One of the most important things for growing in our relationship with Jesus is establishing a daily time to read the Bible and pray. I believe that so strongly and it has certainly been true in my life. When someone is just starting out in committing to this daily “quiet time,” it can take discipline to keep it up day after day. There were times in my life where I would read a chapter, say a quick prayer, check it off of my to-do list, and get on with the rest of my day. I wasn’t really getting a lot out of it. Sometimes I would pick up a devotional book and get a new boost on really having an effective study and prayer time, but I would soon find myself slipping back into a stale routine.
If that’s you, or if you have not yet established a daily time to meet with God, I want to share something that has really been helpful and productive for me. My worship pastor was the first one to share with me what “life journaling” was about (also called the “SOAP” method) but it wasn’t until I heard it again at a worship conference about a year and half ago from Pastor Scot Longyear that I decided to do it. Here is Scot explaining what “life journaling” is and how to do it.
I use Microsoft OneNote for my Life Journal and I’m currently using a Bible reading plan that was in the back of my ESV Study Bible that takes me through the Bible in a year and through the Psalms twice. (I love reading a Psalm every day to get started.) In OneNote, I simply have a tab titled “Life Journal” and each day I add a page with the Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer (SOAP, right?) that I pull from that day’s reading. That way, I can go back to my journal on my computer, or my phone, or my tablet. I often draw from these when I lead a short devotion before a band practice.
You can find reading plans in a lot of places. Don’t feel required to read through the whole Bible in a year – many years I find it’s better to slow down and focus on smaller chunks of reading each day. The Bible app (called YouVersion) is a great way to find devotionals and reading plans. I have also used a site called BiblePlan.org to select a reading plan – one thing I love about this site is that you can set it up to get a daily email reminder of your scheduled reading so you don’t have to keep looking it up.
Whatever methods or resources you use, spending that time with God is so important. Find out what works best for you. On my last trip to Jamaica, I stayed with a couple who every morning right after breakfast would simply read through the day’s devotional in Our Daily Bread. The wife would read the Scripture and the husband read the devotional thought and then they discussed it with one another. It was really sweet to be a part of that. How do you do your quiet time? Feel free to let us know by posting a comment below!
For more information about Life Journaling, you can visit this site.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to let me know. Post a comment or if you are subscribed to new posts, you can send me an email by replying to the email that contains the new posts.