We call it daily Bible study, but you might call it something else like prayer time, morning devotions, daily quiet time and even meditation. It's that 30 minute (or more or less) block of time you spend alone with your thoughts and prayers to reflect on life. For the betterment of our brains, we should be doing this everyday to protect our hearts and minds from despair, but we're not just talking about the kind of "alone-time" we get in the bathroom or in traffic. We mean making an intentional decision to silence the distractions and noise of life to stop, think, pray, journal and listen.
The biggest obstacle we encounter to making this a regular habit is two fold: first, really having the personal urge to make this a priority is a must and second, finding time for it each day. The two go hand-in-hand.
Find your "why" first.
Experts say prayer and meditation changes the brain and they have science to prove it. In this study, when a group of participants practiced meditation for just two months they experienced "a systematic change in both the brain as well as the immune system in more positive directions." It's more proof that pausing and escaping the stimulations of the day not only reduces stress but creates a sense of oneness with your community, and certainly a greater sense and connection to God. It definitely gets us off the hamster wheel of busy schedules.
Believers should be seeking out prayerful meditation where we are talking to God, not just eliminating our thoughts. We can also pray for others, wait in silence to hear and meditate on what the words in the Bible really mean. This is the type of daily quiet time that will take you from a being "Christmas Christian" – someone who only goes to church on Christmas – to a "Spirit filled Christian"who walks in love everyday.
Here's a few examples of "whys" that might relate to you......
To reduce stress and anxiety in my life
To simply collect my thoughts
To learn more about my faith so I can confidently teach my children
To figure out why I believe what I believe
To find and feel comfortable at a local church
To recover from hurt
To gain peace of mind
To build a greater trust in God
To be a better..... wife, mom, leader, whatever
To reset my internal compass
To really know Jesus beyond that baby in the manger
For me, when I meditate on a single line of scripture each day it's my daily equalizer. My compass. A time where I sit to reflect on these words that keep me from focusing solely on my agenda and re-center my focus on what His world needs from me.
If we're all measuring ourselves on our individual ideals, we have a billion different selfish gods, working for a billion different goals and different directions. Sounds like utter chaos to me.
But, if we're all using the same compass to keep ourselves in line with His word and vision of the world, we are working as one.
This is why I read scripture daily.
Once you can identify your "why," you won't have to be so creative at finding the time because the urge to continue will lead you there every day.