BIBLE READING PLANS: THE EXTRAS
1 PENIEL EXPERIENCE: FOR HUNGRY/THIRSTY CHRISTIANS
2 TIME RECOVERY I. QUARTERLY (FOUR TIMES A YEAR) AVERAGE OF 350Verses PER DAY, FOR 90 DAYS.
3 TIME RECOVERY II. FOUR MONTHS (THREE TIMES A YEAR) 259 VERSES PER DAY, READING FOR 120 DAYS
4. FASTED READING PLANS
(I) THREE-DAY FAST
A. 3-DAY HEBREWS: 102 VERSES/DAY; FOR ALL CHRISTIANS
B. 3-DAY: REVELATIONS: 135 VERSES/DAY; FOR ALL CHRISTIANS
C. 3-DAY: 1 CORINTHIANS: 145 VERSES/DAY; FOR ALL CHRISTIANS
D. 3-DAY: 2 COR. & JAMES: 121 VERSES/DAY; FOR ALL CHRISTIANS
E. 3-DAY: ROMANS: 144 VERSES/DAY; FOR ALL CHRISTIANS
F. 3-DAY: NEHEMIAH: 135 VERSES/DAY; FOR ALL CHRISTIANS
G. 3-DAY: ECCLESIASTES: 74 VERSES/DAY; FOR ALL CHRISTIANS AND YOUTHS/TEENS
H. 3-DAY: HABAKKUK – MALACHI: 135 VERSES/; FOR ALL CHRISTIANS
I. 3-DAY: DANIEL: 119 VERSES/DAY; FOR ALL CHRISTIANS
J. 3-DAY: RUTH & ESTHER: 84 VERSES/DAY; FOR FEMALE CHRISTIANS
(II) SEVEN-DAY FAST
A. 7-DAY: JOHN: 125 VERSES/DAY; ALL
B. 7-DAY: ACTS: 144 VERSES/DAY; ALL
C. 7-DAY: 1 & 2 CORINTHIANS: 99 VERSES/DAY; ALL
D. 7-DAY: PROVERBS: 138 VERSES/DAY; ALL
E. 7-DAY: MINOR PROPHETS: 150 VERSES/DAY; ALL CHRISTIANS, PROPHETIC MINISTERS
F. 7-DAY: JOB: 152 VERSES/DAY; ALL
(III) FOURTEEN-DAY FAST
A. 14-DAY MATT. & ACTS: 148 VERSES/DAY; ALL
B. 14-DAY: ACTS, ROM. & REV. 131 VERSES/DAY; ALL
C. 14-DAY: JERE. & LAM. 108 VERSES/DAY; ALL
D. 14-DAY: PSALMS: 175 VERSES/DAY; ALL SENIORS
(IV) 21-DAY FAST
A. 21-DAY: THE EPISTLES: 131 VERSES PER DAY; ALL
B. 21-DAY: THE GOSPELS: 179 VERSES A DAY; ALL
C. 21-DAY: MAJOR PROPHETS: 211 VERSES A DAY; PROPHETS & ALL SERIOUS CHRISTIANS
D. 21-DAY: OT WRITINGS: 227 VERSES A DAY; SENIOR CHRISTIANS & MINISTERS
(V) FORTY-DAY FASTING BIBLE: 780 VERSE/DAY; FOR MINISTERS, HUNGRY, THIRSTY CHRISTIANS
DESCRIPTION OF “THE EXTRAS”
These are programmes you can take on along with the regular Bible reading plan of the year or period. They are suitable for periodic fastings, when the hunger for more of His presence and His Word would drive you to seek a more challenging experience with the Lord. These are samples that should serve as guide for you to choose what to read and when. Try them as recommended, and you will find real refreshing in the presence of the King each time you complete a fast. Then move further to combine or choose other Scriptures to read in that manner.
