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Bible Reading 101
Figuring out where to start reading the Bible can be daunting.
A simple plan we recommend is to pick one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John) and read 1 chapter a day. So if you pick the book of John - on Day 1 you would read chapter 1, Day 2 is chapter 2, Day 3 is chapter 3 and so on.
Before you start reading - pray and ask God open your heart and mind to His Truth as you read His word. Ask Him to help you understand as you read.
As you read, we recommend applying this simple Bible reading method is S.O.A.P. (Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer)
As you read Scripture, slow down and think about what the text means. Imagine being there and experiencing what is happening. Write down verses that stand out to you in your journal.
As you read - write down any Observations you have - make notes, jot a quick summary of the passage, write down questions you have, or whatever God says to you through His word.
Then reflect on your Application - how this passage applies to your daily life. Which character do you identify with in the story? What are similar situations you see in your life? How can you respond in the way Jesus taught?
And close in Prayer. This is a personal message from you to God, so don’t worry about getting the perfect words down. Just make it honest and heartfelt. Remember that God always listens, and already knows your needs. He just wants to hear from you.
If you don't know where to begin in prayer, here's an easy way to start....just P.R.A.Y.
Praise is adoration. Start by telling God who He is to you and what you're thankful for - putting things into perspective and your heart in the right place as you begin connecting with God in prayer.
Take a moment to reflect on repentance - admitting to God your faults and allowing Him to convict you of the things that are wrong in your life. (Isaiah 6)
Prayer requests are what we often jump to when we think of prayer...Philippians 4:6 teaches us that we should confidently present our requests to God.
So many times we rush past this. To yield is to stop and quiet your heart to hear from God. This is probably to most difficult step in prayer, but is possibly the most meaningful and worth the effort to make it a habit.
At the end of the day, prayer is about submitting to God. You're admitting that He is sovereign and He is in control. In prayer, we tell God that He is God and we are not.