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How to Decide What to Study in Your Quiet Time with God

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Inside: A few tips on how to decide what to study during your quiet time with God.

You’ve set aside the time and gathered your materials for quiet time. The house is (relatively) quiet and you are ready to spend some time with God.

There’s just one problem …

You don’t know where to start. What should you read or study? What should you pray about?

One struggle I hear all the time is that women have no idea what to do during their quiet time with God. It can be confusing and frustrating really hinder spiritual growth.

I used to feel the same way. But I have found a few things that help me when I feel stuck.

Bible reading and bible study are very important for daily quiet time with God. But how do you know what you should read or study?

Keys to an Effective Quiet Time

The two keys to having a successful and effective quiet time are prayer and Bible study. Bible study can encompass a lot of things, reading the Scriptures, digging in and memorizing them, etc. But a lot of times, people get stuck because they have no idea what they should be studying.

The Bible is this big, huge book. There are so many topics and it can be hard to know where to start. Today, I want to share a few tips that I hope will help you not get stuck trying to figure out what to study.

Tools to Make Study Time More Effective

First, you need a tool that will help you find verses of Scripture when you need them. I like to have a concordance. When I was young, every Bible that I had had its own concordance in the back.

A concordance is like an index for your Bible. You can flip to the back and look up a person or a topic, and it will give you a list of Scriptures. I recommend Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. It is huge, but I love it. You can also find it online.

Related: 10 Best Bible Study Tools for Beginners

If you want to look up a topic or a person, just pull out a concordance and look up a word like “faith.” The concordance will give you a list of all the verses that talk about that topic in the Old Testament and the New Testament. That will help you to create a plan for what I am studying or reading.

But I can hear you ask, “How do I figure out what to look up in my new, giant concordance?” Great question!

Deciding What to Study

Option #1 – What Are You Struggling With?

One idea is to ask yourself what you are currently struggling with. Or if you’re a mom, ask yourself what your children are struggling with. My oldest son has a bit of a temper problem (which I must admit he gets honestly. Both of his parents have temper issues.) For a long time, I was having a hard time reaching his heart and talking to him about his anger.

One month, I decided to focus my own Bible time on learning about anger and specifically what God says about anger and self-control so that I could help him more. So that’s exactly what I did. I got my concordance out and looked up anger. And every day in my quiet time, I read and studied what the Bible had to say about anger.

Option #2 – Pick a Book, Any Book

Another thing you can do is pick a book of the Bible. Maybe you choose the book of James. One of my boys is reading through the book of James right now because it’s something he wanted to do. Picking a book to focus on is a great way to have a plan for what you want to study.

Option #3 – Look at the Calendar

Another thing you can do it look at the Biblical calendar. You will see that there are lots of big events that go on: Passover, Christmas, Easter. That is also a way to pick something to study. When December rolls around and it’s Advent season, what a great time to study the prophecies that foretold the coming of the Messiah.

Option #4 – What Do You Want to Know?

Is there something you just want to learn more about? I have done this many times. Just last year, I wanted to learn all I could about prayer. I wanted to know what God said about prayer and what was the right way to pray. I looked up every verse that I could find on the topic of prayer.

This is probably my favorite way to study and read is to just dig in deep on something that interests me.

You could also choose a person to study. Maybe you want to study the life of Paul or Abraham or the women of the Bible. These are all themes that will help you focus on what you can study in your devotional time so that you have a plan and you aren’t spending the 5-10 minutes you set aside trying to figure out what to read. 

Related: How to create your own Bible reading plan

Option #5 – Pray!

Yes, pray and ask God what it is that He wants you to learn about, what He wants you to work on, what He wants to reveal to you during your time with Him.

He is faithful to answer those questions. He says, “If you want wisdom, just ask for it”, and He will give it. He gives it freely. Sometimes we have not because we don’t ask.

So ask Him for direction, and He will be faithful to answer that question.

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14 Comments

  1. I like all your tips but the ultimate one beats them all because really this is time dedicated to God and so it should be spent doing what He wants to be done.

  2. My quiet time is my life line, so I appreciate these tips. I like using a reading plan where it’s already layed out for me. Right now, I’m using the First5 App. I find God speaking to me and my needs daily, even if it’s through a plan I didn’t choose for myself. But in the past, I’ve done as you also suggest and chosen topical plans based on my needs or interests. #GraceandTruth

    1. I just went to download the app, most times I had difficulty when it comes to my quiet time…But the app really made it easier. Thank you so much forrecommending it.

  3. Good Morning, LaToya! I love your tips for Quiet Time and Bible Study. I’ve found that no matter I choose, God always speaks to the needs in my life. His Word is like that. Alive–always active. I agree that a concordance is a must-have tool! (I love my online version, tho!) Blessings on your day! #GraceandTruth

  4. Love your tips, LaToya, for Quiet Times and Bible Study. I find that no matter what i choose, God always speaks to the needs in my life. I love that about God’s Word. It’s alive–always active. I love my concordance, too. (I’m partial to my online version!) Have a great day!! Visiting from Grace & Truth.

  5. Right you are! The most important thing is not to let “not knowing where to begin” interfere with beginning. God is present in His Word and He meets the willing and receptive heart who wants to hear from Him.

  6. Love these! Sometimes it’s hard to just choose something and go, but its such an important first step!

  7. Thank you, thank you. I may know how but I forget or stay away too long and then need a nudge or kick to get me back into the special time with God. We have been moving and have been out of kilter from anything “normal” so this is just perfect for me today. Thank you.

    1. I’ve had a busy week so I stayed up till 1AM working on my bible study last night

  8. One of my favorite ways to study the Bible is following questions from my children (who are now young adults). I love going to the Bible or other study guides I have to find answers for them.

  9. Yes thanks for the boost

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