Bibles We Love (and love to share!)

Tyndale House Publishers

Valentine’s Day is a great time to share what you love. And we LOVE Bibles!!! There are so many wonderful Bibles out there, but we have a few that make our hearts so happy. We love them so much that we just can’t help but share them! Here are a few of ours. What are yours?

Maissie Currently I love the Immerse Reading Bible. It is easy to read and understand. There is something special about reading the Bible like a novel without the distraction of verse numbers, chapters, and notes. Reading Immerse reminds me that God is the Author both of the Word and of my life.

Ready to experience Immerse like Maissie?

Callie I’m so excited to own the Art of life Bible! While I wouldn’t say I am a Bible journaler per say or even artistic, I love jotting down my reflections in the margins of my Bible. This Bible gives me extra room to do this alongside new content that I can’t wait to dive into. Who’s ever wondered what the trees and plants look like in the Bible that God talks so vividly about? Or wondered why God goes into such detail on specific animals? I know I have, and it’s always fascinating when someone connects the dots on what the Bible is describing and why it’s important. It’s going to be a great way for me to explore the Bible in a fresh way.

See why Callie loves the Art of Life Bible

Kim One of my favorite Valentine’s Days was when a married friend surprised me with a care package in the mail that included the sweetest note and some personalized items, including a CD with hand-picked worship songs. It touched my heart so very deeply. I would love to do the same for my close single friends and surprise each of them with a Valentine’s care package including a greeting card with a heartfelt prayer-note and either the THRIVE Creative Journaling Bible (for those who would like the blue interior and wide margins for note-taking or creating original art) or the THRIVE Devotional Bible for Women (for those who would prefer a traditional setting without wide margins—and a pink interior). Both Bibles are the same other than those two unique features—the interior second color and the margin width. I think my friends would love this Bible because it is filled with daily readings that encourage us to keep our eyes on Christ and thrive in him. As Sheri Rose Shepherd, the author of the devotionals, says: “God paid much too high a price on the cross for us to live powerless lives.” I pray this Bible would be a daily, tangible reminder to each of them that they are so very loved by God and that they can trust him with their hearts! ❤

Learn more about the THRIVE Bible and see why Kim can’t wait to share it with those she loves!

Dave It has been a joy for me to read through the Bible over many years and I LOVE our New Living Translation One Year Chronological Bible .  For me, this has been the best way for me to understand the big story of God laid out in order. As the Bible Acquisition Director for Tyndale I’m also really excited about a project we’re working on right now to create a One Year Chronological Study Bible……stay tuned for more details in the months ahead about this amazing new resource.

Want to read through the Bible in one year like Dave? See all our One Year Bible options.

Blaine My favorite for 2021 is the Mosaic Bible I love the finish on the leatherlike edition with the classic celtic cross design. In the front of the Bible there is a 340 page section of beautiful ivory paper. This section features 52 meditations, each with full-color artwork, thought-provoking writings from historical as well as contemporary scholars, prayers, poetry and space to write my reflections as I meditate and pray. Each week’s theme compliments the Church calendar which helps me stay in rhythm with my fellow believers.  The Bible text is only interrupted by the center column references which are there when I need them but easy to ignore as I read scripture.  A very nicely done Bible in my opinion.

Want to read the Mosaic Bible with Blaine in 2021? See more

Jim There is so much to love about the Life Application Study Bible that it’s hard to know even where to begin. This Bible has had a special place in my heart for over 20 years. I learn something new every time I pick it up! And it is always relevant to what I am facing today.

See why so many people, like Jim, love the Life Application Study Bible.

The Other Jim I once had a Sunday School teacher who, when I – or another student – forgot to bring a Bible to class, would say: “that’s great; you must have it memorized.” I didn’t, but I’ve used his line since then.  And it leads me to my recommendation of a Bible I love. I love the HelpFinder Bible because of its extraordinary 352-page Index-on-steroids.  The index is an amazing guide when you’re looking for biblical counsel on more than 200 topics from Abilities to Worth, including Faith, Humility, Rejection, Sexuality, Success and Vulnerability, and so much more.  Each topic in the Index has questions and answers and biblical references. And alongside the Bible text there are short teachings on many of the topics. It’s a terrific, helpful, must-have Bible for everyone from new believers to Bible veterans.  Unless you have the Bible memorized!

Think you could love the HelpFinder Bible? Learn more

Evie I have been loving the Swindoll Study Bible. My parents were huge Swindoll fans so I have memories growing up listening to him on car rides or hearing my parents discuss Swindoll’s thoughts on different Scripture passages. I feel like he’s my spiritual grandpa. But it wasn’t until I started reading the study Bible on my own that I understood his significant impact on my parent’s walk with Christ. It’s truly like sitting by a beloved mentor as he helps to bring God’s truth and the amazing intricacies of Scripture into a way I can understand and grapple with. One of my favorite features is the Holy Land Tour. It’s like being on a trip to the Holy Land with Chuck Swindoll (#lifegoals)!

Want to go deeper into God’s Word with Chuck Swindoll too?

20 Years. 20 Bibles. Eternal Legacy

Tyndale House Publishers

Every year for 20 years, Hank has read through a One Year Bible. But reading these Bibles goes beyond personal edification or completing a resolution. They are his legacy to spur others on in their Bible reading and inspire them to grow in their relationship with Christ.

“I love the Bible. It’s such a joy to read it, and I just want everyone to have that joy and understand what it can give you,” said Hank.

“For 20 years I have read through a One Year Bible, and each year I dedicated it to a family member. The notes in the margin were personal, such as ‘This is my prayer for you.’ I’ve underlined, circled, and highlighted many passages, letting them know what inspires me. It is my legacy to them,” said Hank.

