Reading the Bible should be a form of prayer.
The Bible should be read in God’s presence and as the unfolding of His mind.
It is not just a book, but God’s love letter to you.
It is God’s revelation, God’s mind, operating through your mind and your reading,
so your reading is your response to His mind and will.
from You Can Understand the Bible
We were out walking deep in some obscure woods when we came upon this precarious
It’s a tree that has been obviously almost uprooted.
This area has seen its fair share of tornados, tropical storms, even category 2 hurricanes.
Throw in the life of a tree in the woods and things such as illness, rotting, strong winds,
and the sheer matter of time can each take a toll on a tree.
Yet I was amazed that this tree appears to continue to thrive albeit at an almost
45-degree angle as it literally hangs on by the tips of its roots—
but it matters not to the tree that it grows perhaps more laterally than vertically,
it still lives, and it grows.
I looked at this tree with amazement but then I thought of things such as tenacity and
that of being firmly rooted…rooted with deep roots rather than shallow roots.
I thought of my own life.
Those times that I have been nearly toppled.
Thoughts of the moments when life had thrown all it had at me and nearly
knocked me over…for good.
Yet through Grace, I persevered.
Had I not had my faith rooted deeply in that Grace, most likely, I would have
been knocked over and would not have been able to get back up…
Even if getting back up meant I might remain somewhat skewed, I would still
be rooted, I would still be growing.
So today’s quote about reading the Bible as a form of prayer was
enlightening…as in it added to the deepening of roots.
It’s not merely about reading for reading’s sake or to read in order to seek out
some sort of information or to add to one’s verse recall,
but rather it about reading as a simple desire to pray.
To come humbly to in order to communicate with rather than to simply digest.
I confess that I don’t read the Bible as much as I once did when I was younger.
Life has a way of consuming time just like a black hole consumes all the energy
in its path.
It also didn’t help that I was raised in the Episcopal Chruch as our Sunday Schools
and youth groups were not entirely based on Bible studies.
It wasn’t until I joined Young Life in High School that I finally began
to read and study.
And that reading and studying would ebb and flow over the years.
Bibles would be highlighted, underlined, filled with momentoes and so worn
that they were ‘retired’ while I’d seek out a new translation.
Over the years, in the midst of some crisis, I would often find myself reaching for
a Bible, almost as an afterthought, as I would sit empty and lost.
Oddly a random page would suddenly speak directly to the situation…
speaking directly to me.
Funny how that is.
And as Professor Kreeft reminds us that in both prayer, as well as in reading
the Bible, God speaks.
I am reminded of the practice of Lectio Divina…
the practice of reading a particular verse then ruminating over that verse.
Focusing on what word or words seem to reach out to us.
Repeating the words, praying over the words, listening to what the word or words
have to say to us…personally.
As in growing deeper roots.
As life grows only more precarious…being deeply rooted in
the Word of God will prove instrumental in the survival of our souls.
May we be willing to go deeper.
Both prayer and Bible reading are ways of listening to God.
They should blend: our prayer should be biblical and our Bible reading prayerful.
from You Can Understand the Bible