PENIEL EXPERIENCE (GENESIS 32:24-30)
At a place where Jacob encountered God on his way to meet his brother Esau, which place he named Peniel, he made a statement that would befit someone who is determined to hold onto something with a deep sense of urgency and need. When he fled from his brother Esau after defrauding him of the birthright and blessing, he laid stones for his pillow and slept at nightfall at a place he did not know. This place was Bethel. Now, on his way back, in his dream the Bible says “there wrestled a man with him till day break”, when he said to this stranger ‘I will not let you go until you bless me’, and this wrestling ended in the changing of Jacob’s name to Israel. This change of name meant a change of condition, change of position and a change of destiny for Jacob. One can pick up the Bible with this kind of feeling of urgency and need, get to a solitary place, and determine to pay whatever it takes, any number of days, any amount of strength, any loss of sleep, to read through the whole Bible without resting. No time target is set, but the target of consistency, concentration and discipline to read effectively. Here can be the Peniel experience that would turn your whole story around. Any Child of God who seeks Him with such commitment will always find Him so awesome that he may desire to make it a regular habit of say once a year, once in a two, three, four or five year period, beside the regular reading target. Whatever regular reading plan you are on, this Peniel Target will take over some days, and in that case you need to omit the regular reading for those days since surely you will read those portions in the Peniel Period. Remember to resume and continue your regular target journey at the end of the Peniel Outing.
One who had been a Christian for a number of years and had no opportunity to read through the Bible even for once, may feel the need to recover such loss in time and set out to read through the Bible four times or three times in a particular year before returning to a normal regular reading programme. These are the Quarterly Target and Four-month (three times a year) Journeys.
I QUARTERLY (FOUR TIMES A YEAR) PLAN
Reading the average of 350 verses per day, for 90 days, you read the Bible through four times in a year. This is a consecrated exercise meant for long standing Christians who need to redeem their time. Here, you can read for about three to five hours per day, reading quite slowly with stops to meditate, find meaning, or mark out Bible portions. To take this exercise, you need to free yourself from many engagements, associations and affiliations that would place any demand on your time and attention.
II FOUR-MONTH (THREE TIMES A YEAR) PLAN
Reading an average of 259 verses per day for a total of 120 days, you read through the Bible three times in the year all round. This is another dimension of the time recovery programme. In case you find 350 verses too challenging, you should not back out and relent. Take this alternative programme which is still very close to the other. Make up your mind, forsaking all distractions, and everything clamouring for your attention. There is no better time than now/today to begin to put right what will enhance your spiritual life now and in eternity. There is no second chance, someone said, to make a first impression. If you cannot take it up now, you may not have that better chance you are waiting for. Ask God for the grace and strength to wait upon Him whereby you will be able to soar like the eagle.
40 DAY FASTING PLAN
This is where a Christian feels the need for the divine presence of God, a desire to have a deep fellowship, a feast, and a banquet at the feet of the Master and so declares a fasted-reading time of 40 days. This fasting need not be total but partial, or as the person so desires. The main exercise to be taken in the fasting is to read the Bible through, making use of a target arrangement. As a committed Christian, you know that prayer comes involuntarily as you soak yourself in the presence of the Master through the reading of His word. Thus since the aim of the fast is not to pray for anything in particular, but to be in the presence of God, the Holy Spirit will spur you up to pray as and when appropriate, and care must be taken to return quickly to the reading to avoid diverting attention/interest.
FASTED READING PLANS
Very serious and committed Christians appoint themselves regular periods of fasting and praying, as well as Bible Study and reading. By experience, I have found out that taking a day out every week to fast and pray, and do some specific spiritual assignment such as Bible study, reading of vital Bible passages, meditating on Scripture, Worshipping and Praising God and even quietly listening out at His feet, yields such depth of spiritual strength within you as you can never acquire from Church or Fellowship. To say the least, it is very essential and for Ministry-focused Christians, it is imperative. Again though not attempting to issue instructions, I feel what has been a blessing to me can equally be to all. Three-day fasts every month is another step to spiritual greatness, first on the inside of you. Quarterly, or as need arises, you need a seven-day fast. Twice yearly or as need arises, a 14 day fast is important, and then at the beginning of a new year you could take 21 days or 40 days depending on your particular situation and schedule.
However you wish to take it, do not forget that the real inner strength that stands you out as a very committed, successful and victorious child/servant of God and makes you the impossible ‘more than conqueror in all battles of life’, cannot be acquired from Church, but is built up in the closet – alone with God. This build-up is then polished and made more communicable and applicable through faithful Church fellowship and service.
This is where you can effectively do the “building up yourselves in your most holy faith”. Outside the Word and effectual personal prayer, the building is weak. Be a man/woman of faith, be a man/woman of the word. Let your station in the Bible never be vacant. Occupy, always consistent and persistent!