Monday, September 21, 2009

How prayer can enrich your Bible reading

One of the most important ways to have a balanced Christian life is to balance your prayer life with your Bible reading.
Psalm 119:147 reminds us of the need to balance prayer with Bible reading, as it says, "I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word."
So when you rise at dawn to pray and read God's word, how do you pray? Here are six key verses in Psalm 119 to guide you:

I. Preparation: What to pray before reading scripture

A. For open eyes (v. 18)
"Open my eyes that I may see
wonderful things in your law."

B. For light to your path (v. 105).
"Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light for my path."

C. For discernment (v. 125)
"I am your servant; give me discernment
that I may understand your statutes."

II. Application: What to pray after reading scripture

A. A sin to confess (v. 11)
"I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you."

B. A promise to claim (v. 38)
"Fulfill your promise to your servant,
so that you may be feared."

C. A resolution to make (v. 112)
"My heart is set on keeping your decrees
to the very end." (NIV)

Like a boy who rides his bicycle downhill with gusto, trying to get momentum when he goes uphill, the psalmist expressed his prayer as he dove into the scripture, and then after he read the scripture, he had the momentum to climb the challenging hills ahead, whether it was a sin to confess, a promise to claim, or a resolution to make, knowing that by faith in God's word he could trust God to make a way.
So can you and I.

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