When it comes to feasting on the Bible we need help. We all need help. And I’m not talking about glasses or coffee or an expensive commentary (although I must confess that those things have served me well at times). What I a mean by “help” is that we truly need the Helper to keep us feasting and digesting the word of God.
My attitude when it comes to my Bible intake is:
Retreat – pulling away from the world and it’s pressures for a time alone with Scripture
Read it – make the commitment of time to read chunks or parts
Reflect – this is the actually “chewing” process. Reading with the attitude of learning.
Respond – if we fail to want to abide and follow what we read, we will be like that guy James warns about (James 1:22-26)
Record – throughout my day, I try to journal new insights that I gathered from that morning’s reading.
These things help prepare me while I’m reading, but I still need much more help that’s beyond my own creativity. That’s why I pray the following pre-reading prayer before my scripture reading. (Don’t worry about trying to figure out the accrostic – it doesn’t mean anything.)
S – SEARCH my heart: “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!” (Psalm 129:23)
P – PURIFY my life: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.” (Psalm 119:9)
I – INCLINE my heart. Chain me to you!: “Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain.” 9psalm 119:36)
O – OPEN my eyes: “Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” (Psalm 119:18)
U – UNITE my heart: “Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.” (Psalm 86:11)
S – SATISFY me with You: “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love…” (Psalm 90:14)
H – HOLD me together: “Uphold me according to Your word, that I may live…” (Psalm 119:116)
I have found that when I begin my morning and evening times in scripture with this prayer it serves me by moving me to be more expectant and hopeful. At first I thought that it might move me toward a methodic legalistic excersice but actually the opposite has happened. Feel free to try it this month. We all need help in our pursuit of God and that’s exactly why the Father sent us the Spirit!
Soli Deo Gloria!