You’ve probably heard a lot about the importance of spending some quiet time by yourself studying scripture to help grow closer to God. But it’s not as easy as just opening up your bible and reading from cover to cover. You can get more out of reading scripture by setting goals about what you hope to accomplish and by being intentional with the passages you choose to read.
Here are a few tips for how you can get more out of reading scripture:
- Start simple. If you haven’t spent much time doing a personal scripture study before, you can start small. Find a passage you like, get a notebook and pen and write down some of what comes to mind when you read the passage. What does it say about your life? Taking the first step to actually sit down and read scripture is important.
- Think of reading scripture as a meeting. You really are spending one-on-one time with God. It’s not just a habit that you’ve worked into your daily routine—if you think of it that way, it becomes more mechanical and rote. Consider it a conversation or dialog with God rather than an item to tick off your daily checklist.
- Never focus on guilt. You’re not “paying your dues” to God by having a quiet time. By expressing your devotion and love, you will soon find yourself looking forward to your quiet time every day.
- Figure out what works best for you. Maybe you do better with structure, and like finding bible reading guides online. Maybe you like to emphasis spontaneity with your prayer. There are no rules about what you have to do in your quiet time. Just find something that works for you.
- Add variety. Go on walks, try different translations and focus on different aspects of scripture. Do what you need to do to add some variety to your quiet time.
- Attempt to listen. If your quiet time with God is truly a conversation, then you need to listen as well as talk. Take some time to be silent and tune out the outside world. Reflect in silence on your day, how you saw God at work and what you have read in scripture that day.
How do you get the most out of reading scripture? We’d love to hear your thoughts.