Does this scenario sound familiar?
You sit down to do study the Bible and you see:
Half full coffee cup, open Bible, and beautifully hand-penned notes… and you think, “Photo opt!” You take your picture, perfect it, share it, and then carry on with your day.
And you never think about finishing the Bible study.
As a work at home mom of four little boys, I find myself ending Bible studies with a diaper change, by starting another pot of coffee, or the photo opt like I mentioned above. It is time to be more intentional.
We live in a fast paced age, and when we don’t live on purpose, important things fall to the wayside. How do we do be intentional with our Bible study time? We begin with the expectation of ending by closing in prayer.
Whenever you have set aside time to get into the word of God (in the morning, your lunch hour, or cozy bedtime), you need to prepare. Follow this checklist:
- Turn your phone on airplane mode
- Set a timer
- Take a deep breath and say, “Thank you God for this time.”
You don’t have to say that verbatim but be sure to greet God. He loves you, don’t just throw your “gimme” list at Him.
Try eliminating all distractions by studying in a spot where no one can bother you. A secluded area of the lunchroom, the library, or the bathroom will work; yes, Jesus will meet you in the bathroom.
Once your timer goes off, or your attention is needed somewhere immediately, take a deep breath, especially if you were abruptly interrupted, and use one of the following 5 closing prayers for Bible studies:
(if the house is on fire, I would skip the deep breath, these examples, and shout “Sweet Jesus, put out the fire!”)
- God, thank you for this time. Thank you for your word. I pray for these words to be written on my heart and to echo in my mind for the rest of the day (or while I sleep). Amen.
- Holy Spirit, thank you for leading me into truth. Please bring these words to my remembrance when I need them, so I can walk the way Jesus walked. Amen.
- Jesus, thank you for dying for me. Teach me to obey these words so that I honor your sacrifice and walk in a way that people will want what I’ve found in You. Amen.
- Father, teach me how you want me to apply Your word in my life. Show me where I need to specifically change so that I look more like Jesus. Amen.
- Thank you for this time God, I’m never going to say amen. I will keep talking to you throughout the rest of my day.
These closing prayers for Bible studies are pretty simple, right?
It isn’t a magical formula that you have to do “Just Right” or God will be mad at you. The act of being intentional is what will please God, not wordy prayers. Jesus actually encouraged people to pray in secret and to not have lengthy, hollow prayers (Matthew 6:6-7).
Feel free to alter these however you would like. You could thank God because your eyes were opened to something new (revelation) or the verses spoke to your heart.
God’s word is living and active (Hebrews 4:12), it is meant to be taken in bite size chunks AND in chapter form. Balance your Bible study time between meditating on a few verses for depth or by reading a chapter (or possibly a whole book) for the big picture.
Whatever you choose: be intentional, invest all of your focus, and pick one of the 5 closing prayers for your Bible study time.