Through these Bibles, Hank has encouraged a love for God’s Word in others. Sharing his struggles, joys, failures, and triumphs as he moves closer to God has been a comfort and a catalyst for his family members to grow deeper in their understanding of God through his Word.

“When I give it to them and they read it, they always come back saying, ‘I didn’t know you were going through that’ or ‘when you wrote this it helped me to better understand what I was facing.’ The Bible gives me joy whenever I read it, and I get joy by sharing it with others. The more you get into it, the more your joy will grow,” said Hank.

In 2020, Hank read through The One Year Pray for America Bible.

“I especially love the prayers that have to do with that day’s reading. . . . I also love the prayers you’ve inserted throughout the Bible, such as a prayer by Dr. Pridgeon for the anniversary of 9/11,

or the prayer by the Rev. Samuel Smith spoken July 4, 1831, or the broadcast by FDR on D-Day on radio, June 6, 1944. What a wonderful Bible!” said Hank.

We are excited to hear what Bible he will be using in 2021!

What Bible will you be reading through this year? Still not sure which one is right for you? Check out all our One Year Bible options.

Why Read through the Bible in a Year?

Tyndale House Publishers

The Bible is a huge book. It is made up of lots of smaller books which are made up of stories, letters, poetry, prophecy, and more. The Bible can look overwhelming when we start thinking of it as something other than a beautiful story of God’s love and redemption. When we try to dissect it into categories, it sounds more like a textbook than a life-giving word from our Savior.

That is one of the reasons I like reading through the Bible in a year. It’s important for us to go deeper—learn more about the different stories, trace how the prophecies thread through the different books, see why poetry is important, and so much more—but we can’t lose sight of the overarching story. Using a daily reading Bible helps you to stay connected to the bigger message while discovering areas where God is leading you to dive deeper.

The One Year Bible reading plan is one of the most beloved ways to read through the Bible in a year. It was created to help people move beyond roadblocks and into daily conversation with God through his Word. Understanding each person is different, The One Year Bible offers different ways to read through the Bible in a year.

There are daily reading plan versions that have a portion from the Old Testament, the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs for each day’s reading.

Want to read the Bible in the order the events occurred? There are chronological plans.

Enjoy note-taking, coloring, art-journaling? The journaling editions come with wide-margins, and some editions include beautiful line-art for coloring.

Our newest addition to the One Year family is our “pray for” series. The One Year Pray for Bibles include prayer prompts at the beginning of each day’s reading to help us focus our prayers on pressing issues, allowing us to intercede for others. In the newest edition, we have teamed up with the amazing staff at Joni and Friends to pray for the sanctity of all life with The One Year Pray for Life Bible.

Want to learn more about The One Year Bible? You can see all the options and find the one that’s right for you at

One more thought: Though not a traditional One Year Bible, the new Daily Reader’s Bible offers another way to read through the Bible in a year. Each day’s reading consists of Scripture from three categories—story, teaching, and wisdom—that are grouped together by theme. Learn more about this Bible at

Why We Need a Worldwide Effort to Pray for Life

Tyndale House Publishers

Forward from The One Year Pray for Life Bible

by Joni Eareckson Tada, Joni and Friends International Disability Center

I am truly excited that you are joining me in using The One Year Pray for Life Bible, especially during this incredible season of opportunity in the Kingdom of Christ. When I look across our broken land and consider the heartbreaking needs around the globe, I am invigorated as never before to pray—to discipline myself to pray for life over the next twelve months and to use the Bible as my prayer guide.

As an aging quadriplegic and a Christ follower for over sixty years, I have witnessed a gradual eroding of the precious safeguards that protect the weak and vulnerable. Whether in America or in the darkest corners of the least-developed nations, a ferocious battle is being waged against all life. Who are the casualties of this war? The baby in Africa left to starve to death because his disability is considered a curse on the family. The clinically depressed teenager in Europe who qualifies for state-sanctioned, doctor-assisted death. The elderly woman in an unlicensed nursing home who suffers from loneliness and abuse. The preborn little girl who is aborted for the simple reason that her mother preferred a son. I am not being an alarmist, nor am I exaggerating facts. A culture of death is advancing throughout the earth and is threatening lives—young and old.

Look across the world and you will find that wherever there exists a famine of God’s Word, all life is at risk. You can see why I am so glad you have chosen to use The One Year Pray for Life Bible. We desperately need to pursue earnest worship of the Creator of life and sincere intercession on behalf of those who bear his image—every single human. Yes, works of mercy and justice are necessary, but prayer is the primary work in this battle. As Oswald Chambers wrote, “Prayer does not fit us for the greater works; prayer is the greater work.”

Will You Be an Eleazar?

Let me tell you a Bible story. Eleazar was a great warrior who stood alongside the three mighty men of David. During a fierce battle against the Philistines, Israel’s army gave up and fled, but Eleazar “killed Philistines until his hand was too tired to lift his sword, and the Lord gave him a great victory” (2 Samuel 23:10). The king was impressed that Eleazar ke

pt his heroic grasp on his sword and bravely fought on while others ran away. This exceptional warrior did not cower before the enemy; instead, he put his strength into his sword and rushed into battle with victory on his mind. Because of his noble courage and persistence, God smiled and gave his people a great victory—all because of one brave warrior.

