (insert name)’s plans succeed. May we shout for joy when we hear of (insert name)’s victory.”
I recently prayed this for someone I’m close to who needs deliverance and victory over sin when I didn’t know what to pray.
That’s a really cool idea! 🙂
Hey you had a good idea too! 🙂
Thanks! To be honest it wasn’t really mine 🙂
Oh, well, good anyway :). The Psalms are great, aren’t they?
Definitely! I absolutely love them. Some days when I just want to read the Bible, but don’t know where to start, I’ll turn to Psalms and just spend time in praise. It’s the best! 🙂
Yep!! I love how they’re so easy to relate to, and how David didn’t hesitate to express himself to God. They’ve been a huge source of comfort to me.
Yeah! Psalms was honestly what got me into my Bible before I was doing a reading plan. I also have a few friends who don’t use their Bibles much and showing them the beauty in Psalms has changed that a little. 🙂
Wow, that’s so cool! I love to see the Bible surprise people like that :). The Psalms are just so real, and that strikes a chord with most people. Like you said, when you don’t where to start reading, Psalms is a great launch board!
I totally agree! Seeing God work like that is the coolest thing!
Plus it’s neat to be able to share things that have deeply impacted you with others whose faith will be changed for the better for it. Our God is soooo good! 🙂
Oh wow yes!! That’s like been my life for the past few weeks! How did you know?? 🙂 Wow, it’s just so cool how I don’t even know you or any of these people on here, but we all share a common passion for God. That’s a hard thing to find among teens these days. GOD IS GOOD!!
That’s awesome! 🙂 I definitely love the Rebelution for that reason – connecting like-minded believers! I love it when He works through others! HE IS AMAZING! 🙂
Yep, I tend to pray throughout the day too, and it’s hard to not rationalize that that’s enough. So often I find myself distracted! I found that having a list of people/situations to pray for helps me keep on track.
I have a rather long list of people to pray for and while I love doing so, I tend to run into two main problems:
1) It gets to be repetitive praying the same thing over and over again. Nathan had a great idea that I will probably start using.
2) I usually am praying this list in the evening before I go to bed because that is when I have the most free time. Many nights, I’ll get just over halfway through before being so tired, I close with a quick prayer that “God be with everyone on this list” 🙂 This year, one of my main resolutions is to be more prayer focused and I probably will be finding a different time to pray for others. 🙂
I found that way too funny: “God be with everyone on this list.”
I still have a fairly short list of people, something I hope to change 🙂 Where’s Nathan (Tasker?)’s idea? I don’t see it.
I too tend to pray in the evening… I’m not a morning person and if I tried to just pray I’d fall asleep in a matter of minutes 🙁 Tell me how a different time works – I may try that myself.
Lol 🙂 Nathan’s comment is about 2 below yours. It’s in response to Joyful joyful. I’m also an evening person, but trying to change that. Most mornings I have about an hour-long bus ride to school and while normally I just fall asleep, it would be more beneficial to spend it in prayer and worship. And if you are looking for more prayer requests, please check out Voice of the Martyrs (persecution.com) if you haven’t already. I currently have “adopted a front line worker” in a closed country and pray for them daily.
Thanks 🙂 I’ll check out Voice of the Martyrs.
I volunteered at the Voice of the Martyrs’ headquarters in Bartelsville, Oklahoma, this summer for a week. It was an awesome experience. Yeah, that’s a great prayer opportunity…and volunteer opportunity.
I have friends who volunteered there last year… did you work with the Louder Than Words group? All teens… Names would be Rachel, Becca, David, Matthew, and some others.
Nope, I don’t think so. I went with a group from my church and youth group. There was another group there, but none of them had those names.
Thank you for this reminder! This past year has been the first year that I’ve really been trying to read the Bible often, and it hasn’t been easy. I have to read 1/4 of the Bible before April for my Awana church program, and I find myself skimming through some books, because I’m just not engaged. This article has reminded me that I need to read the Bible daily, but also really focus on what the Bible is telling me, not just focus on checking off the chapters as I read them.
When I became a Christian in ’07, my mum encouraged me to read His Word everyday. It became a habit for me, and God has expanded my understanding and my time in His Word everyday. I have also loved picking up memorizing the Bible, and finished memorizing Philippians this year. Currently I am reading through the testaments simultaneously and am in Exodus and 1 Corinthians. I have been really blessed!
Two questions that can be really helpful when you are reading a book of the Bible through over a period of time can be “What is the writer saying?” and “How can I apply this to my life?” Or if you’re studying more in-depth, try Observation/Interpretation/Application.
Observation: What does it say? Basic stuff like who/what/when/where/why/how (the 5 W’s and H). Maybe mark them in different colors as you read.
Interpretation: What does it mean? Understanding things like cultural factors, who the author was and what his perspective was, etc. Where it fits into the big picture of the entire Bible. And making sure you’re not taking your doctrine from one isolated passage. You may think it means _____, but if that interpretation clashes with what other passages say on the same subject, think again.
