To profit well in Bible reading, you must learn to read with good comprehension. Many readers have lazy minds that have not been trained to read with good attention. Following are some suggestions: (1) Read in a quiet, non-distracting environment. Find the best place possible and do your best to remove all distractions. I know a pastor who removed all of the bright colored covers from the books in his office, because they distracted him when he was trying to study. I make sure that I don’t have my laptop open so I am not distracted by photos that rotate on my screen saver. For a mother with a small child, that perhaps means waiting until the child is sleeping. Each individual has to examine his situation and plan his Bible reading/study time so he can get the most out of it. (2) Turn off cell phone notifications. Put the phone in airplane mode. (3) Pray for the Lord to help you to keep your mind on His Word. If you find your mind frequently wandering during Bible study, lay the matter before the Lord. Tell Him that you desire to grow in knowledge of Him and His Word, explain your problem to Him, and beseech Him to help you concentrate. (4) If you are particularly worried about some matter, cast it upon the Lord (1 Pe. 5:7) and trust Him to take care of it, then turn your full attention to His Word. (5) If other projects come to mind, write them down for later. This way, you can put them out of your mind for the time being and proceed with your study. If you get in the habit of rushing off to deal with other things as they come to mind, you will be crippled in your ability to study the Bible fruitfully. (6) Put Bible reading first before you do anything else in the day. I have found that if I start reading and studying other things first, replying to emails, etc., it is more difficult to concentrate on the Bible afterwards. (7) If your mind drifts, go back and read the passage again. It is better to read one verse with clear understanding than to read an entire chapter with the mind drifting to other things. (8) Sometimes it helps to read out loud. (9) A larger print Bible can also help with concentration because it is easier to read and the pages of the Bible are not as cluttered. (10) Try not to read the Bible when you are tired. Sometimes this cannot be avoided, and it is better to read the Bible when you are tired than not at all. But the wise Bible student will try to arrange his schedule in such a way that he can study the Scriptures when his mind is as fresh as possible. (11) Test your comprehension by reading Bible passages and have a friend ask questions from the passage.
(Friday Church News Notes, December 31, 2021, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)