Bible Study & Prayer 101: How To Read The Bible 

What would I tell someone who wanted to read the bible for the first time ever or just get back to the basics of bible study?

Reading the Word of God is so important to me. I could make a list of twenty different verses before I get started as to why I feel this way. But I will start with one:

But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” Matthew 4:4 NLT

Jesus was responding to the enemy who was trying to get him to turn rocks into loaves of bread when he was starving hungry.  It’s the way I feel every morning.  If I don’t get some of the Word with my coffee, I am hungry for something lasting that is not going to be consumable and dissipated by the end of the hour or the end of the day.  I need the Word to REFOCUS {pun intended} on what really matters, or else I will be running on empty by the time I reach the bottom of my coffee cup.  Sometimes it may be a quick read on the bible app on my phone.  This was my Word life when my babies were really babies.  But now I can count on them sleeping until at least 7:00am, so I have time to sit down and really drink Jesus in while the house is still quiet.  When I was thinking of what I would want to tell a friend face to face about getting back to the basics of bible study, this is where the Lord directed me:

 Get a  bible you like.  (If you can’t understand “thou shalt” and giveth and taketh, please for the love do not, I repeat, DO NOT TRY TO READ THAT BIBLE!  I think this prevents many, many people from reading the bible.  They have heard people say things like “King James Version” is the only true translation.

Here’s what I have to say about that:  Jesus spoke in a way the people surrounding him would understand.   The Word made flesh used words that were relatable personally to everyday people. He spoke and taught using parables that the crowds would internalize.  When he spoke to fisherman, he told stories about fishing for people.  When he was with shepherds, he spoke of sheep and following the Shepherd.

So please, find freedom to read a bible you can understand.  My favorite is the New Living Translation, which is a very modern language that is very similar to the way I speak.  I also enjoy looking at the Message Paraphrase.  My sweet husband got me a journaling bible for Christmas, and it is an ESV.  I tried ya’ll, I really did.  And I still reference  BIG BERT ( my hugemongous ESV study bible my home church gave me) {Big Bertha’s brother} at times.  But the Lord knows my mind wanders when I read it.

I would also suggest a bible that has footnotes and introductions to the different books, so that you are able to gain background knowledge of the person who wrote the book (through the inspiration and breath of God) and about the context of what was taking place during that time in history.

AND

Get a journal so you can remember what jumps out at you while you read and so that you can pray while you take notes.  Even if you can’t get into prayer journaling, writing down what you hear God speak to you is very important.

I always have a book I am “in.” I was in the prophets (middle of the bible) recently.  But my husband started a sermon series on Colossians so I jumped over there with him so I could follow along deeply and have more oneness with him.

Generally, I read a chapter a day.

From my own experience, I think spending a few minutes in prayer changes my perspective and allows me to {acknowledge the teacher} before I dive in.

“God I don’t know what to do about this…”

And a lot of times I confess things I have a poor attitude  about, “Lord, these kids are some messy children!”

And then I begin reading with purpose. 

I’m looking and listening for situations that are similar to things happening in my life. 

When I see a verse that fits that description, I write it down. I highlight it. Then I pray it over my situation and my family, my friends, etc.

I don’t leave the verse there. I memorize it, write it on a post it, take a pic of it on my phone, or stage my bible or journal somewhere I can remember, think, and pray about it throughout my day. 

Don’t you get hungry for snacks during the day? I get “hangry” (hungry/angry) without enough real food and without Word nourishment throughout my day. If I have memorized that one verse that stuck out to me, I can chew on it for hours and ingest a little at a time. It’s amazing how much God teaches me and helps me apply and live out by thinking about his Word.

“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” Hebrews 4:12

The next post, I will go beyond the basics about how I dig deeper in the Word.

Deeper= knowing Jesus better! ❤

 

 

 

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One thought on “Bible Study & Prayer 101: How To Read The Bible 

  1. Pingback: Mark Reading Plan for Easter | Amy D Terry

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