I envision you as a modern-day Eleazar. Our land is teeming with strong and ruthless enemies that war against life. God is calling you to battle on behalf of preborn children in danger of being aborted; families who are breaking apart; depressed teenagers; at-risk children; the homeless; the elderly and medically fragile; and those struggling against addiction, disease,
and loneliness. These people have a target on their backs. Because they are also created in the image of God, they are in the adversary’s crosshairs—especially so because they are weak and vulnerable. These people are in need of earnest prayer support. They are being assaulted by overwhelming enemies such as euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, substance abuse, domestic violence, abortion, and suicide. Pandemic can now be added to the national woes that threaten to overwhelm the vulnerable in our society. Consider how the coronavirus festered and left serious mental health challenges in its wake, not to mention fear and debilitating anxiety.

You are a modern-day Eleazar who will battle against these foes in our land, using prayer as a powerful weapon. You are the mighty warrior who will grasp the Sword of the Spirit—that
is, the Word of God—in your hand. And with God’s Word, you will not run away from the fray; you will overcome our enemy as you weave Scripture into your prayers by reading and praying through The One Year Pray for Life Bible.

This special edition of God’s Word is designed for prayer warriors who long to champion the cause for life. It is filled with hundreds of prayer prompts and other resources to help you pray
as God would want you to pray, whether your prayers are for aging seniors, despairing teens, fractured families, people with disabilities, people with mental health issues, children at risk, or young ones still in the womb. The heart of God is turned toward these precious ones whose lives are at risk because of the dark forces rising against them.

The Bible is the best prayer book you will ever possess. When we pray using the Sword of the Spirit, our praises and intercessions carry weight before God’s throne. The Bible is full of language that you can infuse into your prayers, enriching each petition and intercession with an eternal perspective. The Bible is the key to finding God’s will when we pray against the enemies in our land. Great themes abound—God’s holiness, wisdom, faithfulness, sovereignty, love, and mercy—all of which beautify our praises, adorn our intercessions, embroider our petitions, and give bulk and significance to every supplication as we pray for life throughout our land.

Why This Bible Is Critical in the Battle for Life
We all want greater faith in prayer, but how do we gain greater faith? Romans 10:17 provides the answer: “Faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.” When you employ the Word of God in your prayers, your faith will grow—you will believe that God will accomplish great things through your intercessions. You will possess a greater authority in prayer, and your prayers will be large in their scope and importance.

It is wise to keep an open Bible before you as you pray. After all, the Bible underscores two things that God honors above all else: his name and his Word. “I will exalt you, my God and King, and praise your name forever and ever” (Psalm 145:1). “Your promises [your words] are backed by all the honor of your name” (Psalm 138:2). When we bring God’s Word directly into
our prayers, we are bringing God’s power into our prayers.

• “The word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12). God’s Word gives our prayers life, infusing vitality into our praises and petitions and the thoughts that frame our petitions. God’s Word is active and powerful, interjecting dynamism into our praises.
• “‘Does not my word burn like fire?’ says the Lord. ‘Is it not like a mighty hammer that smashes a rock to pieces?’” (Jeremiah 23:29). To use God’s Word in prayer is to employ divine power in breaking down spiritual strongholds and demolishing arguments of the enemy.
• “We never stop thanking God that when you received his message from us, you didn’t think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God—which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). If God’s Word works in our lives, think how much more it works in our prayers.

This Bible is especially powerful in your hands because it will lead you through twelve months of praise and intercession. Imagine how forcefully the Kingdom of Christ will be advanced through a year of Bible reading and prayer, all of it geared toward the sacredness of life. My husband Ken and I have been reading through the Bible together for nearly fifteen years, and we have witnessed an astounding increase of faith in our prayers. As we read through the Bible each year, we have developed a fuller understanding of God’s redemptive plan in history and how much he values the life he has created. Ken and I boast in the Lord when we say that our prayers are rich and weighty as we accompany our Bible reading with prayer. We have invested years of praying for the sacredness of life to be exalted in our land.

For Ken and me, the discipline of reading through the Bible in a year and praying along through Scripture has forced us to meditate on our petitions—to think about what we are praying for. Over the many years of praying alongside our Bible reading, we can picture God and his responses:

• Referencing our Bible when we pray shows God we have thought through our praises and petitions and lined them up against the plumb line of Scripture.
• Using Scripture in our prayers demonstrates to God the importance we are attaching to our requests. It shows the high regard and appreciation we attach to his Word.
• Employing scriptural themes in prayer underscores that we desire to search out God’s heart in a matter and seek to know his will.
• Praying with an open Bible gives our prayer a “divine familiarity,” earmarking us as servants who possess a working knowledge of the most powerful prayer book ever written: the Word of God.

In closing, let me bring you back to the story of Eleazar. I want you to notice a powerful yet poignant insight in 2 Samuel 23:10. The King James Bible tells it this way: “[Eleazar] smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword: and the Lord wrought a great victory.” Eleazar was so unyielding in battle, so persistent and confident in the outcome, so tireless—eve

n as others retreated—that his hand and his sword became one. His flesh fused, as it were, with his sword. Pastor J. Saxtell observed that Eleazar did not realize that the hilt of the sword was eating down into the palm of his hand, and that while he was taking hold of the sword, the sword was taking hold of him. I believe that as you use The One Year Pray for Life Bible, it will take hold of your life. Your hand will fuse with the Sword of the Spirit. You will become one with the Word, and it will be your mark of valor and distinction. Others may cower as the culture of death moves through the earth like a dark, poisonous cloud. Others may retreat from the frontlines. Some may collapse in fear before the enemy, overcome by anxiety and overwhelmed by battle fatigue. But you will stand firm on the frontlines, holding fast to Scripture and winning victories for the cause of life and for our King.

God has committed himself and his purposes to prayer. And the Word of God gives you great leverage as you pray for life. So be encouraged. Be blessed. Be invigorated. For Jesus Christ will
delight to bring every intercession that has to do with life before his Father’s throne. After all, he is the Resurrection and the Life; the Way, the Truth, and the Life; and the Word of Life. God bless you for taking hold of your sword—The One Year Pray for Life Bible—and gaining victories for the Prince of Life and his people!

Learn more about The One Year Pray for Life Bible

Learn more about the Joni and Friends International Disability Center

And Presents by the Tree


We all have our own unique Christmas traditions. Maybe you open gifts on Christmas Eve or wait until Three Kings Day in January. Maybe you create a special family recipe or play a game each year. Do you decorate a tree or buy gifts for someone in need? One of my favorite traditions is helping my kids make their Christmas lists.

This year I asked my fellow team members to make their own Christmas lists and include which Bible they wish would be waiting under their Christmas tree. One of the things I love most about working on the Tyndale Bible team is that we are all so different. Each of us brings our individual gifts and abilities so that together we can bring God glory. But though we are all different, yet we are united in the Word that became human. What a reason to celebrate!

Here is what the Bible Team hopes is under their Christmas trees this year. You can click on the Bible title if you want to learn more.

Callie is excited for the new NLT Daily Reader’s Bible.

“I am asking for the Daily Reader’s Bible. I am really curious about the unique layout, and I love the fact that the readings are numbered, not dated. My plan is to start in January, but because the readings are numbered, I don’t have to fear getting behind. I can just pick right back up when I can!”

Blaine is hoping to unwrap a beautiful new classic Bible.

“For Christmas this year, I have selected the NLT Filament-enabled Personal Size Giant Print Black Genuine Leather Indexed edition. Its uninterrupted readable text will allow me to focus on the Scripture without the distraction of study notes or other features. Knowing that a full suite of carefully curated study notes, devotionals, videos, and even worship songs is available to me by simply opening the Filament Bible app and pointing my phone at any page makes this a Bible unlike any other I’ve had the privilege of using over the years. I’m really looking forward to 2021 with this new Bible.”

Kim loves Bibles and surprises so she is sharing her top three so she will be surprised at what shows up under her tree.

“The new Art of Life Bible because this Bible is so gorgeous and artsy—and there’s nothing else like it out there that I know of! I absolutely love that this Bible is slightly oversized with wider margins, comes in a slipcase, and has the most beautiful teal hardcover cloth design with gold foil accents. It looks more like a coffee table book than a Bible, but that’s what I love about it! The inside has amazing hand-drawn illustrations of Bible things like people, animals, and plants scattered throughout along with descriptions. It will be a really fascinating way to read through the Bible and reflect on this artist’s rendition of things mentioned in the Bible. It’s a spacious setting, so I could embellish, color, paint, or add to the illustrations if I wanted to do some Bible journaling in it, but I think I might reserve this one for reading since it’s already so amazing.

The new THRIVE Creative Journaling Devotional Bible for Women just released in two new bindings, and I absolutely love the teal cover with “Thrive” displayed in rose gold foil across the front. Probably my favorite thing about this design is the rose gold page edges. It is stunning, and it pairs so beautifully with the teal. I will be able to spend the whole year reading through the daily devotionals and journaling my reflections and prayers in the wide margins.


The new Inspire PRAYER Bible is another Bible I cannot wait to read and Bible journal in! I would love to use the extra-wide margins in this Bible to write out personal prayers focused on my marriage and also listing out ways (bullet journaling style!) that I can challenge myself to become more like Christ. I would love either of the cover designs—so surprise me! I adore the metallic champagne gold Hardcover LeatherLike binding because it is so special and unique (like me!), but I also love the colorful one because it is so cheerful—and floppy! This Bible has thirty-two of the most beautiful, colorful vellum sheets with prayers on them, prayer prompts in the margins, and hundreds of line-art illustrations I could watercolor, paint, or color in!”

Jim J. is wishing for the genuine leather brown NLT Filament-enabled Edition Personal Size Giant Print Bible. He even wrote this poem:

Under the tree this Christmas morning
I’ll search for the gift I find myself yearning

The Word became flesh we remember this day
Come to teach and to save us, his life to pay

And the Word we are given to keep and to cherish
Comes in beautiful books without being garish

I look for a Bible that is handy in size
With the magic of light, the Filament prize.

With print that is giant, truth without explanation
Expressed in the language of a living translation

For me I want brown with the rich touch of leather
That gift would bring joy as our family’s together.

As I think of that day of holy observance,
I wish for a Bible to illumine remembrance.

Linda is wishing for a stalwart favorite: The One Year Chronological Bible in the NLT.

“It’s not flashy or new, but I would like The One Year Chronological Bible, NLT, Large Print. This year, more than ever, I’d like to start 2021 on a fresh foot, with renewed commitment to good habits that are healthy for my body, mind, and soul. I like the idea of reading the Bible chronologically as it happened, and I think the reading schedule and the way The One Year Bible breaks the Bible into manageable portions for each day is helpful and sets me up to successfully complete reading the whole Bible in a year. The large print edition is also easy on the eyes and would be nice to have.”

Dave is excited to partner with Joni and Friends to intercede on behalf of the most vulnerable by using The One Year Pray for Life Bible.

“The Bible on my wish list this Christmas and the one I plan to use daily in 2021 is The One Year Pray for Life Bible. With sanctity of life issues continuing to dominate the news cycle every day, I look forward to listening to God in his Word daily. I also look forward to joining my voice with thousands of other Christians around the world to pray not only for those who are threatened and impacted adversely by laws and policies but also for those who hold the power to write and support laws that defend the weak and powerless among us.”

Evie is all about relationships, so her wish list Bible is about time with family.

“I am hoping the purple and pink swirl Hands-On Bible is waiting under our Christmas tree. The interactive activities and lessons help me to engage with my girls in God’s Word in a way that keeps them entertained and excited to learn more. I love that we can play together while learning about God and his plan for our lives. It’s so wonderful to come together as a family to have fun and grow in our understanding of God’s Word.”

Jim G. has had a life-long love for the Life Application Study Bible. Here is the one he’d like under his tree.

“The Life Application Study Bible has been such a blessing in my life. Not only did I have the privilege of providing this life-changing Bible to thousands of people when I served in retail stores, but I also recently had the honor of working on the team that published the new ‘Third Edition.’ I just love how I can go anywhere in the Bible, begin reading, and understand how God’s Word really relates to me today. I learn something new every time I pick it up! The notes and features were updated through an amazing collaborative effort between the founding editors and a group of editors across generations which resulted in trustworthy biblical teaching that is incredibly relevant today—regardless of who you are. Also, my eyes appreciate a larger print font size, so the new Large Print Life Application Study Bible, Third Edition, in the handsome brown genuine leather is the forever Bible that I hope to have under my tree this Christmas.”

We are so thankful that the most precious gift given to the world wasn’t wrapped in beautiful gift wrap and placed under a tree. It was a baby placed in a lowly manger who was himself the Word become human.

“So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” John 1:14, NLT

Why Pray for America?

Forward from the One Year Pray for America Bible

by Dr. Barry C. Black, Chaplain of the United States Senate

The One Year Pray for America Bible provides springboards for prayer that enable you to pray more effectively. It gives a different prayer prompt each day, encouraging us to pray for our government and make petitions on behalf of our leaders and fellow citizens for security, forgiveness, mercy, justice, humility, and wisdom. Prayer enables us to make our voices heard in heaven regarding America’s needs.

Prayer helped to make America a beacon of freedom. At the birth of this nation, people sought God’s help in making the dream of Liberty a reality. At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, when the participants had reached an impasse, Benjamin Franklin suggested that they pray, and they eventually did. Those prayers aided in our nation’s birth.

One of the first acts of the new American legislative branch in 1789 was to establish a chaplaincy. A key responsibility of this chaplaincy was to begin each legislative session with an invocation. Prayer has continued almost uninterrupted since that time, because seeking God’s assistance for a person, nation, or world is laudable. The Bible reminds us, “Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). Humanity can cooperate with Divinity in making a nation great.

If our nation started with prayer, perhaps we should also sustain it with the same. We should get back to praying because, after all, God is sovereign over all nations. Job 12:23-24 says this about God: “He builds up nations, and he destroys them. He expands nations, and he abandons them. He strips kings of understanding and leaves them wandering in a pathless wasteland.” These verses make it clear that humanity will not have the ultimate word in what happens to nations; God will.

Getting Back to Praying for Our Nation

We should get back to praying for our government because God has ordained government to establish order in society. The apostle Paul puts it this way:

Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.

Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority. (Romans 13:1-7)

God ordained government for our good. Paul instructs us that government officials deserve our prayers, finances, honor, and respect.

We should get back to praying for our government because God commands us to pray for it. We find these words in 1 Timothy 2:1-4, “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.”

We should get back to praying for our government because life should not be divided into sacred and secular. God has sovereignty over all our lives because in him we live, move, breathe, and function (Acts 17:28). According to Proverbs 21:1, even the king’s heart is in God’s hands; the sovereign God guides the king’s heart as he desires. Our lives are sustained by a powerful divine providence, and the sacred permeates every part of our existence, including government.

We should get back to praying for our government because people of faith have a role in influencing public life and policy. We must give to Caesar what belongs to him (Matthew 22:21), fostering morality in government and holding authorities accountable. The Bible challenges us to be salt and light to our world (Matthew 5:13-16). This means refusing to be missing in action when it comes to governmental affairs. Esther, Nehemiah, and Daniel are just three examples of how believers should relate to government constructively.

We should get back to praying for our government because the ends sought by the government should be morally acceptable. In short, when Caesar’s dictates collide with God’s commands, we must obey God instead of Caesar (Acts 5:29). When the Babylonian king demanded that Daniel and his friends eat inappropriate food, Daniel negotiated an acceptable alternative that satisfied this demand (Daniel 1:5-16). When, however, the same king insisted these young men bow and worship an idol or be executed in a fiery furnace, the young men chose to risk death rather than compromise their faith (Daniel 3:1-18). Therefore, we must cooperate with government whenever it does not violate our allegiance to God and resist it when it does. Part of our cooperation entails praying.

We should get back to praying for our government because we are urged to pray for others. In Jesus’ model prayer for his disciples (Matthew 6:9‑13), the pronouns are plural. It does not say “My Father” but “Our Father.” We are not told to pray “give me today the food I need,” but “give us today the food we need.” Jesus does not admonish us to pray “don’t let me yield to temptation, but rescue me from the evil one,” but “don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.” Although some may find it difficult to believe that the effectiveness of prayer goes beyond the private and interior life of the intercessor, the Bible urges us to pray for others (James 5:16).

We should get back to praying for our government because intercessory prayer is an affirmation of faith in the God who desires to serve humanity. God says in Ezekiel 33:11: “As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die?” In his book on prayer, Eric Hayman observed, “The power of our intercession is not our isolated pressure on a God remote from us. It is the action of His Spirit in and through our little souls, self-offered to the purpose of His will. So our intercession depends on our keeping open both to the perfect will of God and also the need and suffering of the world.”* Perhaps this is why Elton Trueblood speaks of the church as a “fellowship of the concerned.”†

We should get back to praying for our government because God blesses nations that acknowledge him. Psalm 33:12 states: “What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord, whose people he has chosen as his inheritance.” God shows special favor to those who respect his sovereignty. He protects these nations, surrounding them with the shield of his love (Psalm 5:12).

