Something that made a massive change to my bible reading was when I started praying through what I was reading. This helped me to feel like God was here with me as I’m reading, as if he’s sat in front, talking to me. It’s a powerful tool that will keep you from looking at the bible like a text book and more like real words spoken directly to you and what you’re facing.
In simple terms, praying through the bible is turning what you’re reading into a prayer to God. There are many different ways you can do this but here are 3 tips for making reading the bible more like a conversation:
1. Start by asking for God’s help. Before you even open your book or turn on the app, stop, pray and ask God to help you make the most from what you’re about to read. Ask God to, as that classic Christian song goes, ‘Open the eyes of my heart, I want to see you.’ This will keep you ready for him to speak to you about whatever God feels you need to hear, moulding and changing the way you live.
2. Read and make notes. However big or small the section is, read it through and underline or make a note of anything that ‘jumps out to you’ or applies to your life at that moment. It may be very direct about you or it could be showing you what God is like. When you’re done, read back your notes as a prayer to God, putting yourself in the writers shoes.
3. Pick something to pray about for the rest of the day. What stuck out to you the most? What challenged or encouraged you? Whatever it is today, think and pray about it wherever you go. You’ll find that God will speak to you more and more, showing you how it applies to the different areas in your life.
John 15:7 says:
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
The bible will never stop speaking to us about who God is and what he can do in your life. Whether on your own or in a group, praying through the bible keeps God’s words on our minds and changes us even more deeply. Have a go in the run up to SYC or try it with a friend when you get there!