As the new year approaches, many of us look to set new patterns that will help us do life better.

One area for many Christians would like to set good patterns in is personal Bible reading and prayer. Some of us need to get a pattern going, some of us want to get a better pattern in place, some of us just need a refresh in the way we listen to and speak to God through Bible reading and prayer. Here are a few different resources that may be helpful for this – they give a range of different ways of engaging in this important part of life:

  • YouVersion – this app brings numerous Bible translations to your phone for free, as well as the possibility of different reading plans and prayer helps. While I personally generally prefer paper Bibles, I find it particularly useful in providing an audio version of the Bible at your fingertips.
  • Bible Gateway Audio – another easy way to access a lot of audio Bibles that may be very helpful.
  • Bible Reading Chart – I love this simple chart. It enables me to mark off chapters I have read, and thereby keep track of what I have read from the Bible over time, so I can make sure I am listening to the ‘whole council of God’, and haven’t inadvertently left parts out! The colours also allow me to see that I am getting a good diet of different genres of Bible books in a particular part of the year. Useful whether you read half a chapter a day or ten chapters a day.
  • TGC Bible Reading and Devotional – if you are looking for something a bit more structured and meaty, this plan follows the M’Cheyne Yearly Bible Reading Plan, covering a number of chapters per day and taking you through the whole Bible in a year. It provides these chapters along with a devotional by the wise and learned scholar Don Carson. Both the Bible text and the devotional are provided in both written and audio formats, all in one place each day. (If you’d rather use M’Cheyne’s reading plan in your own way, the full plan can be found in table format here, and an app for keeping track of your reading is here on Android).
  • PrayerMate – this prayer app for smartphones has probably been the most helpful prayer aid I have ever come across. It allows you to keep track of things to pray for, and reminds you to pray for things you need to pray for (including people you have said you will pray for!). You can also subscribe to prayer updates from many different organisations.

Whichever you find helpful or want to try out, may the Lord bless you in your time reading his word and praying this coming year!