This is an excerpt from a post on Mark Batterson’s blog. Mark is the pastor of National Community Church in Washington, DC and one of my favorite authors.
The Bible wasn’t meant to be read. It was meant to be prayed. Reading without praying is like eating without digesting. The nutrients aren’t absorbed the way they should be. The way you get the word into your heart, into your spirit is by praying it. Let me give you an example. This morning I was reading about “the circumcision of the heart” in Romans 2:29. The Holy Spirit stopped me in my tracks. I knew I needed tostop reading and start praying. I spent the next several minutes having a heart-to-heart with my Heavenly Father about some of my heart issues.
The spiritual disciplines are more interrelated than what we realize. I used to think of reading Scripture and prayer as very different endeavors. In fact, I felt bad because it was easier for me to read Scripture than to pray. Then I read something from the Talmud that set me free. The Jewish Rabbis said, “An hour of study is as an hour of prayer.” That’s when I realized that reading Scripture can be a form of prayer.
Many people don’t know where to begin when it comes to prayer. What do I say first? Here’s my advice: start with Scripture. Start reading and you’ll eventually come to something you need to talk with God about. Prayer isn’t a monologue where we outline our agenda for God. Prayer is a dialogue. Scripture is the way God speaks to us. Prayer is a the way we respond to it. And when you pray the word you can pray with holy confidence because God’s word does not return void.
Pray the Word!
My Comments: I would just echo what Mark says. My best prayer times are when I am in dialogue with God using His Word – For me, when prayer is merely a monologue (me talking at Him) I tend to get bored as well as very easily distracted. But praying the Word takes intentionality – which means that it also takes time. But if you are struggling in your prayer life and feeling like you are not really connecting with God then pull out your Bible and start praying. Prayer becomes intensely intimate when you stop the one-sided conversations and start giving God a chance to get a word in edgewise.
I’m just saying!