How can you make time for Bible study and prayer? It can be hard with the busy life styles we lead today. My best advice is to ask God to help you find time in your day to build your relationship with Him. I’ve also created a list of other tips that can help you spend more time with God and in His Word. I pray that each of you find at least a couple helpful tips in this list to motivate you.
-Set a goal- If you read 3-4 chapters a day you should be able to make it through the whole Bible in a year. If you feel that you cannot manage that much set a smaller goal such as, one chapter and one psalm a day or even just one chapter. Make your goal something you feel you can accomplish. Reading your Bible should not cause stress so don’t aim for a goal that will cause anxiety. You can always read more if you end up having time. You may even find yourself increasing your daily reading goal as you get use to making it a priority.
-Keep your Bible open- If you keep your Bible open in a convenient place you will be more likely to read it when you have a few minutes between chores, chauffeur runs, cooking meals, and refereeing kids. Choose a place like the kitchen counter, dining table, or coffee table, some place you will see it and can comfortably stop and read for a little while.
-Start your day with a Psalm or Proverb- Reading a psalm or proverb first thing in the morning is a great way to start your day. It will help you focus on God as you start your day. And it can count towards your daily chapter goal.
-Bible on computer, tablet, or phone- As much as I’d like to encourage you to read from an actual printed Bible for most of your study time, there is nothing wrong with reading Scripture on your computer, tablet, or phone. If it is more convenient at the time to read off your phone instead of pulling out your Bible by all means do it. I usually read my daily chapters on my ipad as I sit in my kids’ room waiting for them to fall asleep each night. It’s also easier to read from my ipad or phone while I’m nursing the baby. I usually use my printed Bibles for all of my actual study time.
-Bible Study apps– You can download a Bible Study app; such as First Five, and join others in learning the same scriptures that day. Apps like this can be very helpful for a busy mom because they are fairly short, conveniently accessed from your phone, and they help remind you to get in the Word.
Praise and Worship
-Morning Praise- Another great way to start your day (maybe after you’ve read your psalm or proverb) is a quick morning praise. When we take time to praise God in the morning it helps focus us on Him and be grateful for all He has given us.
-Music- Turn on Christian music. Whether it’s older hymns or contemporary songs, having uplifting music playing throughout the day will help keep your focus on God and hopefully remind you to get in the Word and pray.
-Verses in key places- Choose a verse that you really want to learn and write it out on several different cards and place them in key places around your home such as your fridge, by your couch, next to your bed, and in your bathroom. You can even write a verse directly on your mirror with dry erase markers or window writers. If you have any chalk boards, white boards, or cork boards around your home these are easy places to write or stick verses on and are easily changed.
-Car verses- Choose a different verse to practice in the car. Have you ever thought about how much time you spend just waiting in your car? Stop lights, drive thrus, school pick up, etc. Write your verse on a sticky note and stick it to your dash. When you find yourself waiting at a stop light you can easily test yourself on your verse without having to take your hands off the wheel.
-Pocket verses- Just like we spend a lot of time waiting in our cars, we spend a lot of time waiting around outside our cars. Appointments, lines, kid’s activities, etc. Choose a third verse that you want to learn and write it on a card that will easily fit in your pocket. If you usually do not have pockets, place the card in your purse or diaper bag but make sure it’s easily accessible and preferably visible as soon as you open the bag. Pull it out and practice for a couple of minutes next time you are sitting at the park or waiting for the soccer game to start.
-Phone verses- If you do not think you would use pocket verses and know that a card would just get lost in your diaper bag, try phone verses. Create your own back drop with the verse you are learning or type your verse as a note. Set a rule for yourself that you will read over the verse at least once before checking Facebook and then do it (before every Facebook check in).
-In person group study- Find a church or community Bible study that you can join (or start one). Some of these group studies offer free child care or meet in the evening when Dad is hopefully available to watch the kids. In person studies are not always easy to be part of when you have little ones but I encourage you to try. Even if you only make it to one or two sessions you will benefit from studying God’s word in a group and learning from other women’s experiences. If you find it too are hard to make the sessions you can at least finish the Bible study on your own at home.
