Discover the most downloaded prayers, stories and interviews that are shaping the conversation this year.
When you hear the word “podcast,” what comes to mind?
Many Americans describe podcasts as entertaining and interesting audio programs that you can listen to on the go or in the comfort of your own home. You don’t need a radio because you can access shows on your phone or laptop and don’t have to tune in at a specific time because episodes are available on demand!
What you might not know is that the word “podcast” actually comes from a merging of the words “iPod” and “broadcast.”
While iPods and broadcast TV have essentially died out due to the emergence of smartphones and social media, podcasts are here to stay.
In fact, 143.3 million people listen to podcasts each month in the United States alone!
News briefings and true crime shows may have garnered lots of publicity and downloads in 2023, but there are actually dozens of Christian podcasts from the LifeAudio Podcast Network that broke records, too!
Shows like Your Daily Prayer from iBelieve consistently ranked on the Apple Podcasts Top Charts. Not only that, but The Bible Study Podcast hosted by Chris Christensen and Abide Bible Sleep Meditation exploded on Spotify!
Here are 10 of the most downloaded Christian podcast episodes from 2023 that you need to add to your playlist today.
1. A Prayer for When You Feel Forgotten | Your Daily Prayer
"Do you feel as though you have been left far, far behind? Does it seem like other people have moved on, and you’re left to flounder forward, lonely and feeling lost? Remember that God sees you. When you feel invisible, remember that his heart is tender toward you. He walks with you, guiding you, bringing you comfort and rest."
2. Bedtime Prayer to Ease a Worried Mind | Abide Bible Sleep Meditation
“If you have difficulty falling asleep, relax and fall asleep to this bible story meditation with sounds of relaxing piano music. Let your body sleep and your mind rest. May you be comforted by his presence, confident in his protection, and calmed by his peace.”
3. What Is a Jezebel Spirit? | Kainos Project
“If you've ever been told that you have a Jezebel spirit, you probably immediately understood that it wasn't a compliment. You also probably aren't a man. In evangelicalism, the term Jezebel spirit has often been used to describe women who are deemed to be immodest, power hungry, or both.
In this episode, we explore the origins of the phrase by taking a closer look at the story of Jezebel in the Old Testament. We also take a look at the one instance in which Jezebel is mentioned in the New Testament and unpack how to understand the meaning and significance of the passage.
While that passage never mentions a "Jezebel spirit" as such, it is nevertheless where the phrase comes from. However, the modern evangelical usage of the term seems vastly different from what was being described in the New Testament. Further, we discuss the political dimension the phrase has taken on in more recent times, particularly with reference to Vice President Harris. Ultimately, we wrestle with whether using the phrase Jezebel spirit is more harmful than it is helpful.”
Get notified every time a new episode of Kainos Project is released by signing up for Dale and Tamara's email newsletter here!
4. A Prayer for an Anxious Heart | Your Daily Prayer
“Change is just a part of life. How we handle that change is where we will discover where our hope and sense of security lies. If change is causing you to worry or stress out, you need not to run to other things or people to try to fix your anxiousness. You will always be disappointed, left feeling empty and even more anxious. You must run to God. Philippians 4:6 tells us that we must not allow anxiety to overwhelm us, but instead, we are to come to God in prayer and cry out to Him with our requests, full of a thankful heart knowing He hears us.”
5. “Everyone Is Inherently Good” | The Bible Never Said That
“It’s much easier to live in a world where we feel good about our own goodness. But none of us are good; none of us are righteous by our own merit. Of course, none of us are utterly evil, either. All of us are made in God’s image, bearing the Imagio Dei in our souls. That’s why our sin should grieve us. This is why all of us fall short of God’s glory, and this is why the grace of the gospel should fill us with hope. Our salvation does not depend on our goodness, but on God’s.” - Chara Donahue
6. Roundtable with Rosaria Butterfield & Christopher Yuan [Part 1]: Pronouns | The Becket Cook Show
“In the first episode of this 3-part series, Becket talks with Rosaria Butterfield and Christopher Yuan about a recent article Rosaria wrote regarding why she repented of using transgendered pronouns in the past in her books and public speaking. We get into 7 reasons why using these pronouns is actually a sin.”
Listen to Part 2: Identity & Obedience here.
Listen to Part 3: 7 Characteristics of False Teachers here.
7. What Will Heaven Be Like? Here Are Our Thoughts | Salty Saints
“Have you ever thought about what heaven will be like? The Bible gives us small glimpses of what heaven will be like, but overall it's one of the mysteries of God. New Hope Church Pastors Zack and Randy look at the scriptures and what they say about heaven.”
8. What to Pray in the Morning for a Worry-Free Day | Teach Us to Pray
“Do you wake up anxious first thing in the morning? Your mind is racing with thoughts of what you need to get done today and what you failed to do yesterday. If this is a pattern for you, I challenge you to break the morning cycle of worry with prayer, and I'm sharing how to do that in this episode." - Christina Patterson
9. What Jesus Has to Say about Wealth and Worry (A Bible Study on Matthew 6:25-34) | How to Study the Bible
“Jesus consistently shows us the importance of authenticity. And not in a cheap social media way; he wants the person on the inside to match the person on the outside. He wants your prayer life, your generosity, your spiritual disciplines, everything to be consistent inside and out. In this section of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus speaks to what is one of the most defining and important habits and practices, which is how we deal with money and how we deal with our anxieties, two closely related things.”
10. Skyship Dreamer: The Tale of the Ceramic Pony | Abide Kids Bedtime Stories
“This Children's bedtime story will help your kid fall asleep. Relax to this bible story meditation with background music and sound effects. Your child will sleep while the mind and body rest during this bedtime story as they learn that their strength comes from God.”