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by Sandy MayleSandy Male


I’ve been reading the Bible since I was old enough to read. I’ve used the New King James Version, the NIV, the Amplified Bible, the New Living Translation, The Message, and others. I have read every verse multiple times, studied many of its individual books in-depth, researched various topics, attended classes to learn what the Bible says about this or that…

All this not to brag, but to confess something that sounds awful: occasionally, I

have gotten bored with the Bible. Even while I absolutely believed its words and recognized that I desperately needed what it had to say to me, I wished I could read it with fresh eyes, discover something new and fascinating, and find some way to bring it alive again.

At one point, those feelings persisted for many months. The daily devotional book I was using was very good, but I longed to be renewed in love for the Bible itself and to once again enjoy reading and studying it. Surely God Himself wanted me to love His Word!

I confessed my boredom and desire to Him and wrote down a simple prayer request: That I would be awakened to Your Word. And the Holy Spirit led me to Psalm 119. Here was a writer who loved God’s Word and took 176 verses to say so! He had the kind of appetite for Scripture that I wanted.

So I added three scripture verses to my prayer request, and began to pray them day after day:

  1. “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law” (Ps. 119:18 NIV).
  2. “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your Word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart” (Jer. 15:16 NKJV).
  3. “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long” (Ps. 119:97 NIV).

I asked and asked for those words to become true of me. Nothing dramatic happened overnight, but in time an idea formed: over the next twelve months, each month I would study a different Bible book or character or topic, however the Lord led. I would write down the ways He spoke through His Word and the conclusions He revealed. Read supporting books and material. Take any action steps He urged. Learn and change and grow in twelve different ways in the coming twelve months!

Along with the fresh inspiration and direction for my Bible study came a renewed love for God’s Word and excitement about delving into it – definite answers to the prayers I’d been praying.

How did this plan play out for me?

Initially, I was tempted to sit down and sketch out the entire year, listing twelve monthly topics. But the Lord checked me: He would give me each month’s study in His timing. So that’s the way we did it. Sometimes I didn’t know where we were headed next until the first of the month loomed, but the Spirit always directed me in time.

It was an intriguing journey. Monthly subjects included:

January: the tongue (mine needed some boundaries), based largely on Proverbs. I was

given several key verses to pray daily.

April: people (I am not a people person).  In the gospel of Mark I observed Jesus as He

interacted with people throughout His three years of ministry. I saw there a pattern of

courage and compassion I need to imitate.

May: God in me. I was freshly astounded as I contemplated God’s literal presence within

me, and challenged to further open myself to “be filled with all the fullness of God”

(Eph. 3:17 NIV).

November: God’s Word (Psalm 119). I fell in love with the Word all over again as nearly

every one of the Psalm’s 176 verses affirmed the power or practicality or excellence of

the Bible.

December: review. I spent the month condensing and internalizing the year’s lessons.

The entire year was like a treasure hunt as I followed one reference to another, finding out what the Bible said on the different topics, browsing reference books and Spirit-selected writings of other Christians, and praying that revealed truth would heal and shape my spirit, renew my mind and impact the way I live.

Often days of pouring over Scripture verses and journaling what the Holy Spirit revealed resulted in a few verses that summed up the entire subject. These became my emphasis for the month, influencing how I prayed and giving focus to my thoughts throughout the day. Through the work of the Spirit, they changed me. At the end of the month, I was a different person than when it began.

And I continued to pray selected verses from previous months because I didn’t want to forget the guidance I was given for my tongue or Jesus’ examples for interacting with people. At year’s end, I was able to assign a note card for each month’s study, with takeaways, scriptures, and prayer points, so that I would always have a “condensed version” of the year’s lessons at hand.

If you, too, ask God for a fresh passion for His Word, His answer may look very different. He will lead you down a path unique to your needs and His plan for you. The important thing to remember is that God delights in opening His Word to us through His Spirit. He’s stored just what we need there, and He longs to lead us to it. Although a few of the things He tells us are “secrets” for our personal benefit, much of it is meant to be passed on, as the Spirit directs, to others through the relationships, giftings, and ministries we’ve been given.

I know that my own enthusiasm waxes and wanes. So I want to remember those three prayers that ask God to give me a passion for His Word. I don’t take this enthusiasm for granted. It’s God-given, and I want to cherish and nurture it and, God helping me, never become bored with the Bible again.


Sandy Mayle is a freelancer who has written for Focus on the Family, Prayer Connect, Just Between Us, and many other publications. She and her husband Dave have been married for 48 years and have three sons and eight grandchildren. She can be contacted at

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