John Wesley, pioneering Methodist preacher and leader in 18th century England, penned the words “read and pray daily; it is for your life” to one of his co-laborers in the movement whose spiritual vitality was waning. Wesley was speaking to the pivotal role of personal reading, study, and reflection upon Scripture of course along with personal prayer.
This blog provides a plan to prayerfully read through the entire Bible over 3 years, a chapter a day. The plan is governed by the desire to read from both the Old and New Testaments each week, since both are equally inspired and are God’s Word. The plan is also governed by the commitment to read through entire books of the Bible in sequence. The weekly pattern is 2 chapters from a New Testament book and 5 chapters from an Old Testament book plus 1 Psalm a day (repeated two days in a row). For example, you would read Luke 1 (Sunday), Luke 2 (Monday), Genesis 1 (Tuesday), Genesis 2 (Wednesday), Genesis 3 (Thursday), Genesis 4 (Friday), and Genesis 5 (Saturday). You would pray Psalm 1 (Sunday and Monday), Psalm 2 (Tuesday and Wednesday), Psalm 3 (Thursday and Friday) and Psalm 4 (Saturday and Sunday). This pattern would continue until we are done with a book.
One can start wherever we are in the plan on that particular day on the blog, or a person can follow the link “Restart 3-Year Plan” to begin from the start of the plan. Each Psalm & daily Scripture reading is hyperlinked to Bible Gateway for ease of access to God’s Word. The default translation is the New International Version, but one can quickly and easily switch to the translation of one’s choice, or use your print Bible if preferred. With the hyperlinks, one has very few excuses for not redeeming the time in God’s Word since so many of us are never far from our smart phones!
There will be links to resources to deepen and expand one’s study of Scripture and reflection on the life of discipleship (“This Week’s Reflection Resources”) as well as Scripture readings for the Christian Year (“Scripture Readings”) listed as resources for further reflection under each day’s reading from God’s Word.
Additionally, one’s prayer life is encouraged through the regular praying through the entire book of Psalms (a Psalm, or in some instances a portion of a longer Psalm, a day). Christians throughout the centuries can testify to the way the Psalms can provide “wings” in our prayer life. This can be done either by prayerful reading, singing a “metrical” version of the Psalm (see the “SING” hyperlinks), or both. A person is encouraged to make the “Lord’s Prayer” their daily companion, both through prayerful repetition and as a framework for our own thoughts and words. Included are prayers from the Book of Common Prayer (which, as an Anglican, Wesley knew and used) and often from The Worship Sourcebook. There may be other material included to offer additional resources for Christian spiritual formation.
Finally, persons are invited to affirm daily “The Jesus Creed.” This is Scot McKnight’s name for Jesus’ central teaching on the love of God and neighbor found in Mark 12:29-31. This is a fitting reminder of the goal of one’s prayerful seeking of God through reading and prayer, one which Wesley himself constantly stated: to experience the grace of God which leads one into a true and growing knowledge and love of God and love of neighbor. Hence, the alteration: not simply read and pray daily, but read, pray, love…daily. For Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross DAILY and FOLLOW ME” (Luke 9:23).