A few months ago, I went to a little event at my church where the women were getting together to watch a Priscilla Shirer simulcast – she was teaching “live” but we were watching a recorded session of that live teaching a few weeks later. If you’ve ever heard Priscilla speak or done one of her studies, you know that she ALWAYS has REALLY GOOD stuff to say.
One of the things she did while speaking this time was outline the way she studies her bible. Having a “quiet time” in general is not a hard thing to do, right? It’s your time to be still and read the bible and connect with God, but that can look SO drastically different for every person! My personal quiet times have been really varied over the years, and I’m always looking for something new to try out. So when Priscilla outlined how she likes to read the bible, I decided to give it a try. And I’ve been loving it! It’s very simple – you just go through the 5 P’s outlined below!
That seems simple enough, right? Sure! But it’s always nice to have an example to go on, so I’ll go through the 5 P’s right now with you, so you can see how I use it.
The first P is POSITION. Really for this, I get myself into a good space, both physically and mentally, where I’ll be ready to really pay attention to what I’m about to do and focus on spending some time with God. This can look different depending on how I’m feeling that day – sometimes I sit up in my bed, sometimes I sit at my dining room table, sometimes I’m on the couch – as long as I’ve got my bible and my notebook and a pen, I’m good to go. I do, however, make sure that I don’t have any distractions. No phone nearby. No TV on. It’s focus time! And then before I actually start digging into the bible, I write down a few things I’m thankful for and a few things I want to pray specifically for during the rest of the day.
Next it’s time to PORE over the passage and then summarize the major points. Right now I’m going through Philippians (it’s one of my favorites!) This also looks a little different depending on the day. Some days I’ll read through a few verses at a time, but other days I might just read one verse and really focus on it alone. The point of this is to really dig in and understand what God is saying through his word, so just see what feels right for you that day.
Once you’ve read through your passage, it’s time to PULL out the spiritual principles and truths from what you just read. It’s kind of like summarizing above, but this is where you can look a little deeper and see what God is actually trying to say. Is that passage a metaphor for something? Is it literal? What does it mean? Is there a command to follow?
Building off the previous step, it’s now time to POSE questions and make them personal and practical for your life and current situations. If there are directions to be followed, are you following them? If there was a promise given, do you believe it? I usually end up kind of journaling this out (I mentioned before that I have a notebook with me because I like to think things through as I’m writing).
And here we are at the final P! This is where you look over what you just read, learned, and thought about, and PLAN obedience if there was something that convicted you. We are strategic about so many things in our lives, so why not be strategic about following God’s word, too? This can look as simple as praying for guidance on a situation going on it your life, it could look like planning to have a hard conversation with a friend, it could look like apologizing to someone in your life – the possibilities are endless! This plan phase is really what I try to get to stick with me through the rest of my day (which I’m a human so sometimes I fail) but my hope is that it helps me go through my day in a way that will encourage my faith, show love to myself and to others, and reflect God’s kindness to other people around me!
So there you have it – that’s how I’ve been studying my bible lately! It can definitely seem like a more “academic” approach since I’m going a lot slower through scripture than I have in the past (and I have a GREAT study bible where there’s a lot of explanation text for each passage) but I’m loving this approach. Going slower to REALLY make sure I’m understanding the truths and promises that are in my bible has revealed a lot of great things in the last few months, and I can’t wait to keep going. Depending on how much time I have, I’ll often go and read a few chapters of another book of the bible to finish out my quiet time, just for fun. Right now I’m reading through 1 Samuel, and I just read the story about David and Goliath!
I hope this method of bible study seems interesting to you, and if so why don’t you go ahead and give it a try! If you aren’t a believer and don’t read the bible and somehow made it to the end of this post (hi you fantastic reader, you!) I hope it gives a little insight into what reading the bible can look like and maybe even why it’s done in the first place.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!