Have you ever started reading the Bible, only to give up? It’s got to rank up there with daily exercise and dieting as the most-started, most-abandoned New Year’s resolution. It’s also as important. Because what diet and exercise are to your body, God’s word is to your spirit: food and strength!
Let me help you build a habit of Bible reading.
Like that daily jog, it’s not hard, it feels good, and it gets easier with practice. And all it takes is three easy steps:
1. GET READY — Set the time and place
The single-most effective way to build Bible reading into your life is to set aside a regular time and place.
TIME: Choose a time when you are consistently free and not likely to be bothered. Enter this daily “appointment with God” on your calendar.
PLACE: Find a quiet place that’s free from distractions. Prepare the space with a candle or favorite icon and your Bible and notebook. (Write your goal in the front, add a reading checklist, then prepare to journal as you read.)
NEED HELP? Piggy-back onto an existing routine. Add Scripture to your nightly prayers; bring your Bible early to mass or on the train to work. Begin with something you know you can do: maybe a month or the 40 days of Lent.
2. GET SET — Set your personal goal and plan
Decide ahead of time what to read, then write it down in your journal. Make a checklist to mark your progress.
WHAT TO READ: Here are some ideas to get you going.
- Follow the lectionary and read the daily gospel for a year, using your Bible. Find charts of all the readings here, or a calendar of readings for the day here.
- Pray your way through a Gospel or another book. Take your time, even if it’s just a few sentences a day. For downloadable checklists to read through a Gospel, see the Resources page of this website
- Read the entire Catholic Bible in a year with this reading plan from Dr. Mary Healy
- Read through the biblical narrative with the Bible Timeline’s 90-day reading plan, available here as a free pdf download.
3. GO — Get into the Word!
Place yourself in God’s presence and ask him to be with you. Then:
READ: whatever you’ve decided, or pick up where you left off. How much you read is up to you. If something strikes you, go back and read it again. Let it sink in.
REFLECT on what you’ve read. Write down what you learn about God; about life; about you – whatever strikes your heart.
RESPOND: Listen and respond to God in prayer.
REST in his presence before going on with your day.
Blessings on you as you read the Word!
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© 2021 Sarah Christmyer
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