If there were a poster child for how not to set a Bible study routine, it would be me.
I’m not sure I could count how many declarations and resolutions I have made in the past to start reading my Bible every morning. Maybe hundreds. I don’t know! What I do know is that I have failed almost every time.
Daily time with God is a crucial part of the Christian life. Colossians 3:16 tells us to “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom…” and 1 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
God wants us to be filled with His Word, meditating on it throughout the day, and heading into our spiritual battles with the equipment we need. There is no substitute for the Bible — not devotionals, not Christian music, not Christian books. And what better way to be filled and equipped for whatever the day might bring than starting the day with prayer and Bible reading?
Yet most of my mornings have started in a frenzied blur of alarm clocks, breakfast, and last minute to-do items…
I desperately wanted to change that, but I just couldn’t. And then it hit me. I was asking the wrong questions! Instead of, How do I squeeze Bible study into this routine? I should be asking, How can I make Bible study a priority? After all, we have all the time we need for what we deem to be important.
So here are 5 ways to make Bible study a priority in our mornings:
1.Start the night before. Make sure you get to bed on time so that you can wake up well-rested a little earlier in the morning. It’s tempting to keep squeezing one last thing into our evenings, but that usually results in snoozed alarms and frantic scrambling. If we really want to stick with that mindset of priority, ensuring more time in the morning is essential.
2. Make sure distracting tasks are taken care of. This goes along with #1. If we wake up in the morning full of things we need to get done, it will get easier and easier to push Bible study out of the way. Take the time beforehand to do things like get the kids’ school things in order or figure out what to make for breakfast. You will be able to focus on real priorities in the morning, like Bible study, instead of catering to time pressures.
3. Have a place set aside for Bible study. Whether that means a bench on your porch, a corner of the dining room table, a cozy arm chair… Find a consistent place for your time with God. This has a few benefits. First, you’ll be reminded to do your Bible study every time you look at it. My Bible study corner is a little bench in my bedroom, so when I first wake up I see it and remember to prioritize. Sitting there also prompts me to get into a mindset of worship and quiet because I know that’s what I do there. Also, as the routine gets established, everyone else will start to recognize what you are doing when you sit in that spot. Hopefully, they’ll work harder not to distract you for those few minutes.
4. Make your Bible study time as soon in the morning as you can. If you wait until after you’ve done this, that, and a few last minute extras, your mental space for hitting pause is gone. Once we are in that mode of getting things done, it becomes easier to tell ourselves we don’t have time. Get ahead of that mental shift and read your Bible as close to first thing as you can.
5. Have a plan. Know where in the Bible you will be reading that day before you sit down to read it. Willy-nilly Bible reading is stressful and unfocused. It certainly isn’t motivating! Be sure that you know what book of the Bible you are reading through or what devotional you are reading along with (provided it includes time in the Bible itself). Maybe find a read through the Bible plan or a topical study. It helps more than you might think to have a bit of structure!
As a chronic crazy-morning junkie, I have learned that making time for Bible study takes a lot of discipline. It’s just plain hard work.
But following these tips, having others keep me accountable, and taking my struggles to God in prayer have made a world of difference. And all that work and discipline? It is completely worth it to grow in the Lord and to be filled with His grace and truth each day.
Want to learn solid strategies for studying God’s Word? Check out our Bible Study Methods: 7 Ways in 7 Days course! For more details, click here.
Meredith is the wife of an amazing husband, a lover of travel and baking, and a servant of the King of Kings. She writes at Life Along the Way, a project created with her husband as a place to share the ups and downs of their lives following Christ and to explore what it means to live life based on the Bible. Connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram!