Hi Maddi,

I asked my wife to help with suggestions for you. I hope that’s OK.

It’s really great to read the Bible and pray each day, and I’m glad you want to.

You see being a Christian is about being friends with Jesus. Its a real relationship just like the one you have with your best friend. Now in all relationships we like to talk and listen to each other and this is what reading and praying is all about.

When you pray you tell God about all the things you want to talk to him about. You can tell him about how you feel, what makes you happy, what makes you sad. You can ask for help for yourself or someone else. He is always there and always wanting to hear from you. And best of all he usderstands exactly what you are saying.

When we read the bible, we are listening to what God has to say to us (exept it is written down like in a letter). He has made sure he has told us everything we need to know in order to be the best of friends with him.

So when you pray and read, you are really having a good old conversation with God and that is the best way of thinking about it. It’s one of the best ways we can feel connected to God. I hope you don’t feel like you have to do it to be a Christian. You are always connected to God through Jesus, even if you don’t feel like it!

Now, you are not alone in not knowing how to get staring in doing this or how to keep it going. It is one of the problems that many Christians have. However there are some really good things you can do.

Firstly, ask God to help you. He is there and wants you to talk to him and he will make sure you do.

Secondly, it is helpful to read and pray with other people. If you go to a church (which is important for all Christians to do) you might be able to find an older, wise Christian lady to help. She may even be able to meet with you to read and pray, perhaps once a week. Or maybe you can meet with a friend at school (that what I used to do)

Thirdly, there are some good Bible Reading plans around which will help. You can find them at Bible Gateway.

Finally, you could start reading through the New Testament, beginning with Matthew. It would be harder to begin at the very start of the Bible (Genesis) and go through the whole thing. I tried it when I was a little bit older than you and quickly gave up!

One final thing: routine is your friend! Maybe you can read and pray every time you wake up, or you go to bed, or on the way to school, or lunchtime in the library… If you do it every day for a while, the habit will form. The ‘motivation’ may go up and down, but that’s life.

I hope that helps.