How-To on Something Overly Simple: Bible Study

I wanted to share how I do my morning Bible Study when I'm not already in a Bible study (and sometimes when I am). You may already have your way, and that's awesome.

This is just one of those things that always was elusive to me. People would talk about their "quiet time" and "being with the Lord" and I needed someone to sit down and tell me: could you explain EXACTLY what you do when you have "quiet time"? Y'all, I'm a recipe person. Give me the recipe!

I actually had someone laugh at me when I mentioned I thought this would be a good topic to speak (briefly) on or write about -- but I stand by my thoughts. I don't think we decide to follow Jesus and automatically know how to spend time with him effectively. And, if you did know, then don't tell me. Let me think it's not just me..
So. My morning quiet time. For starters, I always like to be going through the entire Bible. Some people mention that they like to sometimes slow down and meditate on one or two passages or books a year. I, personally, don't feel like I am familiar enough with all of the Bible to go quite that slowly yet. However, I don't feel it necessary to go through the Bible in a year (guilt!) so I am using THIS awesome plan. (You HAVE to click over -- just to see the title!)

So, I'll do my reading (and/ or Bible study) then write in my prayer journal. My prayer journal is NEVER fancy. It is a 5"x8" 3-subject notebook that I buy in the school supply section of my local grocery store. Because it's mine, sometimes I'll pay a few extra bucks and get the bright colors.

In my prayer journal I start by responding to what I read. This is the main thing I wanted to share with you today. It is 2 sentences long, and has changed my Bible reading/ Bible study time more profoundly than anything else I can remember doing.

I put the date at the top (because I have a calendar brain and like to be able to look back at such things), then I write the passage that I read or the portion of the Bible study that I did. Then, I simply write: "God:____________________" and I write something that God does or did according to what I read. Then on the next line I write: "I:____________________" and write my response to what I read about God.

For instance, on February 15 of this year I evidently read Joshua 11-14. There are MANY things (battles) contained within those chapters, and some of it is horrifically boring (the division of land described by tree and creek and how each tribe received it). I chose just one thing I got out of that passage. It was from the very end of it.

I wrote:
"God keeps his promises, sometimes VERY slowly.
I need PATIENCE as the Lord works."

I wrote patience like that because it is one of my 4 words for the year -- I still pray over those every day.

Research shows that unless you do something to process what you hear or read within 45 seconds, it leaves your brain. This is my way of snagging what I've read, prayerfully hearing what the Lord wants me to absorb from what I've read, and applying it to myself. Of course, if a scripture stops me cold while I'm reading, I do the usual underlining, highlighting, and writing of that, as well.

Then I write out my prayer, being as specific as I have time for. I have my daily pleas and request on that page. At the back of my notebook I put things that will be ongoing requests: SELL THIS HOUSE, for example, someone with a chronic illness. It is also where I write the date of someone who passes away, remembering to pray for the family, and thinking to send them a card and/or Facebook message/ email when the anniversary of the death approaches.

That is how I do my Bible study/ prayer time. I would love to hear from you. What do you do that helps you absorb the Word? What are you working on now? Any tips or tricks?

1 comment:

Donna said...

I've tried different things and never really stuck to any one thing. While I was able to do BSF, that was great. I am headed to Walmart later and plan to have a notebook in my possession when I return. I love the idea of writing what God says, what I need/thought, etc.
Quiet time is not something that comes naturally to us. Particularly when we live in such a noisy world. We have to be intentional about it, or it isn't going to happen! Thank you for the challenge!

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