I recently decided to start two series on the IPFJ blog. Every other week you’ll find an article with either Bible Study Tips or a Verse Study. I hope to provide some tips to help you in studying God’s Word, and also look at verses in context with the aim to dismiss any wrong ways in which they have been interpreted when taken out of context, as we often see happening today with churches sometimes being more self help in focus than biblical.
That said, let’s move on to today’s post: Bible study tips for busy days:
No More Guilt
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t spend hours in Bible study every single day. We may be able to set aside longer hours with the Lord on the slower days, but on busy days it’s okay to have a shorter quiet time or Bible study.
Isn’t this how we also approach family time as well? Work, school and other responsibilities take up most of our weekdays. Then on the weekend we plan longer family outings or date nights. Nonetheless, we still have short moments together with our family throughout the week even though they may not possess the same quality as our days off.
We can approach our Bible study time and our relationship with God in a similar way. On the busy days we can have a shorter quiet time. The rest of the time, we can love and serve the Lord, talking with Him in prayer and pondering His Word while we work and serve our families. Then on the slower days, we can get in that extra one-on-one time with Him in the Word.
A Quiet Time for Busy Days
Don’t peg yourself with a certain amount of time that you feel is required for Bible study. Give the amount of time allowed by your schedule. If you can, work to wake up a little earlier each week, but if not, don’t stress! The goal isn’t quantity, but to bring your focus to God so you can also include Him in the rest of your day.
Below is an approach for simplifying your Bible study and quiet time on busy days. If you are someone with seemingly no time at all, skip down to the final section of this post for some other ideas.
1. Start with prayer.
Ask God to meet you in this time and open your eyes to what He wants to show you in His Word. Remember to turn your attention away from anything that may try to distract you.
Helpful Hint: If a to-do item comes to mind, stop and write a quick note to remind yourself about it later. Then turn your focus back to God. If it’s something heavy or worrisome, it’s okay to simply stop here and turn this worry into a prayer. Even if that’s all you do for that day, it’s okay. It happens and sometimes it’s necessary.
Read this next: Dealing with Distractions When Spending Time with God
2. Focus on a shorter Scripture passage.
Choose a chapter or even just part of a chapter for your shorter time of Bible study. Then start by writing down the Scripture address. Read or use the audio in a Bible app to go over the passage. If you want, write out a key verse you can return to in your thoughts throughout the day.
Helpful Hint: Choose a reading plan ahead of time to avoid wasted time searching for a place to start.
3. Take notes.
Take short notes during your Bible study quiet time. This could be a list or just words you want to look up later. You could also write down questions you have, or write down something the passage tells you about God.
Helpful Hint: Don’t try to write things verbatim which will take longer. This is a hard one for me!
4. Pray and make a resolution for the day.
Pray something related to your Bible study passage. This could be repentance for a sin you were convicted of or expressing gratitude for who God is and what He’s done for us. It could even be a prayer for you or someone you know that comes to mind.
You might notice a specific area in the passage where you want to better obey or honor God. Make that a resolution for your day.
Example: Say you’re reading Philippians 4:6-8 where it speaks of being anxious for nothing, you might resolve to pay special attention to any worries or anxieties that arise throughout the day and turn them into prayer.
When You Literally Have No Time
Sometimes even the suggestion above won’t even work for you. If that’s the case for you, don’t condemn yourself further.
Keep your Bible study time even simpler than the one described above. If you have only five or ten minutes, use that time.
Here are some ideas for the busiest among us:
- Choose just 1-2 verses. Pray and ponder on 1-2 verses, returning to them in your mind throughout the day. Keep a notecard of the verse in your purse or pocket, or make it your phone’s wallpaper.
- Use an audio Bible app. Listen using your headphones or listen in the car.
- Use your child’s nap time. If you’re a mom of littles who still take naps, use this time for Bible study if you can.
- Fill your home with Scripture. Put sticky notes of Bible verses around your home in areas you frequent. When you see a verse, say it out loud or turn it into a prayer. Ideas: The kitchen, the laundry room or on the bathroom mirror.
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I hope this Bible study tip was helpful for your busy days. Don’t forget to leave a comment. I love hearing readers’ feedback, questions and suggestions on what you might like to read about on the blog.
Check out other posts in the Bible Study Tips Series.