Biblical fluency does not happen because of our efforts alone. Rather, the Holy Spirit takes our efforts and then works in and through us to reveal truth and conform us to the image of Christ. As we approach the study of the Bible in prayer and with an open heart, we invite God to reveal himself and transform our lives through his Word.
Simply put, prayer is a conversation with God, an intimate dialogue where believers can express their thoughts, concerns, and gratitude.
Incorporating prayer into Bible study creates a two-way communication channel, allowing us to seek clarity of Scripture and invite the Holy Spirit to inform its understanding and then direct our actions. Praying as we study recalibrates our focus from a pursuit of information to a desire for life transformation. Life-change happens as we connect with God through prayer while being immersed in his Word.
Prayerfulness can be a simple, natural, and very important part of our time in the Word, from start to finish.
Praying before, during, and after our time in the Word each day is how we invite the Holy Spirit to join us in our study.Incorporating prayer shifts our focus from being primarily an academic or intellectual pursuit of knowledge to becoming a uniquely personal pursuit of knowing, trusting, and obeying God himself. Prayer invites God into our learning process. In prayer we commune with God as we understand and relate to his words in Scripture with the goal of knowing him rightly and steadily becoming more like him. When prayer is an integral part of our study time, we come to realize that the Bible is more about God than it is about ourselves.
So, pray all along the way.
Pray actively, pray honestly, and expect to connect with God as you read the words that he has specifically inspired and preserved for you and me and all who will call him LORD. Ask him to help you listen, to understand, and to willingly obey every day.
Keep it simple and enjoy the process.
Before you open your Bible to a passage of Scripture each day, take a minute to:
- Thank God that his Word is truth, applicable for today, living and active.
- Admit that spending time in the Word is not easy for you. Ask for his help. Briefly give him the concerns of your heart, setting them under his care while you focus on the Bible. Ask him to protect your time from distractions so that you can be mindful as you read.
- Tell him that you want to know him rightly, understanding his character as he reveals it in the pages of Scripture.
- Humbly ask him to show you your own sin and give you the courage and power to follow and obey him as he shows you where change is needed.
During your time in the word prayer is simply an interactive dialogue between you and the Holy Spirit. You can:
- Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and give you wisdom and understanding.
- Ask him to help you retain what you read and lessons he shows you.
- Praise God when he shows you something about his character that is new to you.
- Pray his words back to him.
- Ask the LORD to give you understanding. If a passage does not make sense tell him so. Maybe jot down your question in your journal and see if he gives you understanding at another time.
- Read the passage again if you have time.
Finally, after your time in the word:
- Close by writing a simple prayer of devotion to God, praising him for who he is and thanking him for what he has done for you.
- Ask that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, his truth would bear fruit in your life as you trust in and follow Jesus.
As you walk through your day, continue to engage with God through prayer seeking strength and guidance to apply the lessons you’ve learned from the Bible.