Spiritual disciplines for the New Year

Person on phone

The start of a new year brings so many possibilities, which makes it the perfect time to focus on developing spiritual disciplines.

If you’re hoping to make 2023 a year for intentional connection with God, check out these 4 tips to build Bible habits that stick:

  1. Make it accessible

Stay connected to Scripture by making sure YouVersion is installed on all of your devices. That way, wherever you go, God’s Word goes with you.

Tip: Have kids? Make sure you install Bible App for Kids, the free app designed to help children fall in love with God’s Word.

  1. Make it stick

The easiest way to create a new habit is by linking it to something you already do consistently. If the first thing you do in the morning is reach for your phone, try reflecting on YouVersion’s Verse of the Day.

Tip: Make YouVersion the first app you see, and get instant access to the Verse of the Day, by enabling the Verse of the Day widget on your phone. Learn how to enable widgets here.

  1. Make it automatic

The best way to build a habit is just to start. And as you get started, don’t focus on the amount of time you’re reading or listening to Scripture, just focus on doing it regularly.

Once you complete two days in a row, go for three. Once you complete three days, try for five, and keep going until you’ve built a Bible streak.

Tip: Keep up your momentum by viewing your Bible streak on your YouVersion Home Feed. You can also set up Plan, Prayer, and Verse of the Day Reminders here.

  1. Make it a place for community

You’re more likely to keep studying your Bible if you do it alongside someone who cares about your spiritual growth.

Plans with Friends offers a simple, easy way to make sure you continue building your Bible study habit.

There are thousands of Plans in YouVersion, so simply pick a Plan that interests you, and start it with Friends. At the end of each Plan day, you’ll be given a space to chat with your Friends about what you learned.

Tip: You can do a Plan with anybody! Simply share a Plan link on social media, or share a Plan with someone within the app. Get started by choosing a Plan, and follow the prompts to invite Friends to join you.

Making the Bible a part of your everyday life doesn’t have to be daunting—and thankfully, we don’t have to do it alone.

God loves to come alongside us to encourage and empower us by renewing and transforming our minds. He reveals Himself to anyone searching for Him.

The more you build your habits, the easier it becomes to recognize God’s voice and understand what His will truly is.

As you commit to studying Scripture regularly, remember that the God who created you can also enable you to break through the resistance that holds you back, so that you can consistently engage with His living and active Word.

FacebookShare on Facebook

TwitterShare on Twitter

EmailShare via Email

Hidden Features We Love

Person holding phone

The more you know…

With YouVersion, making the Bible a part of your everyday life doesn’t have to be daunting.

Customize your app experience with these five simple tips and tricks.

  1. Compare two different Bible versions at the same time.

    Open YouVersion, and tap the Bible tab. Next, flip your phone sideways. Tap the Compare icon icon. Select the two versions you want to read side by side.

    Compare versions

  2. View your Bible reading history.

    Tap the verse reference on the top left of the Bible tab. Then tap the history button.

    Bible reading history

  3. Set up Prayer Reminders.

    Open your Push Notification Settings in YouVersion, and tap “Remind me to pray.”

    Prayer reminders

  4. Listen to Bible Plans.

    Subscribe to a Plan. Then, open a Plan day and tap the Speaker icon icon on the top right of your screen.

    Plan audio

  5. Adjust your font size or style.

    Open the Bible tab and tap the Font icon icon on the top right of your screen to customize your reading experience.

    Change text

Ready to get the most out of your YouVersion experience? Start exploring these hidden features.

Open YouVersion

FacebookShare on Facebook

TwitterShare on Twitter

EmailShare via Email

Resting in a Busy World

Person on busy street

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.”

MATTHEW 11:28-29

So often, the world feels frantic. We wake to the sound of urgent alarms and rush from one activity to the next.

Interrupting our busy schedules can feel unthinkable—we worry we’ll fall behind. The world screams at us to buckle down, to grind, to work even harder.

But Scripture encourages us to pause and turn to God instead.

In a world that moves at such an unsustainable pace, how do we find time to rest?

Find your why.

God created us for purposeful work. But there’s a difference between doing meaningful work and letting that work become our identity. The second we cross the line, we’re caught in a vicious cycle.

