Archive for February 21, 2012

Feb 21

Reading the Bible to Pray

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Sermon Follow-Up

In Sunday’s sermon from Psalm 40, “The Building Blocks of Prayer,” Ron encouraged us to read the Bible through and to do so with a view to prayer.

He suggested we keep a notepad handy to write down word pictures for God, for salvation, and for us. The Psalms, of course, are rich with these. Psalm 40:2, for example, speaks of salvation in this way: “He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock.” Collecting imagery like this as we read the Bible can provide a great help in prayer.

Ahead of January 1, we posted two blogs (here and here) with suggestions for Bible reading plans in 2012. But, of course, January 1 isn’t the only time to start reading the Bible. Here are a few Bible reading plans, any of which you can adapt for starting later in the year. The first plan, however, is specifically date neutral, so if you are starting now, that may be the best way to go. Also, being in the Bible regularly and even daily is important, but there’s no rule that says you have to read the Bible through in a year. So, perhaps one of these resources would be helpful simply for keeping track of where you are at at whatever pace you plan to read.

  • Chronological Reading Plan: Reading God’s Story: A Chronological Daily Bible, George Guthrie:
    This Bible is published with a one year daily reading plan in mind, ordering the Biblical material chronologically along the Bible’s own narrative framework and includes a reading plan. George Guthrie has also published a one year chronological Bible reading plan, “Read the Bible for Life,” available in Pdf form here.
  • The M’Cheyne Plan with Daily Devotional Commentary: For the Love of God is a two volume series of books written by D.A. Carson providing daily reading to supplement the M’Cheyne reading plan. The M’Cheyne plan takes you through the Old Testament once and the Psalms and New Testament twice in one year.
  • Several Places A Day: Crossway’s Daily Bible Reading Plan is available as a Pdf form to print out as a series of bookmarks. This plan gets you through the Bible in a year, reading from several different places in the Bible each day. Crossway has published 10 reading plans to supplement the ESV, including RSS, email, audio, and print versions daily.
  • Just a List of Chapters: The Bible Reading Record, by Don Whitney, is a simple list of every chapter in the Bible. With this, you can read at whatever pace you like and keep track of what you’ve read until you’re through the Bible. This, of course, wouldn’t necessarily be a one year plan, but it could be. To get through the Bible’s 1089 chapters in a year, you need to read an average of 3.25 chapters a day, which comes out to about four chapters per day if you commit to reading five days each week.

For encouragement in prayer, consider listening to several messages by Jerram Barrs from Prizing the Privilege of Prayer weekend, 2009.

For encouragement in grasping the importance of the Word in your life, consider listening to Ryan’s sermon on Psalm 1, “If You Wanna Be Happy for the Rest of Your Life…” delivered at the front of our current series, Pour Out Your Heart to Him: A Study Through The Psalms.