-Online Bible study group- Join a Bible study community like Good Morning Girls (GMG), Proverbs 31, or Women’s Bible Café. Whether they are studying a specific book of the Bible, a specific person of the Bible, a focused topic, or a Christian living book ,online studies help you experience the love of God through a community of believers. Another great thing about being part of a group study (in person or online) is accountability. You are much more likely to finish (or at least complete some of) your weekly reading and homework if you are going to be part of the group discussion. I joined a Facebook GMG group years ago and am still facebook friends with most of the women from my group even though we have not done a study together in the last two years. These women still inspire me to grow a deeper relationship with Christ just by their God-loving and encouraging posts.
-Study by book- One why to study your Bible is by doing an in-depth study into a particular book of the Bible. Some good ones to start with from the old testament are Genesis, Daniel, or Esther and from the new testament I would start with Luke, Romans, and James. You can work your way through a book just my reading it or you could go deeper and use commentaries or even a bible study based on that book.
-Study by topic or person- Periodically I like to study a specific topic or person in the Bible. You may want to study Paul and all the letters he wrote encouraging the church and other believers. Or you may want to study Abraham and track references to him throughout the Bible. My topic studies usually focus on a character trait that my kids or I need to work on; such as, patience. But I also enjoy digging into a topics like prayer, salvation, and spreading the gospel. Just like doing a specific book study, you can pick a topic and study it yourself, with commentaries, or with a Bible study focused on that topic.
Bible lessons with your kids- Whether you home school or not you should try to incorporate Bible lessons into your kids’ week. There are lots of short Bible lessons for kids available and some great children’s Bibles and devotionals. Take a few minutes each day to strengthen your relationship with the Lord and your kids while teaching them to love the Lord.
-Daily Prayer Time- I know this is tough for most of us (I struggle with it constantly) but it is so important to make sure we are intentionally spending time talking to God everyday. I’m really good at saying a quick prayer when I see a need posted on Facebook or I see someone struggling through their day but I need a better prayer life if I want to grow my relationship with Christ. I encourage you to set a daily prayer time even if it has to be at a different time each day because of your schedule. Start slow if your feel overwhelmed by a scheduled prayer session. Maybe aim for 5 minutes everyday the first week and slowly increase. There’s a lot of days that I can only fit in 5 minutes of un interrupted prayer but that intentional prayer time along with my other quick prayer times throughout the day keep me close to my King.
-Pray before meals- I find it crazy how many times my children have to remind me that we need to pray before eating. I get so busy preparing to eat that I forget to thank God for His provisions. Try to remember to slow down and pray before eating and not just a quick generic prayer. There are lots of ways to acknowledge God’s work and provision before meals; such as, thanking Him for the seasons that allow the crops to grow, for the farmers who work hard to harvest their crops, that we have enough to eat, and ask Him to bless the food.
-Prayer throughout the day- I get some of my prayer time in during little moments throughout the day. I like to pray when I’m waiting in line somewhere or especially while I’m driving. I also like to pray about my day as I shower (which, sadly, never happens daily) or when I’m getting dressed (which honestly doesn’t happen every day either [I love homeschooling]).
-Sermons and Podcasts- You can search online and find a bunch of great sermons and podcasts available for free. You may also have a radio station in your area that plays sermons during a certain time each day. This is a great way to saturate your life with the Word.
-Dramatized Audio Bible- I wanted to be able to listen to the Bible while I did things with the kids so I did some research and found a great Audio Bible that is dramatized. The kids don’t mind having it on in the background because it is more exciting than a straight reading and it keeps my attention better (pretending to need rescuing from a super hero for the hundredth time in a row can be distracting).
-Movies- There are a number of movies based on the Bible or on a specific book or person in the Bible. These can be great additions to your Bible study especially if you are a visual learner. Please do your research and make sure that the movie is Biblically accurate. If it’s a major motion picture odds are it is not a good portrayal of Scripture. If you see a movie and have a question about its accuracy please read your Bible and make sure you know the true accounts of what happened.
-Attend Church- Find a church that you can attend each week and worship alongside other believers. Become part of a Church family that will encourage you in your walk with Christ and will offer you opportunities to learn and grow with them.
If you have any other ideas of how to saturate your life with the Word please add to the comments below so that everyone will have even more ideas of how to make time each day to grow their relationship with God.