Each morning when I wake up, I brew a warm, sweet-smelling cup of coffee, set out my keepsake journal, and open my weathered and worn Bible. Before the rush of getting ready, the hectic running from class to class, and the stress of my growing to do list all begins, I spend a few quiet moments with God.
Carving out time for God before each day begins completely changed my life. When I spend time reading God’s word, praying with Him, and mentally preparing myself for the day ahead, I have an overall better day. I feel less stressed, happier, kinder, and ultimately, I feel more at peace. Spending time with God brings me joy, and I want other to people to know that joy, too.
Take the time to communicate with God and listen to his wisdom, and you will find many of your prayers answered. You’ll start seeing tiny blessings and small random acts of kindness more often through your day, you’ll feel less stress and act more productive, and find more joy in life overall.
Corinthians 4:2 says “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Matthew 6:33 reads, “But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Our schedules are so busy, habits are hard to form, and the Bible is so big it’s hard to know where to start. But, there are ways to help create a habit, and there are resources available to help get started.
Do it at the same time everyday. The best way to start a habit is by doing it at the same time every day. I like to pray in the morning as a good start to the day, but spending time with God at night also helps to reflect on the day. Ultimately, do it at whatever time works best with your schedule, be it at 1:00 in the morning or 1:00 in the afternoon.
Set a designated, cozy, quiet space. Another good way to start a habit is do it in the same place all the time. That way, when you sit down at that space, your brain will know what’s coming and it will help you get in the right mindset. It can be your desk, your couch, your bed, wherever you feel most comfortable and relaxed. Your space should not be a place you associate with work. You don’t want any stress or thoughts of your to-do list creeping in on your time with God. I like to have my lights dim and a cup of something warm with me in bed when I read my Bible because it relaxes me, and when I’m at ease, it’s easier to hear God’s word.
Take notes, use tabs, and journal. Highlighting meaningful verses, putting a tab on pages you found inspirational, copying down phrases, and journaling what the passage means to you and how you can apply it to your life are all good ways to get more involved with God’s word. The more involved you get, the more the message will sink in.
Use apps and online blogs. The Bible is long. There’s a lot of stuff in it and a lot of it isn’t easy to understand. If you feel overwhelmed and aren’t sure where to start, I recommend using a devotional app. They’re right on your phone for convenience, and really help guide you through the reading. I really like the apps "First 5" and "She Reads Truth."
Use a friend or study group. Reading through the Bible with a friend or a study group has a ton of benefits- they will keep you accountable, you’ll hear different perspectives on different passages, and ultimately, you’ll form amazing, strong friendships and lift God up together.
Getting into the habit of spending time with God each day is hard. Amid homework, work, friends, clubs, it’s hard to squeeze in some time. It’s easy to say “I will later,” or “I’ll make time tomorrow.” But, God is above all and should take top priority. Just take 10 minutes a day, maybe the time normally reserved for Netflix or Instagram, and finally reap all the benefits of his love.