One of the things that has truly helped me on my journey of faith, is the YouVersion Bible app. During a period of time, where I was really struggling, this app helped me a lot, and it helped me to dig deeper into God’s Word and to get into His Word daily. It helped to begin my daily reading, getting deeper into scripture, helping me to keep my eyes focused on Jesus and learning more and more about God, His promises and His Word. It enables me to have a copy of the Bible wherever I go, as the app is easily accessible and different versions of the Bible can be downloaded to read offline.
The YouVersion Bible app currently has over 510 million downloads and counting. Along with the app, you can also find YouVersion on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and their website. It’s so amazing and incredible to know that so many people all over the world are opening up their Bible app to get right into God’s Word. This post is in no way sponsored, it’s written purely out of love for an app that I have found so helpful and a blessing each day. I’ve also added images so you can see the different sections of the Bible app.
I’ve decided to do this post in two parts; You can read part 2 here. There’s just so much to write about the Bible app, and so much you can do on it, so it made sense to do a Part 1 and Part 2 of how to make best use of the YouVersion Bible app. It’s an app I use daily, one that I highly recommend downloading, and one that I just know will help you in your journey of faith.
Verse of the Day Stories
As soon as I wake up in the morning, I like to open up the app and head straight to the verse of the day stories, which can be found on the homepage of the app. The verse of the day section on the app was brought to the app in 2020. Especially during a time which was filled with uncertainty and the unknown, I found the verse of the day to be such a ray of light. Each day features someone different talking about the verse, followed by the verse, a question to ask yourself, a daily plan to read related to the verse, a prayer, and an image that you can save to your profile and download.
Along with the verse of the day stories, there is also a children’s version too. I’ve actually looked at it myself a few times myself, and I definitely enjoyed it too. It’s a great way for children to get into the Word, to interact, watch fun videos explaining the verse and a prayer to read at the end. It’s a really lovely feature that’s been added, as it enables the whole family to use the app and use it together.
Daily Prayer Stories
Similar to the verse of the day stories above, the app also includes daily prayer stories, a wonderful way to dedicate time and spend it talking to God, to pray and meditate on His Word. It includes a moment to take some deep breaths before starting, to allow your focus to be purely on God and to put your full focus on spending this time with Him. A verse is also shared, to reflect and think about, and to use it as a prayer prompt for anything that you may need help with and to hand over to God. It also includes prayers to read (ones you have saved or written), a prayer that has been written for the day, and finally to hand anything else over to Him that is on your mind, you would like help with, and anything else that you would like to ask Him.
Following on from the daily prayer stories above, another prayer section of the app is where you are able to write your own prayers, save them, share them with friends so you can pray together, and also mark down prayers that have been answered. Along with your own prayers, also in this section are any of the prayers that you have saved from the verse of the day stories, so you are able to go back to them to read and pray. You can also add updates to your prayers and make notes too. As you can also see from the image, at the bottom, you can set a prayer reminder. It’s a great way to make sure you dedicate time to pray each day. Sometimes during a busy day it’s easy to lose track of the time, so a reminder is a great way to set a time each day to spend that much-needed quiet time with God.
I mentioned above that you are able to share your prayers with friends. This is an amazing way to pray together, to let others know any prayer requests that you may have and to keep a list of all the things you would like to pray about together. It’s also a great way to update each other on prayer requests and to share your answered prayers with others if there has been something specific that together you have been praying for. My fiancé David and I have shared prayers with each other on the app. We love spending time together praying in person, but using this feature on the app, is especially lovely for those times when we aren’t together in person, but we can still let each other know what we would like prayers for and to keep each other updated on them too.
Daily Plans and Devotionals
Next up is the daily plans feature, although I must admit that I’ve got a few on the go at once, as I just love them a lot! I recently read that there are over 800 plans now in the app. You can search for a plan through different topics such as, ‘New’, ‘New to Faith’, ‘Popular Topics’, ‘YouVersion Originals’, ‘Relationships’, ‘Feelings’, ‘Through the Bible’ and so many more. You can also choose plans based on how you are currently feeling, as well as ones specifically for women, men and children. You can also find plans on love, healing, prayer, worship, forgiveness, marriage, dating and plans related to work. There’s just so many, so you definitely don’t need to worry about running out of plans!
