Reading the Bible and praying: obvious ways for a Christian to spend time with God, but there is so much variation in the way you could accomplish these two activities!
I have trouble reading the Bible and then praying as if they were two separate tasks. When I’m reading the Bible, my thoughts wander to the cares of life. I try to push those thoughts out, and then when it’s time to pray, I forget what concerns I have. And after praying, I forget what I’d read in the Bible just moments before.
While reading “Desiring God” by John Piper, I came across a quote by George Mueller about how his reading and prayer time went.
“The first thing I did, after having asked in a few words the Lord’s blessing upon His precious Word, was to begin to meditate on the Word of God; searching, as it were, into every verse, to get blessing out of it; not for the sake of the public ministry of the Word; not for the sake or [sic] preaching on what I had meditated upon; but for the sake of obtaining food for my own soul. The result I have found to be almost invariably this, that after a very few minutes my soul has been led to confession, or to thanksgiving, or to intercession, or to supplication; so that though I did not, as it were, give myself to prayer, but to meditation, yet it turned almost immediately more or less into prayer.” –from “George Mueller of Bristol,” quoted in Piper
I like this concept of natural progression into prayer, rather than trying to follow a schedule. Our hearts were designed to respond to God’s word, and what better response than to turn to Him in prayer?