You will never have enough time to read the Bible. If you wait until you have enough time to read the Bible, you will rarely read the Bible. The world, the flesh and the devil will help fill your day.
If you wait until you have enough time to read the Bible, you will rarely read the Bible.
This means that you have to choose to take time. You will have to sacrifice doing something else so you have time to read God’s word and pray to Him. You need to pray that the Lord will help you set time aside so you can spend time with Him. Here are some pointers.
First, If something is really important, you want to get to it as early as possible in your day.
A follower of Jesus should view a daily time of prayer and Bible reading as one of the most important things you will do in your day. So you should seek to pray and read God’s word as early in your day as possible.
Second, “early as possible” does not necessarily mean first thing in the morning.
Some people wake up in the morning fully awake and ready to go. My oldest son is like this. Others, like me, wake up slowly. If I did my Bible reading immediately, I would not remember anything––in fact, I would be lucky if I didn’t just fall back asleep.
Similarly, the presence of young children or very early shift work might mean that reading the Bible and praying first thing is not wise.
Third, be careful that you do not let “the world, the flesh, and the devil” define “possible.”
It is amazing how important it can seem to me to look at emails or return a call, or whatever, as soon as I am about to read the Bible and pray.
Fourth, ask the Lord for his help and pick a time early in your day.
Ask the Lord to help you recognize the temptation to do something other than reading his word.
Ask Him to help you to put to death this desire to avoid time with him. Ask him for a greater longing to spend time with him by reading his word and praying.
Fifth, consider “natural” times to read his word and pray that are still early in your day. The bus ride into work.
Rather than getting up early in the day, set aside the first 15 minutes of your lunch break, and eat lunch “late.” Your first coffee break of the day. There were several years where I left for work a bit early and would read my Bible and pray in my car while parked in a Tim Horton’s parking lot. I would read the Bible and pray before I got my coffee.
Maybe you should stay at your desk (or find a quiet spot) at the end of your workday before heading home. Maybe you wait for the baby’s first nap.
Sixth, consider listening to the Bible rather than reading the Bible.
We rarely appreciate this, but the overwhelming majority of people in the early church would have only heard the Bible read. If you listen to the Bible, you can go for a walk, hearing God’s word and then praying while you walk. There is a lot to be said about this.
Some people (I am one) pray better when they walk. If you have trouble falling asleep while reading the Bible, walk and listen. It is hard to fall asleep while walking!
Seventh, consider what helps you get “launched” into your devotional time.
We are different, and the Bible does not set forth the one and only way to focus and get going. We are usually told to pray first––generally good advice. I confess that this does not work very well for me.
Instead of beginning with prayer, I start by reading, then after having read a chapter, I pray, and then go back to reading. In my experience, people tend to use prayer, reading, or music to get “launched” into the devotional time.
I love to read, so for me, beginning with reading gets me into the devotional. If I try to start with prayer I meander and get distracted too easily. I know some who find quietly singing part of a hymn or praise song gets them going. Figure out what works best for you in your current state of life.
Please note, be careful about listening to music as your way to enter into the devotional time. Some people start with listening to music (or singing along). But before you know it, all you have done is listen to music.
You have not read God’s word or praying. Hymns or praise song lyrics, no matter how moving, are not God’s word written, they are the words of men and women. It is important that you read God’s word written––the Bible.
Eighth, ask the Lord to speak to you as you read.
Ask him to grant you wisdom, discernment and understanding. Ask him to lead you into all truth. Ask him to renew your mind as you read. Ask to know more about him, and even more important, ask to know him better as you read.
Ask him to grant you a deep yearning for him and a deep fear of him. Ask him to make you humble and teachable before him. Ask Him to convict you of your sin. Ask the Father to pour out the Holy Spirit upon you as you read.
Ninth, when you struggle and fail in Bible reading, humble yourself and ask some people in your church to pray for you.
Remember, you enter the “Jesus Way” alone with Jesus, but you walk the “Jesus Way” with Jesus and with others. You do not walk alone and should not walk alone.
We are called to bear one another’s burdens, and sometimes that means we need to humble ourselves, confess our weakness and our need, and ask others to pray so that we will do what we know the Lord would have us do. Please pray for me.