Like many of you, I spent the last couple of weeks of 2014 thinking and praying about what my plans should be for a variety of things in 2015. The turning of the calendar is always a great time to turn over a new leaf and start, stop, or continue habits you want to see implemented in the new year.
Of course, I have some goals that pertain to my physical health, family relationships, friends, and ministry . . . but I also set a couple of goals for my 2015 as it pertains to my personal Bible reading and prayer life. While I will certainly be studying some passages of Scripture more deeply in order to teach or preach, I also wanted to have a regular rhythm to my devotional Bible reading and prayer life . . . daily simply spending time with the Lord.
I thought I would share here my plans in case any of these ideas are helpful to you in your personal time with the Lord in 2015:
Bible Study – My Bible reading plan is 3 fold:
- I am reading the One Year Chronological Bible (New Living Translation). This gives about 4 chapters of Scripture each day and moves through the events chronologically when they happened . . . instead of as the books are collected in our Old and New Testaments. After I read this section each day, I journal two things: (1) A summary of the “big idea” of this section in a single sentence or two. (2) I write a single application I can take from that passage for my life. I am utilizing an “e-book” copy of this One Year Bible that is always on my phone or iPad. This is handy for me. You can find this digital version of the One Year Bible in the iBook store, or through a variety of other online retailers.
- I also read one Psalm each day. This is in response to a very interesting book a friend (Jeff Harwell) recommended I read on the Psalms by N.T. Wright. The Psalms are great prayers/hymns to God and focus my daily worship on Him.
- I am also reading one chapter of Proverbs each day. This is a plan many people do, and I was challenged to focus more on God’s wisdom after hearing some of the people share recently at our dear brother Ricky Wyatt’s funeral.
I am not putting this plan out there as any kind of standard or to make myself sound more spiritual . . . I simply am sharing because at this time of year (like you) I am making a plan for 2015. I need a plan because it is far too easy for me to NOT read the Bible as much as I would like. This may seem like a lot, but it is only about 15-20 minutes of reading total for me each day, and I typically separate the three readings a bit so I don’t just rush through it.
As it pertains to prayer, I have found a free app called “Echo.” This app very simply and easily allows me to record prayer requests, and set up reminders throughout the day to pray for certain things. I have been using it for a week now and have found it really has helped me pray more. Of course you do not need an “App” to pray . . . Jesus blood makes our prayer effective, not my iPhone . . . but my fallen nature needs reminders, and I am using “Echo” as a source to help remind me to pray more in 2015.
I would love to hear what your plans for personal times with the Lord are in 2015! Unlike humans who have limited time and schedules, God can meet with each of us personally and powerfully and without limit. Let’s know Him and trust Him more this year!