Taking time to rest is the extreme opposite of what the world asks of us.

But, it’s something God consistently instructs us to do throughout the Bible.

From the very beginning, God modeled rest, and He commanded us to make rest part of our weekly rhythm.

Maybe you recognize you need to rest because you notice something in your life is becoming more important than God. Maybe it’s to prioritize your mental health. Maybe you’re simply exhausted.

Whatever it is, find a clear vision for why rest matters to you.

Schedule it on your calendar.

Time is one of our most valuable resources.

If we don’t schedule rest in advance, chances are something else will consume that resource.

One of the simplest ways to find rest is by planning when you’re going to do it. Try scheduling it on your calendar, and consider communicating the times to your family and friends.

Whether it’s 20 minutes or 24 hours, rest gives you room to appreciate and experience the things God created you to do.

Give yourself something to look forward to.

When you step back and slow down to draw closer to God, it’s likely going to feel uncomfortable or unsettling.

That probably means you’re doing it right.

When we rest, the temptation to fall into busyness becomes even greater. But true rest doesn’t always look like doing nothing.

When you schedule time to rest, plan to do something that brings you joy or peace.

This could include spending time appreciating God’s creation or cultivating a hobby God wired you to be passionate about.

Don’t do it alone.

God created us for community. We’re wired for relationships. And, those relationships can be one of the most tangible ways we experience God’s presence.

Finding a rhythm of rest isn’t something you have to do alone. Think about ways you can rest alongside your family or friends.

Resting together will help you to stay accountable when the world tries to pull you into work and activity.

Be relentless.

Practicing rest is a spiritual discipline. And, like any discipline, resting requires determination and self control.

When we choose not to rely on our own effort and let Jesus take over, we surrender our shame, striving, and expectations. In return, we experience God’s perfect peace.

Rest helps us enjoy God’s presence and realign our priorities.

Rest allows us to trust that God is working even when we aren’t.

Rest is how we trust our Savior enough to say “enough.”

Want to pause in God’s presence right now?

Open Guided Prayer

FacebookShare on Facebook

TwitterShare on Twitter

EmailShare via Email

Community Highlights



“My reading disability has always affected me…”


For years, when it came to reading the Bible, I was limited to a surface-level understanding.

But when I started using the OpenDyslexic font in YouVersion and listening to Audio Bibles, my experience completely changed. I could finally fully encounter God through His Word.

My reading disability has been a source of shame, but having YouVersion care about my needs helps me feel supported and known.

P.S. To listen to Audio Bibles, open your favorite Bible version in the app and tap the speaker icon at the top of your screen.


Prayer Reminders

We can all use a reminder every once in a while that we can talk to God about anything.

To set up Prayer Reminders, go to your Push Notification Settings in YouVersion, and tap “Remind me to pray.”

Get Started


In the last month, our Community has completed over 69,000,000 Plan Days.

That’s equivalent to the entire population of the United Kingdom reading a Plan Day.

Start a Plan

With Plans, you’re growing closer to God every day, alongside a diverse, global Community. That’s something to celebrate!

FacebookShare on Facebook

TwitterShare on Twitter

EmailShare via Email

What Are You Praying For?

Person praying

If something in your life is big enough to worry about, it’s big enough to pray about.

Not sure where to start? Choose one of these customizable prayers to add to your YouVersion Prayer List.

I’m worried about…

God, when I think about ______ I feel ______. Help me to fix my eyes on you when things feel out of my control. Remind me that you won’t give up on me because You care about me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Create Prayer >

I’m hoping for…

God, You understand my deepest wants and needs. Help me to surrender my expectations about ______. As I pursue Your plans, help me to remember that you’ve already helped me with ______. Show me how to live a life worthy of the calling You’ve given me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Create Prayer >

My relationship with…

God, I surrender my relationship with ______ to you. Guide us as we navigate this season. Help me see where I’m ______ and ______ so that I can surrender those things to You and replace those traits with Your selfless love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Create Prayer >

P.S. After you create a Prayer, be sure to tap Share with Friends so they can pray for you!

FacebookShare on Facebook

TwitterShare on Twitter

EmailShare via Email