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How to Do Bible Study and Prayer Without Losing Lots of Sleep

I’m excited to invite Courtney on my blog today. We’ve known each other since our college years, and her sincere love for Jesus and desire to honor Him with her life have impressed on me a deep respect for her. I know you will be blessed as she shares with us today.

Do you feel like you just don’t have enough time for Bible study and prayer?

Do you feel guilty that your devotional times seem short and pathetic compared to the long, intimate sessions of another season?

I’ve been there, too.

I remember the nearly hour-long “quiet times” I would have each morning before I became a mother. I had unhurried time to read my Bible, pray and prepare myself spiritually for the day.

After my precious daughter was born four and a half years ago, those sweet devotional hours went out the window. Through bleary eyes, I tried to read Bible passages on my phone. I tried to pray in my half-awake state.

And even after those sleep-deprived newborn days passed, I still struggled to find time to have my devotions, especially in the mornings, as had been my life-long practice. I wanted to start my day on the right foot, but it seemed that I was too tired or my daughter would wake early for the day, disrupting my plans.

Somehow, I had also absorbed the message from Christian culture that “good” Christians get up extra-early to have long devotional times. I loved this idea in theory, but I found myself tired and grumpy later in the day when I got up too early, even if I went to bed at an early hour.

What could I do?

Finally, I stumbled on an answer that I hope will help you, too.  how to do bible study and get lots of sleep

My solution was simple: I split my Bible study and prayer time into two different chunks throughout the day.

For me, it was important that I have some devoted time of spiritual nourishment and prayer to start my day. After all, Jesus made time in the early hours of the day to pray to His Father. So, I start my day by reading a chapter of the New Testament and by praying through my prayer list.

Then, in the early afternoon while my daughter rests, I read several chapters of the Old Testament as well as a devotional book.

Simple, right?

It is deceptively simple, but this is the first time in a long time that I’ve actually been able to faithfully follow a Bible reading plan without feeling rushed and harried. (I love this five-day-a-week, chronological plan.)

I also love that I’m in the Word throughout the day, rather than just in the mornings. I can think of my afternoon Bible reading as a mid-day tune up, knowing I need to have my perspective re-shaped by the Word as I go through my day.

How could this work for you?

  1. Have a plan. Pick a Bible reading plan or Bible study (Asheritah has some great resources!) so you know what you’ll be reading ahead of time.
  2. Determine when you’ll study, read, and pray, and memorize God’s Word. I recommend having at least one of your sessions in the morning, to help you start the day in dependence on the Lord. But, after that, it’s up to you to make the second session work for you! It could be during your lunch break at work, or before you turn out the light at night. Maybe you even decide to have three sessions—it’s all up to you!
  3. Follow through but be willing to adjust your plan if you find after a couple of weeks that it’s not working. There’s nothing wrong with coming up with a new plan!

I’m so thankful I’ve found a way to be in the Word without losing lots of sleep. My hope and prayer is that you can, too!

courtney harris profile photo Courtney Lynn Harris is a follower of Jesus, and a wife and mom who is preparing to move across the country for the fifth time in six-and-a-half years. Follow her on Twitter.

Photo credit: CollegeDegrees360 via Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA