*this is a guest post from Krystal Proffitt
I know I don’t stand alone in this, but I used to feel completely overwhelmed with the thought of studying my Bible. I didn’t grow up in traditional Bible studies. Sure, I knew about the Garden of Eden, Moses and the Flood, and Jesus dying on the cross, but did I think of the Bible as a tool to turn to when life got hard? Not until I had nowhere else to turn.
Enter my prayer journal and my rookie devotionals. I’d like to share with you my blueprint for prayer and Bible study in hopes that it can, and will, transform your devotional time with the Lord.
First, let me give you a little background on me. I still have not read the Bible cover to cover. I do not claim to know all of the most important scriptures in the Bible. I only know what I have figured out and what has worked for me.
Secondly, you’ll never “find time” to pray or study your Bible. You have to be intentional and make it happen! Either getting up an hour earlier each morning or staying up later at night. I’m not sure what will work for your life and your schedule, but I can show you what has worked for me.
Lastly, you may ask, “Why do I even need to do this? Why do I want to pray or read the Bible? Am I worried about something or someone? Do I need to forgive myself or someone else? Do I just want to learn more about God?” You have to decide why you want to take this step first so you can get in touch with the part of yourself you’re trying to find.
I’ll give you my answer.
I spend time in prayer and reading my Bible each morning because I was in an emotionally desperate place and had nowhere else to look. I tried denial, burying my emotions with beer and wine, running for miles and miles and countless other exercises to overcome my emotional distress. I even tried counseling and therapy for the really tough stuff. And I finally realized prayer was the one thing that I knew would work, but I was too scared to do it wrong that it took me forever to even try.
So, with all of that being said, here is what I found that worked for me – a beginner to prayer and Bible study.
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1. Establish a time
Morning, noon, or night, but be consistent.
2. Find a quiet place
Try to find a place that is distraction free
3. Books and resources
This will vary, but at this time I prefer to not use any technology during my quiet time. All you need is a journal and a Bible – less distraction. However, I know many people who use their eBible and other devices during their quiet time. This is completely up to you.
4. Find a word
Open the Bible’s index pages at random to see if there is any word in particular that jumps out at you. Depending on my mood, I will look at words like love, teach, forgive, fear, or blessing and will try to find something relevant to my life. When it comes to parenting, I often find myself reading about love and patience!
5. Write your thoughts
Read the verse multiple times then open your journal and write the date, the passage title of the scripture (if there is one), the chapter and verse for what you will be studying, and then start with bullet points. Dissect each verse, word by word, and write down what the words on the page are trying to say to you.
6. Begin the prayer list
Once you feel satisfied with your study time, jot down your prayer list. This list can be consistent from day to day as you pray for your family & friends, current events, or life goals and your walk with God. I highly suggest writing down prayers. Reflecting back on my prayers reminds me that I have already given the situation over to God.
Now, I need to be patient and let Him do His work. (Potty training my son is an example that comes to mind. I write it down, pray about, and go on about my day.) My prayer list has grown from a few general things to specific people, situations, and praises. Physically writing the words on the page can help you focus on those matters more intentionally.
There you have it, my playbook for prayer and Bible study. I would love for you to join me on my writing journey at www.KrystalProffitt.com.
Please be sure to check out my book, Rookie Devotionals – A Beginner’s Playbook to Prayer and Bible Study, now available on Amazon. Click below for more details.