Some things just seem to go together--for example, bacon and eggs, Abbot and Costello, Simon and Garfunkel. Certainly one can exist without the other, but they're even better if you put them together.The same is true of prayer and reading God's Word. You can certainly read the Bible by itself, but when you put it together with prayer, you have a dynamite combination. Let's see what the Bible says.
ReceiveScripture indicates that Bible reading should be an integral part of your prayer life. Take a look at Proverbs 28:9:
"If one turns away his ear from hearing the law,
even his prayer is an abomination" (ESV).
Law is often used in Scripture to refer to the Word of God--the Bible itself. For many more synonyms (and a wonderful reminder of how important the Bible is in our lives), read Psalm 119.
But this wasn't just an Old Testament idea. Jesus said much the same thing to His disciples but in a positive way. "If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you" (John 15:7, ESV).
- What does it mean to abide in Jesus?
- Give at least two ways you can have God's Word abide in you.
- How does prayer enter into this promise?
ReflectWhere does the Bible fit into your prayer life? Do you only open God's Word once a week at church, or do you make time for it every day along with prayer? If you want to know how to pray successfully, find out from God's Word what He wants you to pray about (See Matthew 5:44, Luke 10:2, Philippians 1:9).
RespondHere are two way to integrate God's Word into your prayer life. For the next seven days, stop to pray before you open God's Word. Confess any sins that might hinder you from hearing what God might want to say to you from His Word. After you've read the Scriptures, pray again--asking God to apply what you've read to your life.
Another way of combining God's Word with your prayers is to take your Scripture reading and turn it into a prayer. If you've read, "you shall not steal" (Exodus 20:15), you might pray: "Lord, help me not to steal today. Help me not to steal time from my employer but put in an honest day's work. Help me not steal from my spouse by looking inappropriately at something (or someone) that would damage our relationship. Help me not to steal from my friends by saying anything that would hurt or cause them to feel badly about themselves. Amen." Your prayer can be written out or spoken spontaneously. Try this at least once a week for the next month.By: Back to the Bible Ministries
My Comments: On the other hand you could just as well say prayer without the Bible could be done yet is not as profitable spiritually. That is why the God of the universe took the time to have 40 different authors write 60 books of the Bible and yet though they were physically written by them He authored it and that is clear to see when we read the Word (Bible). The books were written over a huge period of time by mostly men who never talked to each other until some from the New Testament. Yet it is consistent and true to all God taught over the ages to those who listened to Him. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and cannot lie or contradict Himself so when He wrote by inspiring them or even speaking directly to them He showed Himself truly the same.
We can pray and read a few scripture verses at a time and slowly build up to more over time. It is a spiritual muscle and needs to be exercised to be fully appreciated and enjoyed by most. Some take to it like fish in water. Some need to listen to the word on tape because they learn differently. Some need to hear it like a story. I have a Bible like that and though it has the full words of the Bible on the tapes it has music and different people sounds so you feel like you are hearing it for the first time and are really there. My hubby like that one when he is sick and needs to just listen. One of our daughters used to read and study a book and story and then tell it to her hubby at night when they were relaxing and he got into it that way. We all can think of ways to help ourselves and others to appreciate the Word of God and if we pray with them they can learn the importance of pray with the Word.
I really like what Back to the Bible Ministries says about combining God's Word with prayer and Scripture reading and making it a focus for the day. I think that would help cement the Word in ones mind and help us to remember the Word of God easier. I will be trying that because I see merit in using prayer to strengthen my reading of the Word and my spiritual growth as well.
Abba Father, thank You for this teaching we have been given and for the Ministry of Back to the Bible and for Your guidance in all we say, think and do. Grow us in Your Word and help us to see and understand where You want us to focus our prayers and energies. Use Your Word to guide, instruct and speak. May we find it sweet as honey in our mouths and when we feel how bitter it leaves our tummy's because we see how unequipped we are; will You help us to remember when we accepted Your Son Jesus' precious gift of Salvation we were redeemed and made new. We praise you and glorify You Father and we thank You for our Salvation. In Jesus we pray, Amen.