7 Ways to Practice Bible Reading at Lunchtime
- Sarah Frazer Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2021 6 Aug
The week my sister visited from out of town I struggled with reading my Bible. My passion and heart is to encourage women to read their Bibles on a daily basis. For years I’ve been consistent and focused when it comes to Bible reading, but occasionally life happens, and it is hard to keep up with my plan. Currently, I am reading through the New Testament during the summer, but at other times I read through single books of the Bible or follow a topical plan. A plan is nice, and I’ve shared before how having a plan to read your Bible is vital. There is one more thing you need to be consistent with your Bible reading.
Whatever plan I’m using, even if it is a fantastic reading plan, I’ve found it hard to keep consistent if I don’t do this one thing. Plan the time of day I’m going to read. What time of day will you read God’s Word? Although mornings would be ideal for me, it is often hard to get up early before the kids do. Maybe you have a hard time getting up early as well to read your Bible. Or maybe you have a different type of work that doesn’t allow early morning Bible reading. A few things I’ve learned along the way is that God doesn’t care when we read the Bible, only that we do it!
Whether you find yourself getting up early or not, you can still benefit from getting into the habit of a lunchtime reading practice. Each of us might have a different way we eat lunch. You might be in an office, at school, or work from home. Maybe you don’t have much time, but most of us have a “lunch period” – whether we work or not. Our days might even vary from one day to the next, but I’ve found lunchtime looks very similar day to day. We might get up and breakfast is rushed, or dinner time might be in-between activities. Lunchtime might be the most consistent time in your day.
So how do we practice lunchtime Bible reading? I’ve found these seven things have helped me to develop a practice of reading my Bible at lunchtime. These things are applicable if you work, stay at home, or work from home. Read through them and think about the hours in the middle of your day.
1. Make it a priority.
First, we must decide that God is the most important part of our day. Even though we might not be reading our Bibles first thing in the morning, making a habit of lunchtime Bible reading shows God we value our time with Him. God is our priority and that can be seen in even reading at lunchtime. Developing any kind of new habit takes effort, but isn’t Bible reading and connecting with God worth the work? We would love to feel less anxious, more joyful, and have a deep sense of contentment. However, we fail to realize that the only thing that will provide that is God. And God is found in His Word. Making reading God’s Word a priority is how we find what we are looking for. We might think more sleep or deeper friendships will fulfill what our hearts are missing, but only God can truly satisfy. So, let’s be a people that determines how to put God first.
2. Get ready beforehand.
This is the most practical part of setting up a consistent lunchtime Bible reading. As we said before, any time we are developing a new habit it takes determination and I would also add planning. You can’t have a Bible reading lunchtime practice without a plan. Maybe you want to read through the entire Bible or maybe you want a topical Bible reading plan. Either way, get a plan. Next, make sure you have all of your supplies. I love having a “Bible bag” where I keep a notebook, pen, and my Bible. It is ready to go anytime I need to take it with me. This is especially helpful for those who work outside the house. If you take your lunch to work, put your Bible with your lunch! Make plans ahead of time to figure out where you will read as well.
3. Set expectations.
Maybe lunchtime is busy and everyone in your office goes out for lunch. If you can, stay back a few days a week and eat at your desk. Or maybe you take a different lunchtime than your coworkers. It would be helpful to sit alone and talk to those you work with or live with. I tell my children if I am reading my Bible, they are not allowed to talk to me unless it is an emergency. It might hurt people’s feelings, but you can explain to them God’s Word is a priority in your life. If they are Christians, invite them to join you! If they aren’t, think of the testimony you are showing! Setting expectations up ahead of time allows you to also help them be accountable to you. I have one child who asks me a few times a week if I’ve read my Bible. He has seen me do it so many times he recognizes this practice in my life.
4. Learn to eat and read (or listen).
One of the things I struggled with during my lunchtime routine was eating and reading. I found it hard to read and eat. Maybe you eat faster than normal and then read after. Or maybe you read first, and while you are eating pray and meditate on what you read. One of my friends uses her time to listen to God’s Word. This is also a fantastic option – not even at lunchtime. A few weeks ago, I was stuck in traffic and instead of listening to a podcast or music I turned on the Bible app and caught up on some Bible reading! I listened to ten chapters of Acts, and it was wonderful! If you have very limited time to eat lunch, this might be a great option for you. You can listen to the Word of God while you eat and then spend a few minutes in prayer.
5. Dedicate that time with prayer.
Before you start, always remember to pray. Prayer will be the life of your Bible reading time. Before you begin this practice, as well as while you are developing this practice of reading your Bible at lunchtime, take some time to pray to God and dedicate that time to Him. The word “dedicate” means to “set apart.” You are using this time that is set apart during your day to connect with God and learn from Him. You are committed to growing your spiritual life and deepening your faith.
6. Start with a few days a week.
Don’t try to develop a practice or habit for all seven days a week. Maybe you can start with the workdays. Whether you work for five days or three days or two days a week, try it just for those days. You might find certain days of the week work better. When you start small and simple, then you can add more days. You are not in a race or competition. You are simply trying to make goals for yourself. Set them and then when you reach them, set them higher.
7. Give yourself grace.
With anything, you must allow room for mistakes. You might find you can’t do it on certain days of the week, that’s ok! Can you do it for a few days? Maybe on the weekends? If you go a few days (or even weeks) without reading – always start again. You are never behind with your Bible reading.
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Alexis Brown
Sarah E. Frazer is a writer and Bible study mentor. Sarah is the wife of Jason and mother of five. She and her family serve as full-time missionaries in Honduras. Her passion is to encourage women to start today with a Bible reading and prayer habit. Sarah is the author of several self-published Bible study resources for women. She shares tools and encouragement for Bible and prayer study on her blog: sarahefrazer.com.