You will also find that each daily plan varies in length, for example, some are 3 days long, whereas some can be 21 days. Others which are for reading the Bible in a year are daily for each day of the year, and some plans are all different lengths in between. David and I are currently doing a 21 day plan together. One of the other great things about the plans is you can choose to do them with a friend, like the prayer section. If you are doing a plan together, or with a group of people, at the end of each day, there is a section where you can each write your thoughts, answers to any questions and to just talk about what was in the reading.
After you have completed a plan, it automatically saves to the completed plans section. I love that you can go back to see which ones you have done, and if you have completed one in a group, you’re able to go back and read notes and comments that were left for each day. Definitely a great reminder of what you learnt, what stood out to you and other notes that were made. If you are looking at doing daily plans with other people, you are actually able to share a link (which I found out a while back) to your friends or even on social media, and up to so many people can come and join in. As long as they have got an account, you don’t have to have them in your friends list. It’s a lovely way of connecting with other brothers and sisters in Christ and to make new friends.
Compare Translations and Versions
One thing I am very thankful for in the Bible app, is that it includes lots of different Bible versions and translations, meaning that you are able to compare different versions when reading and looking at a particular verse. If you are not aware, there are many translations of the Bible, such as the KJV, NKJV, ESV, NIV, NLT, TPT and so on. But, it’s always good to remember and to be aware that not all translations are word for word. If you research on Google, there are many charts which explain which versions are word for word and which ones aren’t. I personally love to read the ESV, NKJV and NIV versions. Say, if you are reading something in the KJV and you don’t quite understand, sometimes another version has a different wording which can be easier to understand, and also give you those lightbulb moments. You can read more about this here. But what I love is that in the app you are able to choose a verse and then compare versions, you can see how the different Bible versions translate the same verse. I especially like this during my Bible study time. It’s really very interesting.
I’ve already mentioned a little bit above about doing plans and also sharing prayers with friends. A fun feature on the app is that you can find and add friends. It can also be great for accountability, for your friends to help you with studying and reading the Bible, and getting into good daily habits. You are also able to see what your friends have been up to on the app, such as what plans they have completed, what verses they are sharing and currently reading. You can also read other people’s notes that they have written for a particular verse if they have decided to make them public for others to view.
When a friend shares something, you have the option to like and comment, which makes it nice to maybe leave a comment, ask a question, or start a discussion, or even to just let them know that you like what they have shared. You can also view any images they have shared, what they have bookmarked, any highlights that they may have made and what badges they have earned (I’ll talk more about this bit in Part 2).
Bookmarks, Notes and Highlights
These 3 things come in very handy whilst on the app, especially the highlights part which I probably use the most. When you highlight a verse or section of the book you are currently reading, you are able to highlight it. There are different colours you can use, which is great if you want to put them into categories, such as God, prayer, God’s promises, love, salvation, sin etc. You can also add a note to your highlighted verse, or choose to share it and also use it for a prayer.
I personally feel that the notes section is perfect for when you are having your Bible study time. You can choose to create a note and then add a verse that comes to mind whilst you are writing, or you can choose to create a note on a verse that you are currently reading. You can then find all of your notes on your profile or on the ‘More’ section of the app.
The bookmarks section is great for when you are reading the Bible using the app, and you want to mark what you are currently reading so you can go back to it later, especially if you read one part of the Bible and then you decide to read another part. You can easily find where you were and continue to read on from where you left off. Also with your bookmarks, you can then add a note or highlight the part you have bookmarked, and even use the part you have bookmarked to include in a prayer.
Do you have the YouVersion Bible app? What are some of your favourite features on the app? If you don’t have the app, is this something that you would love to download? Please let me know if you would like to be friends on the app, as I would love to connect with you on there.
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