“It is a good rule never to look into the face of a man in the morning ’til you have looked into the face of God.” Charles Spurgeon
I am not a morning person. At all. But over the past few years, I’ve s-l-o-w-l-y adopted a super simple morning Bible study routine that even a non-morning person such as myself can handle. There is power and freedom in studying the Word on your own, first thing every day.
Listen. If I don’t have some quiet time with God to begin the day, things go downhill fast. Without it, I’m toast. I’m distracted. Unfocused. Unproductive. Crabby. You do not want to see me when I haven’t had my morning quiet time. It’s become vital to my well-being. (And, let’s be honest, the well being of everyone else in our cozy house.) 😉
I’m not a theologian. I’m not a Bible scholar. I’m a (tired) SAHM who’s just trying to do my best to raise decent human beings. Most days, our home turns into crazy town by bedtime…I can pretty much count on that.
So my one constant? The one thing I NEED and cling to and protect AT ALL COSTS? This morning routine.
Today I’m going to give you the basic framework of my Bible time. It’s pretty simple. No rocket science here. Just my tried-and-true, simple Bible study routine that gets me on the right track for the day.
On the average, my morning routine probably lasts 30-45 minutes. But some days it only lasts 15 minutes, and others it’s well past an hour. I don’t really worry about the length of time. The quality of study matters more than the length of time. For sure.
Let’s dive in!
Night Time Prep (5 min.)
My morning routine begins the night before. The more I can prep in the evening, the easier it is to get rolling in the morning.
I set the timer on the coffee maker so that fresh coffee is waiting for me when I stumble into the kitchen. Having fresh coffee all ready for me makes me very, very happy. It’s the little things in life. (Here’s how pitiful I am… I even set my coffee mug next to the coffee pot. Because even the extra effort of having to get it out of the cupboard in the morning is just too much. Can I get an amen from my fellow non-morning people?!)
I refill my water bottle so it’s ready to go first thing.
I make sure no one has run off with my favorite pen. (Seriously. I live with a bunch of pen thieves.)
I make sure my Bible and journal are in their spots.
Since I can barely function before having a cup of coffee in the morning, taking these steps the night before really help me out when I can’t yet form a cohesive thought. The less I have to do first thing, the better.
Rise and Shine!
The one constant I do need is a set wake-up time. When this starts to fluctuate, my routine gets all willy-nilly. Things get left out or skipped over, and I feel spaced out, ineffective. SO. I try to faithfully get up at 6:10 every morning.
First things first in the morning: no technology.
This is huge for me. Putting God first means avoiding all distractions….otherwise I spend my entire quiet time reading news headlines and Instagram stories. Then before I know it, my devotional time has vanished and I’ve accomplished nothing. So I just avoid it.
This is a huge exercise in self-control, because, confession: I do have my phone next to me during my morning routine. I like to have access to a couple of bible apps, in case I want to look up a passage in a different translation or find a commentary on a certain passage. But that’s THE ONLY THING I allow myself to use my phone for until morning time is over.
Bible Time (15-20 min.)
First, before I even open my Bible, I say a quick prayer, asking for wisdom and a clear mind as I read the day’s passage.
This year I’m working through the One Year Chronological Bible, which I’m enjoying for a couple of reasons. One, I’ve never actually read the entire Bible. Reading through the Bible has always felt like a crazy, intimidating feat, so I’ve never attempted it.
Secondly, in the past I’ve struggled with not knowing what to read or study in the Bible. Using this chronological Bible eliminates that struggle in the morning. Since it has a passage for every day of the year, there is always something for me to read.
Sometimes God leads me to study other passages or themes in addition to my daily reading, which is great…but I always know I have a place to start in the morning, which is so nice when my brain is barely functioning because the coffee hasn’t kicked in yet. Praise hands for that.
Journaling (10 min.)
After my Bible time, I journal. This process is also known as “getting all the junk out of my head.”
Journaling can look so different from person to person. For me, it’s a brain dump, a way to clear my mind and heart from all the junk I’ve been carrying, so that I can enter prayer time with an unclouded, focused mind.
I do a stream of consciousness type of journaling in the morning. That simply means I write about whatever comes to mind. If I’m thinking, “I’m so tired,” I write it. If I’m thinking, “I hate mornings so much,” I write it. If I’m annoyed at my husband, I write that. 🙂
Whatever crosses my mind goes on paper, because that’s the useless junk that I need to get out of my head to make room for all the good stuff.
Sometimes I write about things that happened the day before. Sometimes I end up diving deep into emotions or frustrations that I need to work through. It just varies from day to day.
I journal one page in my notebook, however long it takes; it generally takes me about 10 minutes. IF I’m focused and have had enough coffee. 😉
Prayer Time (time varies)
Journaling just flows into prayer time for me. I use the back page of my journal entry as a prayer journal.
So whatever prayer requests I have, people or ministries that He puts on my heart to pray for, it all goes on paper. Writing down my prayer requests as I pray is a way I stay focused. And it also is a great way to look back and see how God answered those prayers.
My prayer page is pretty open to whatever I feel led to write down. Sometimes I meditate on the attributes of God; sometimes it’s a scripture passage He’s laid on my heart that’s especially meaningful for that day.
Sometimes I list all the things I’m struggling with spiritually.
Sometimes I’ll jot down a word or phrase that will be an anchor for me and help me remember Truth in hard moments.
I basically freely write whatever God lays on my heart during my prayer time. I love writing everything down. It provides a wonderful way to see themes that I probably would miss if I were trying to just remember everything in my head.
It helps me to document it all on paper, to remember the words He gives me, to remind myself of what He’s doing in my life and to stay encouraged and keep growing and moving forward in my faith.
I get incredibly distracted if I’m just left to my own thoughts…writing things down helps me stay focused on Him while I pray.
A Good Book
And finally, I always try to have a good non-fiction book in my morning time basket. If I’m lucky, I’m able to squeeze in a little bit of reading time before the kids wake up. At the moment I’m working through “Story Craft” by John Erickson. Sometimes it’s a parenting book, sometimes its a memoir…it just depends on what I’m in the mood for. 🙂
Here’s my litmus test for my Bible routine every day:
Is it changing my day?
This is my focus. If my time in the Bible isn’t changing the way my days look, what’s the point?
It really doesn’t matter how your Bible time is structured. What matters is whether or not it’s changing your LIFE.
I don’t want to do Bible time every morning just so I can check it off my to-do list. I want to do it so that I’m growing as a Christian. I want to deepen my faith so I can be a better wife and mom, so that every day I bear more and more fruit for Him.
Maturity. Growth. Transformed hearts. That’s the goal in all of this.
So there you go. I hope, hope, hope that you found something encouraging here today.
If you haven’t had much success in having a morning Bible routine, don’t quit! Don’t give up! Isaiah 55:11 tells us that our time in the word NEVER returns void. It’s the most important thing we can do, developing that personal connection with our Savior. And what I’ve found in my time is that the more you study and learn about Him, the more you grow, and the more you’ll CRAVE time with Him every morning. It’s such a sweet thing.
Now I want to know…
Do you have a morning Bible routine? What does your quiet time look like?