The popular advice continually given to Christians who are hungry to know more of God is that they should read their Bible. I'm a huge advocate for Bible reading but I think we can all relate to having a season where turning to God's word feels arduous or boring.
If that's you today, no worries!
Here are 5 Scripture reading practices to help you get into the Word of God in a new way and experience His presence daily:
If you've heard of lectio divina you might know that it translates to "divine reading." This practice can be done well in a group or individual setting. Generally, you begin reading a passage of scripture. It can be short or long, but I wouldn't reccomend too long of a passage because that can become distracting.
Read the passage again slowly, noticing this second time what jumps out at you. When you notice what the Holy Spirit has highlighted to you go back and mediate on that portion–it could be a phrase or even just a word.
Respond to what God is saying. Why has the Holy Spirit highlighted this to you? What might He be speaking to you?
Finally, rest in God's presence acknowledging His character.
2. Ignatious Method
This method of scripture reading is a more imaginative reading of scripture. Instead of simply reading a passage and reflecting on the passage, try to imagine yourself in the passage. This works especially well with narrative pieces of scripture.
Envision yourself alongside the people in the story, or imagine what certain people in the story might have been thinking or feeling. What was the setting like? Is there any research that could provide you with more clarity on what is happening in this passage?
As you use your imagination, invite God to teach you something new about Him in the reading.
3. Handcopying scripture
This one is as easy as it sounds and surprisingly effective. All you do is simple write a copy of the scripture down for yourself. Begin with a verse or a few, and continue to hand copying an entire chapter!
It has multiple benefits including increasing your ability to memorize scripture, allowing you to remember more of what you read, creating a tangible reminder of God's Word, and forcing you to slow down as you read and write the Bible out for yourself. You might notice something new about a familiar passage when you see it written by your own hand.
"Do not let mercy and truth leave you. Fasten them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart" (Proverbs 3:3).
4. Journaling scripture
This scripture reading practice can be challenging for people who aren't natural journal-ers, but it can be incredibly beneficial and can look many different ways. While you read, you might journal your thoughts and feelings. Maybe you write down a few questions about God. Can you find answers to them in the passage?
Maybe you simply write down a word or phrase as you read. Or, you might write down a circumstance or person's name who you are reminded to pray for as you read. Make a record for yourself of God's faithfulness in your own life as your document prayers and answered prayers.
5. Reading aloud
This is easily one of my favorite ways to read the Word of God. Reading the Word of God alone in my house aloud has become a normal practice for me. There is power in the name of Jesus and I'm eager to speak it! If you're struggling to focus reading God's Word, this is an easy way to create more focus on what is written. It's pretty difficult to focus on something other than what you are saying out loud. Read the Word aloud, and maybe it will sound like a fresh word from God even if it's a passage you've read over and over again.