Posted by: William | February 8, 2008

My Study Habits

I’ve read other blogs where the authors write about their personal study habits. I’m not particularly sure why they do that, but I suppose it’s useful on some level. So, I thought today that I would do my edition of Study Routines thinking that perhaps you might have some good ideas for me, or perhaps I will have some good ideas for you. Either way, encouragement is good.

I didn’t used to actually have study habits—or at least not good ones. When I was a younger Christian, I didn’t have very much discipline at all and it would be a good week if I got more than 25 – 30 minutes of bible in (not including church/para-church stuff). So, at some point I developed or was given (I’m still not completely sure) just an enough discipline to plant my feet in the Word. That was kind of the beginning of my study habits. A foundation for me has been, almost legalistically, to read from the word every single day no matter what. Sometimes that’s meant reading for several hours a day, at other times it’s meant only reading for a few minutes; so long as every day I was reading from the bible.

I’ve been fortunate enough to build on top of that foundation in some ways that have produced some really great fruit in me. At some times in life it’s looked more experiential and emotional, while other times it’s been more intellectual and thoughtful; both have been good in different ways at different times so long as I remained in the bible daily.

More recently, other things have been added to that discipline, such as daily prayer. I’m uncertain of when exactly it happened, or what exactly produced it, or perhaps what means it was produced with, but I developed a longing for prayer almost a need for it. I’ve found it to be an indispensable bridge between the intellectual and the emotional (while I can’t really explain that too well, it’s kind of true). As I read through scripture and perceive it with my mind, I attempt to pray it with my heart.

As of most recently, I’ve added to my discipline study and writing. While I attempt every day to spend time in the Word, and simultaneously in prayer, I also try to be sure to read some extra-biblical literature too. Among my favorite right now is English Puritan literature. The writing I have found fulfills a need for me to produce something. Almost as if it’s helpful for me to pour out information as I am pouring information in.

Keeping these various disciplines has generally produced good fruit in my fight against sin.

So, today, my study habits consist of four disciplines: Daily read the Word, daily pray the Word, daily read the Saints and daily write as I learn and think. Perhaps you have some thoughts or insights to share; I would love to hear them.

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Responses

  1. I guess I’d fall into that group of those who write about their study habits. My main reason for doing so, I think, is accountability. Although barely anyone visits my blog, I think the idea that *someone* might read it and know what I’m reading helps to keep me focused on what I’ve promised myself, and more importantly, God, what I plan to read and study.

    I’m reading through the Old Testament chronologically and also trying to read through a short New Testament book every day for a month. In March I think I’m going to read Phillipians that way. That was suggested by John MacArthur in his study Bible and I’ve found it really helps. I’m also trying to read at least one extra-biblical book a month also this year.

  2. I have some friends who are following a similar study plan right now. It sounds like they’re enjoying it pretty well.


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