Application: How can I apply this to my life? Based on your observations and interpretations, how does the passage apply to you? Be a Bible SPECTator:
S – Is there any SIN for me to forsake?
P – Is there any PROMISE for me to claim?
E – Is there any EXAMPLE for me to follow?
C – Is there any COMMAND for me to obey?
T – Is there a TRUTH for me to embrace?
These are not original with me but they really help. 🙂 If you’re really serious about Observation/Interpretation/Application, try Living by the Book by Howard Hendricks or Basic Bible Interpretation by Roy B. Zuck. But don’t ever let books about the Bible replace the Bible itself! Use them as tools, not the source! It is so tempting and I have definitely had problems with that before. ~Grace
Wow! Great book! What do you think of it so far?
There’s a video series? I had no idea! I had to read it for a class at Bible college last year.
I found this and it might be helpful:
Basically, it is a bunch of resources to help people read the Word, remeber the Word, and pray the Word. Also one of the links (fighterverses.com) is a great tool for memorization. Even if you don’t use their verses, you can use tools to create ESV flashcards and get a ton of awesome tips to help it stick. Theversesproject.com is another good one, giving you free wallpapers and songs of the verses to help 🙂
Hope it’s useful! 🙂
Thank you , Amanda, for this post. Reading my Bible every day, memorizing Scripture, and spending time in prayer is something I really need to work on, and I’ve already made this one of my resolutions. I notice a difference in me when I do read my Bible and when I don’t. This will take commitment and diligence but will be completely worth it. God Bless
Romans 6, you say? Sounds like another good challenge that I might take up. And maybe 12 also.
I’m currently doing just this, though I didn’t start January 1st. It may help others to make deliberate attempts to take notes and so on, but I’ve found that, personally, the best thing to help me read the Bible through is to do just that. I started with Matthew, read the New Testament through, then returned to Genesis, and am now reading through Deuteronomy. I’ve done this by simply making it the first thing I do each day and, having found this works for me, my interest has been piqued at all sorts of things I hadn’t previously considered. I’m not saying to simply read without receiving, but as someone who’s always read a lot(mostly fiction) my difficulty in reading the Bible was mostly one of having the discipline to make time and remember to do so. I’m not good at organisation, so I made it simple. Perhaps you’re the same.
On a separate note I don’t recommend making New Year’s Resolutions about anything. “If you miss a day it’s okay” is something I hear about this sort of commitment. While there’s certainly grace, let us not pretend; if you break your word you’ve lied. You’ve said ‘I commit to doing this’ then have done something other than what you’ve said. That’s dishonest.
This is one reason Jesus teaches “don’t make any vows”(Matthew 5:34). I encourage you to read that in context(Matthew 5:33-37) but Jesus is quite clear so don’t open up to it in hope of loopholes. Don’t get me wrong, I believe there’s a deeper understanding to this than simply ‘don’t promise anything, ever’ but I also believe New Year’s resolutions are exactly the sort of thing Jesus is referring to. I started writing an article on this, but it’s not finished and I’ve already gone past the recommended number of words for publishing here, so it would take a lot of omission and paring down to send in to Rebelution.
Also, I’m not saying if you’ve made a New Year’s Resolution that you shouldn’t keep it. It’s the requirement of keeping our word that drove Jesus to advise against it. We can’t make guarantees because we’re not God. When we do so we’re taking an unnecessary risk(we can form a new habit without needing a stated promise), but I still encourage anyone reading this to stay true to whatever it is that you my have declared.
I never saw resolutions in the light of Matthew 5:34. I will have to read it again. I struggle with the guilt when I don’t keep promises and resolutions, and so lately I have been trying to not make them, rather to work towards a goal.
It’s a good way to get a Biblical perspective IMO. I guess some people might argue ‘resolutions’ are not the same as ‘promises’, but they seem synonymous to me. They’re both verbal/textual declarations about one’s own future; the same future you’re not fully in control of and God has plans for.
I’ve never felt any ‘resolution’ I’ve ever made has helped me overcome my shortcomings, though I guess some might feel that way.
I do think there are exceptions in forming covenants or contracts. The difference is accountability to the person you have an agreement with. If you void your marriage by adultery, for example, your spouse is thus given the right to a divorce(both in Levitical and modern day law). They may choose to stay with you, or separate for a time, but the point is that these consequences are now in the hands of the other party. Without another party it’s between you and God, though.
I have written this out in more detail as an article, which is now on the blog I made after writing it, but I’d like to edit before linking it anywhere.
Hey! Sorry that it’s late and I’m only seeing this now. I’m really sorry if anyone took this post the wrong way. What I meant by making this a New Years resolution was this: most teens that I know (sadly) don’t read the Bible regularly, which is not good for spiritual growth. Whether you read it 4 times a week or 7+, that’s not really the point. The point is that by making it a resolution, we make it into a habit. If you miss a day, it’s not a sin. But by reading the Bible, we hear from God instead of solely talking to him which is important in the Christian life.
My point was simply that if you make a resolution to read it every day and fail to do so you’ve broken your word, so it is a sin. God bless and all the best with your Bible reading.