How We Should Pray

So, how should we pray for our government? First, we should pray for our government’s needs. One Greek word that can be translated as “supplication”in 1 Timothy 2:1 is deēsis, which is a word that suggests that God expects us to ask him to meet our government’s needs. God has promised to supply all our needs out of his celestial bounty (Philippians 4:19). He invites us to cry out to him when we are confronted with trouble (Psalm 50:15).When our government is overwhelmed by moral, financial, and even safety concerns, we should intercede for its needs. We have an example of praying for the needs of the government in James 5:16-18. These verses remind us that Elijah prayed and asked God to stop the rain from falling. Elijah was concerned because the government under King Ahab had endorsed the worship of Baal. The government seemed certain that it was Baal who sent the rain and produced a bountiful harvest, not the God of Israel. Elijah was concerned about governmental deviation from God’s law. He wanted the sovereign God of Israel to assert himself, and God answered his prayer,which was prompted by this need.

Second, we should pray with total dependence on God. Another Greek word in 1 Timothy 2:1 that can be translated as “prayer” is proseuchē. This word suggests that we should seek God as the sole provider of our government’s success. This dependence on God’s power is implied in Psalm 127:1: “Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.” The notion of total dependence upon God is also captured in the Ten Commandments given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai: “You must not have any other god but me” (Exodus 20:3). God desires to be our sole provider.

Third, we should pray confidently, knowing that we have complete access to God. The Greek word enteuxis in 1 Timothy 2:1 can be translated as “petition.” In this word, we can see an admonition to come boldly before God’s throne of grace to receive help in the time of need (see also Hebrews 4:16). We hear this same sentiment in 1 Peter 2:9, which describes believers as royal priests. A priest is someone who has access to both God and the people and is a bridge between God and the people. When we pray for our government, we should intercede with an awareness of our complete access to God in heaven.

Finally, we should pray with thanksgiving. The final Greek word in 1 Timothy 2:1 that shows us how to pray is eucharistia, which can be translated“thanksgiving.” Thanksgiving adds perfume to our petitions ascending to God’s throne. Philippians 4:6 says: “Pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” Everything includes our prayers for our government. Believers are also encouraged to give thanks in every circumstance (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Continual thanksgiving is God’swill for our lives.

The Difference Prayer Can Make

Imagine the difference our prayers would make if we asked specifically for God to deal with the needs of our nation. What would happen if we prayed for a stronger economy, or more harmonious race relations, or greater civility among our political leaders, or better cooperation between our branches of government? Specificity matters. God is waiting for us to be specific about our needs.

Imagine what would happen if we sought God as our first option—not the fourth or fifth. It would be wonderful to avoid the mistakes of the disciples in a storm at sea. They first attempted to save themselves; they waited before awakening Jesus (Mark 4:35-41). Our prayers for government can be energized by understanding that God is the sole source of our strength and help.

Imagine what would happen if we took frequent advantage of the complete access God has given us to his throne because of our status as royal priests. It can take months to meet with a government leader, but God has provided us with continuous access to his presence, mercy, grace, and might.

Imagine what would happen if Thanksgiving came every day instead of once a year. How much more effective our prayers would be if we decided with the psalmist to praise the Lord at all times, with his praises constantly on our lips (Psalm 34:1). Perhaps then we would know experientially the truth of Psalm 22:22-31, which envisions a holy God who is continually praised by his people. The greatest days of our nation are linked to the holiness of its citizens. By God’s grace, let’s get back to prayer. The One Year Pray for America Bible is a great starting point.

* Eric Hayman, Prayer and the Christian Life (London: Student Christian MovementPress, 1948), 122-123.

† Elton Trueblood, Alternative to Futility (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1948), 58.

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The Transformational Simplicity of the Whole Bible in One Year

What are some first impressions of the Bible? It’s a big book. It seems overwhelming. It’s filled with people and places that seem different than us and our surroundings. If we take a closer look and actually get into its pages, we discover it’s extremely personal, and the people and places actually look a lot more familiar to us than they did at first glance. But what about the overwhelming part? It can be hard to know where to begin or how everything is connected.

The One Year Bible is a great resource to help us engage with the Bible in a manageable way. It takes the entire Bible and breaks it down into daily readings. It sounds so simple, and yet it’s transformational. From seekers to life-long believers, The One Year Bible has helped people understand God’s story and what it means to each of us.

Dishy was not a Christian when he started reading the Bible. He questioned its validity and wondered why people would believe it’s true.

“I have spent much of my life wondering whether any of Christianity’s teachings were true or just wishful thinking, and perhaps also a good sales job perpetuated by ancient people with an agenda. But it’s quite easy to have an uneducated opinion about something you vaguely know about but haven’t actually read! So, I decided to start putting forth an effort to read the actual Bible, the whole thing, from beginning to end. I hoped that this exercise would put the issue to rest in my life and I would be able to decide once and for all what I thought about Christianity,” he said.

To do this he selected The One Year Bible and an NLT Study Bible to help him go to deeper into the context and meaning.

“I really like the read-it-in-one-year concept with scheduled daily passages. It is helpful to refer to a study Bible to occasionally get more background and explanation. This One Year Bible encourages me to keep up with it. Since the passages aren’t very long each day, I think Surely I can read this for 10 or 15 minutes. So, whoever thought of the concept had a really great idea.”

Is this still a good Bible for people who have been reading it most of their lives? Hank thinks so. He is a lifelong Christian and has read the Bible every day for almost 30 years.

“I love the Bible. It’s such a joy to read it, and I just want everyone to have that joy and understand what it can give you,” said Hank.

