I am not a fan of New Year resolutions, but I also recognize that the new year is a new beginning in many ways. It provides us with a good opportunity to reflect on the past and plan for the future.
One of the things that many believers like to do this time of the year is plan ahead for their personal Bible reading and prayer time. You may already have your plan scoped out for the year, and if so, that’s great! Keep on going! You may not have a specific plan but prefer to do in-depth studies or read one book at a time. Again, that is great! Keep on going!
Perhaps, you are like many Christians, myself included, who have felt great guilt and failure for your lack of Bible reading and prayer. You really want to read your Bible, you really want to pray more, but you find yourself defeated time-and-time again. Then you try to make up for lost ground and try to do way too much (“I promise to read my Bible for two hours each day!”) Then, you find yourself failing and defeated again.
I wanted to write to let you know that you are not alone. You may find a blog post I wrote over the summer a helpful tool for planning a Bible reading time this year (here).
In this post, I wanted to offer an encouraging voice to those who need it. I also wanted to provide you with links to some helpful and simple Bible reading plans.
5x5x5 New Testament Reading Plan
This is the Bible reading plan I intend to use in 2022. It is a simple plan that takes you through the New Testament in a year. You read one chapter in the New Testament each day Monday-Friday and have the weekends to read other passages, catch up for missed days, or simply meditate on what you read the previous week.
Here is a link to a PDF by Moody Church in Chicago. This is a checklist for the reading plan.
Bible in Three Years Plan
This plan has you read one chapter most days. Sometimes you will read two or three shorter chapters. This will take you through the entire Bible in three years. That may seem like a long time, but it is a manageable way to read the entire Bible. I also see this as a great aid for meditation. Rather than racing through there is time to contemplate what is read.
Here is a link to a PDF by Moody Church in Chicago, which is a checklist for this plan.
One Book At A Time
This plan is like the three year plan, but it allows you flexibility in which books you read. There is not a calendar accountability, which may be nice for some. You simply pick a book of the Bible and read one chapter (or one section) each day until you are through it. That’s it! You may want to alternate between the Old and New Testaments.
Bible in a Year
This is the traditional approach to Bible reading. For some it is a perfect way to be in the Word. For others, it may be way too much. Neither is wrong. We are all unique and have unique abilities and needs. If this is helpful to you there are a few approaches. One approach is known as the Robert Murray M’Cheyne approach which has you read in four different places of the Bible each day. Here is another similar approach from the Navigators.
Proverbs Once Each Month
The Book of Proverbs has 31 chapters. This makes it a good book to work through each month. Take the calendar day and read the chapter number that corresponds to that day. This is a great way to develop the habit of Scripture reading. I once heard it takes 21 days to build a habit. Proverbs provides you with 31 days. By the way, if you miss a day’s reading, don’t feel like you have to play catch up! Just go on to the chapter that corresponds with the calendar date.
Resting in Jesus,