I don’t think it’s necessarily a sin, because we aren’t perfect and it’s not purposeful disobedience, but if you feel convicted about it, then do what God has shown you to be right in your heart. You too!
It’s okay because we aren’t perfect?
Sin is what makes us imperfect, and it’s not limited to ‘purposeful disobedience’.
Peter wasn’t being purposeful when he denied Jesus three times; he didn’t even realise he’d been fulfilling what Jesus had prophesied about him until the rooster crowed. He decided to lie, sure enough, but it wasn’t until later that it dawned on him(punintended). I don’t see anywhere in the Bible where sin is defined as ‘purposeful’. In fact, Leviticus refers to sacrifices that were to be made for accidental or unintentional sins.
If I didn’t realise stealing was a sin and I stole something, it would still be sinful. If in hindsight I realise that stealing is wrong and I don’t have a right to other peoples possessions I should repent, return said possessions and stop stealing. Likewise if I accidentally took something from someone and neglected to return it, I’ve sinned.
Similarly, if I read Matthew 5 and conclude that Jesus did in fact teach we shouldn’t swear by anything then it stands to reason that I shouldn’t invent exceptions to this. Exceptions do exist, primarily in the case of marriage(though other contracts between parties may well be acceptable), but that’s not the same as creating a personal exception.
To clarify, the problem I have with what you’re saying is the implication that what’s ‘right in my heart’ is the opposite of sin. If my heart contained nothing but God’s goodness and righteousness that might not be such a bad idea, but the reality is the heart is where sin ultimately resides. If I followed my heart all the time that would entail disobedience(greed, laziness, lust, idolatry etc), so clearly my heart isn’t a good standard for obedience. Isaiah is good place to read about the heart and it’s tendency to fall to sinfulness.
Thanks for your input, I definitely understand & respect what you’re saying. Good reminder.
Thankyou. I certainly hope this doesn’t just seem like piling on burdens where none are needed. I honestly think Jesus was teaching we should flee from the sin of promise breaking and that the only sue-fire way to do so is to make no promises beyond simple agreements/refusals as part of social interactions and covenants.
I already read my scriptures regularly and I memorize verses too but I don’t read the bible every day and there is always room for improvement. Sometimes it requires a commitment to actually follow through with yourself.
Since the Bible is the Word of God, reading it brings us closer to him as well was memorizing it. But sometimes when reading/memorizing the Bible can be bland and heartless. Sometimes we read the Bible just to read it, and miss the whole point. So I wanted to encourage everyone doing this to try not to do that. I have done it in the past, and will probably do it in the future, but I can pray for help with this. Its a good idea to pray that you wouldn’t be tempted to not take in what you are reading. On the other hand, sometimes we can’t fully absorb or comprehend right now, maybe you need to read that book of the Bible now and grow in your understanding of it overtime. Oh, and praying that the Holy Spirit would help you understand the passage you are reading is very helpful.
I won’t be doing this resolution, because sometimes I can’t read the Bible. Also as humans if we set challenging goals for ourselves, when we can’t meet them a certain day, we tend to give up. That’s why I have a realistic goal. Mine is to read the Bible more this year then last year. I didn’t read the Bible enough last year, so I know thee is room for improvement.
I’m not against this resolution, and am really happy for anyone who is doing it this year! I don’t mean to sound prideful at all. Hopefully this is helpful to someone.
See if we stay with god we can will be happy . I say this to my self “pick up your cross.daily and follow me” I use that to help me through the day . I am not perfect but I am gods child and I am proud of it.
You’re God’s child and proud of it… That is an awesome place to be, Hailey!
Welcome to the Rebelution!
“The word spoken by God is a word in the
ear; a secret whispered only to the Beloved; heard only by the son in the recess of his inmost heart.”
Revelation 19:12 ———–1+9+1+2=??
His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.
*Quintessence – the pure and concentrated essence of a substance. … (in ancient and medieval philosophy) the fifth essence or element, ether, supposed to be the constituent matter of the heavenly bodies, the others being air, fire, earth, and water.
1 Samuel 13:3
Then Saul had the trumpet blown throughout the land and said, “Let the Hebrews hear!”
God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.
You who are far away, hear what I have done; you who are near, acknowledge my power!
Terror and pit and snare await you, people of the earth.
“The word spoken by God is a word in the
ear; a secret whispered only to the Beloved; heard only by the son in the recess of his inmost heart.”
2 Esdras 13:
51 I(Ezra) said, “Supreme Lord, show me why I saw a man rising up from the heart of the sea.”
He said to me, 52 “Just as no one can seek out or know what is in the depth of the sea, so no one on earth can see my Son or those who are with him, except in that time when his day has come. 53 This is the interpretation of the dream that you saw, which has enlightened you alone of all people. 54 You have abandoned your own affairs and occupied yourself with mine, and you have sought out my Law. 55 You have given your life to wisdom, and have called understanding your mother. 56 Because of this, I have shown you these things, for you have a reward with the Most High.