He started with his family.

“For 19 years I read a One Year Bible, and each year I dedicated it to a family member. The notes in the margin were personal, such as ‘This is my prayer for you.’ I’ve underlined, circled, and highlighted many passages, letting them know what inspires me. It is my legacy to them,” said Hank.

Through these Bibles Hank has inspired a love for God’s Word in others. Sharing his struggles, joys, failures, and triumphs as he moves closer to God has been a comfort and a catalyst for his family members to grow deeper in their understanding of God through his Word.

“When I give it to them and they read it, they always come back saying, ‘I didn’t know you were going through that’ or ‘when you wrote this it helped me to better understand what I was facing.’ The Bible gives me joy whenever I read it, and I get joy by sharing it with others. The more you get into it, the more your joy will grow,” said Hank.

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One Year Pray for America Bible

Reading from May 7th in the One Year Pray for America Bible

Lord, Hannah understood exactly who you are. When she prayed, “No one is holy like the Lord! There is no one besides you,” she nailed it (1 Samuel 2:2). May all who search for you—the powerful and the humble— recognize who you really are! Amen.

Prayer Prompt

1 SAMUEL 1:1–2:21
There was a man named Elkanah who lived in Ramah in the region of Zuph in the hill country of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, of Ephraim. Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not.

Each year Elkanah would travel to Shiloh to worship and sacrifice to the Lord of Heaven’s Armies at the Tabernacle. The priests of the Lord at that time were the two sons of Eli—Hophni and Phinehas. On the days Elkanah presented his sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to Peninnah and each of her children. And though he loved Hannah, he would give her only one choice portion because the Lord had given her no children. So Peninnah would taunt Hannah and make fun of her because the Lord had kept her from having children. Year after year it was the same—Peninnah would taunt Hannah as they went to the Tabernacle. Each time, Hannah would be reduced to tears and would not even eat.

“Why are you crying, Hannah?” Elkanah would ask. “Why aren’t you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have
me—isn’t that better than having ten sons?”

Once after a sacrificial meal at Shiloh, Hannah got up and went to pray. Eli the priest was sitting at his customary place beside the entrance of the Tabernacle. Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. And she made this vow: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.”

As she was praying to the Lord, Eli watched her. Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. “Must you come here drunk?” he demanded. “Throw away your wine!”

“Oh no, sir!” she replied. “I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord. Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.”

“In that case,” Eli said, “go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.”

“Oh, thank you, sir!” she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.

The entire family got up early the next morning and went to worship the Lord once more. Then they returned home to Ramah. When Elkanah slept with Hannah, the Lord remembered her plea, and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I asked the Lord for him.”

The next year Elkanah and his family went on their annual trip to offer a sacrifice to the Lord and to keep his vow. But Hannah did not go. She told her husband, “Wait until the boy is weaned. Then I will take him to the Tabernacle and leave him there with the Lord permanently.”

“Whatever you think is best,” Elkanah agreed. “Stay here for now, and may the Lord help you keep your promise.” So she stayed home and nursed the boy until he was weaned. Hannah took him to the Tabernacle in Shiloh. They brought along a three-​year-​old bull for the sacrifice and a basket of flour and some wine. After sacrificing the bull, they brought the boy to Eli. “Sir, do you remember me?” Hannah asked. “I am the very woman who stood here several years ago praying to the Lord. I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request. Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.” And they worshiped the Lord there.

Then Hannah prayed:
“My heart rejoices in the Lord!
The Lord has made me strong.
Now I have an answer for my enemies;
I rejoice because you
rescued me.
No one is holy like the Lord!
There is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.
“Stop acting so proud and haughty!
Don’t speak with such arrogance!
For the Lord is a God who knows what you have done;
he will judge your actions. The bow of the mighty is now broken,
and those who stumbled are now strong.
Those who were well fed are now starving, and those who were starving are now full.
The childless woman now has seven children,
and the woman with many children wastes away.
The Lord gives both death and life;
he brings some down to the grave but raises others up.
The Lord makes some poor and others rich;
he brings some down and lifts others up.
He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump.
He sets them among princes,
placing them in seats of honor.
For all the earth is the Lord’s,
and he has set the world in order.

“He will protect his faithful ones,
but the wicked will disappear in darkness.
No one will succeed by strength alone.
Those who fight against the Lord will be shattered.
He thunders against them from heaven;
the Lord judges throughout the earth.
He gives power to his king;
he increases the strength of his anointed one.”

Then Elkanah returned home to Ramah without Samuel. And the boy served the Lord by assisting Eli the priest.

Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels who had no respect for the Lord or for their duties as priests. Whenever anyone offered a sacrifice, Eli’s sons would send over a servant with a three-​pronged fork. While the meat of the sacrificed animal was still boiling, the servant would stick the fork into the pot and demand that whatever it brought up be given to Eli’s sons. All the Israelites who came to worship at Shiloh were treated this way. Sometimes the servant would come even before the animal’s fat had been burned on the altar. He would demand raw meat before it had been boiled so that it could be used for roasting.

The man offering the sacrifice might reply, “Take as much as you want, but the fat must be burned first.” Then the servant would demand, “No, give it to me now, or I’ll take it by force.” So the sin of these young men was very serious in the Lord’s sight, for they treated the Lord’s offerings with contempt.

But Samuel, though he was only a boy, served the Lord. He wore a linen garment like that of a priest. Each year his mother made a small coat for him and brought it to him when she came with her husband for the sacrifice. Before they returned home, Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May the Lord give you other children to take the place of this one she gave to the Lord.” And the Lord blessed Hannah, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.

JOHN 5:1-23
Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people—blind,lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-​eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”

“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!”

