How do you study the Bible? Here are 5 steps…

Person standing on city street

This year, many of us have had to adapt to a “new normal” that doesn’t feel normal. Sudden life adjustments like this can negatively impact mental health and lead to chronic fatigue and burnout.

Yet, in the midst of this, God still calls us to come to Him, promising to give us rest. One way we draw closer to God is by spending time in His Word, but how do you make time with God a daily habit? And then, how do you bridge the gap between knowing Scripture and living it out every day?

Here are 5 seamless steps (that form an easy to remember acronym) that can help you PAUSE, rest, and study the Bible every day—even when you feel overwhelmed.

Prepare your heart

Lord, my heart is not proud. I don’t look down on others. I don’t do great things, and I can’t do miracles. But I am calm and quiet.… I am at peace, like a baby with its mother.

PSALM 131:1-2

Start your quiet time by reciting this Psalm, and then write out your concerns and worries. Visualize putting everything that’s competing for your attention into a box, then giving that box to God. (You may have to repeat this process several times before you feel ready to move on to the next step.)

Ask God to Speak to You

Before you dive into your daily Bible study, ask God to help you understand His Word, and how you can apply Scripture correctly to your life. He promises to give us His wisdom when we ask for it.

A Prayer for Wisdom:

God, please quiet my mind so that I can hear You clearly. I want Your wisdom as I study this passage, so that I can recognize biblical truth and apply it to my life. Please help me clearly see You at work in Your Word. Amen.

Save this Prayer to your Bible App

Unpack the passage

When was the passage written? Who was the intended audience? What is the main theme? Are there any repetitive words and phrases (if so, why)? What does the passage show you about God’s character?

As you begin your Bible study, read through the passage several times, each time answering a different question. Pay special attention to any phrases or ideas that continue to stand out to you.

Summarize the Scripture

What resonated with you as you were reading? Spend several minutes asking God to show you the truths in His Word, and then write down 1-3 key takeaways from the passage. This will help you process and track the insights that God shows you.

Exercise the Application

If you want to grow stronger in your faith, then it’s not enough simply to study God’s Word—you also need to live it out.

Write out 2-3 ways you want to practically apply the Scriptures you’ve studied, and then regularly check your progress. You can even turn your goals into Prayers in your Bible App, and set reminders to pray about them!

Once you’ve finished your Bible study, spend a few minutes in silent reflection, and ask God to remind you throughout the day of all that you learned.

PAUSE phone wallpaper

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Even when uncertainty surrounds us, choosing to PAUSE with God daily will ultimately help us see our problems and pain from His eternal perspective. And in the process, we will find rest for our souls and renewed hope for our lives.

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