But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”

“Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded.

The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him. So the Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules. But Jesus replied, “My Father is always working, and so am I.” So the Jewish leaders tried all the harder to find a way to kill him. For he not only broke the Sabbath, he called God his Father, thereby making himself equal with God.

So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing. In fact, the Father will show him how to do even greater works than healing this man. Then you will truly be astonished. For just as the Father gives life to those he raises from the dead, so the Son gives life to anyone he wants. In addition, the Father judges no one. Instead, he has given the Son absolute authority to judge, so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son is certainly not honoring the Father who sent him.”

PSALM 105:37-45
The Lord brought his people out of Egypt, loaded with silver and gold;
and not one among the tribes of Israel even stumbled.
Egypt was glad when they were gone,
For they feared them greatly.
The Lord spread a cloud above them as a covering
and gave them a great fire to light the darkness.
They asked for meat, and he sent them quail;
he satisfied their hunger with manna—bread from heaven.
He split open a rock, and water gushed out
to form a river through the dry wasteland.
For he remembered his sacred promise
to his servant Abraham.
So he brought his people out of Egypt with joy,
his chosen ones with rejoicing.
He gave his people the lands of pagan nations,
and they harvested crops that others had planted.
All this happened so they would follow his decrees
and obey his instructions.
Praise the Lord!

PROVERBS 14:28-29
A growing population is a king’s glory;
a prince without subjects has nothing.
People with understanding control their anger;
a hot temper shows great foolishness.

Want to read more? The December 2019 Read With Us plan is featuring the One Year Pray for America Bible. Every week you will receive links to the reading for the each day of the week. Sign up and join us.

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God of Your Story

365 days from now you will look in the mirror and see a better person—if you will show up every day. The choices you make over the next 365 days will determine the story of your year.

Use the daily readings from The God of Your Story in conjunction with the One Year Bible to enjoy and appreciate the entire Bible without getting lost—and, perhaps for the first time, to hear the Bible speak to you on its own behalf. You may be surprised to discover that the God of the Bible is also the God of your story! Will you find Him where He’s speaking?

Make the Bible a daily decision. The adventure awaits.

Watch this video and hear from from Brian about his journey beginning with the One Year Bible to becoming the author of the God of Your Story.

Brian is the leader of the Daily Audio Bible podcast. Subscribe for daily readings from the One Year Bible.

One Year, One Book—One Exciting Journey

by Kim Adetunji, brand manager

As the year winds down and a new year is on the horizon, many people begin reflecting on the previous year and making plans for the new one. Our thoughts may return to the highlights and lowlights of the year we are in as well as remembering God’s faithfulness and the lessons we learned. We then turn to our goals and aspirations for the new year, the things we want to get right this year and the things we want to keep—or start—doing. The new year holds so much hope and promise, especially when the current year has been a difficult one. It’s a brand new beginning—365 days to pursue God, become more like Christ, rest in his presence, listen for his voice, and follow where he leads. It’s exciting to think of the possibilities that lie ahead.

Will the new year hold new friendships, a new job, or new opportunities? Will we finally reach that goal we’ve been striving for? Will our long-time prayers for a spouse or healing or a mended relationship or a different heartache finally be answered? Will our trust in God grow deeper than we ever thought possible? Will our hard hearts soften? Will we experience joy once again? Will we finally be able to put aside that fear, anger, resentment, disbelief, or “you name it” that is holding us back from trusting God fully? Will we surrender new areas of our lives to God? In what ways will God stretch us beyond what we think we are capable of? Will we sense God’s deep, unconditional love anew? Who will we share the Good News with this year?

We may even think about new ways we’d like to grow spiritually, whether it’s growing more patient with our spouse or kids or letting the peace of Christ rule more fully in our hearts. How could we move toward God’s plan for us rather than shrinking away from where we hear God calling us to. What are new ways to step out into obedience this year? How can we slow down our schedule just a little bit more to create space to listen for God’s gentle whisper? What truths from Scripture have I dismissed? How can I give God my very best each day? Do I dedicate enough of my day to those things that draw me closer to God and allow me to hear his voice? Am I following through on God’s promptings? Am I open to allowing God to challenge me in a new area?

Do you plan to track your prayers in the new year? the ways you intentionally follow God’s lead? your service projects and how God expands your heart through those experiences? the ways you’ve seen God’s faithfulness in your life? answered prayers? words from him? verses you’ve memorized? There are so many unique ways to track our spiritual growth and keep focused on our goal to pursue and honor God. Each of us is unique, and there is no one right way to do it. If you’re like me, you may be constantly seeking new ways to become more efficient with recording and tracking everything that is meaningful—all in one place.

As the new year approaches, you may search for a new journal, notebook, daily planner, or app to help you organize your year and capture all the memories, highlights, and learnings. Journaling Bibles are a great way to capture all that God is doing in your life in one place. There are two One Year Bible journaling editions—Expressions and Reflections—that give you a daily reading plus space in the wide margins alongside each day’s reading to reflect on the passage you’ve read, write notes or journal entries, keep track of highlights from your day, or archive mementos or pictures. It’s a very practical way to document God-sightings in your life while being intentional about reading God’s Word daily.

Many people have been doing this, where their Bible becomes a treasured keepsake with 365 days’ worth of investment in knowing and following God, including observations from his Word and practical applications. The One Year Bible readings offer a portion from the Old Testament, the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs for each day. It is organized so you’ll finish the Bible in one year with the investment of just 15 minutes a day. At the end of the year, you will have an incredible collection of highlights, milestones, and so much more to look back on in your Bible as you look toward the new year.

Check out the One Year Expressions Bibles

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Check out the One Year Reflections Bibles