How To Study God's Word | Day Six

By: Kate Downing | To Download this series in it's entirety to your phone or printer, Click Here.

"To pray well is the better half of study." - Martin Luther

Prayer is a crucial part of studying Scripture. However, it’s often one of the hardest parts. 

I’ll be honest. I am never more distracted than when I try to pray! Today's to-do list never fails to creep into my mind and a desire to check Instagram lurks in the back of my thoughts. It almost becomes overwhelming!

Have you experienced this? Most of us have more than likely struggled with our tendency to pray continuously and often forget the power of prayer. Let’s not leave this spiritual discipline out of the equation of spending time with the Lord! Today, we will get a glimpse of how prayer fits into studying Scripture!

First things first, spend the next few minutes asking the Lord to help you gain a passion for prayer. Thank Him for the opportunity to communicate with Him personally! Ask Him to speak to you today through His Word.

Read James 1:5.

Have you ever lacked wisdom when it comes to understanding what you are reading in the Bible? 

If so, what does this verse say you should do? What does it promise you?

When we ask God to give us wisdom and understanding, He promises to do so! Therefore, here are some helpful tips to incorporating prayer into your quiet times with God:

Before you open your Bible:

o   Thank God for the opportunity to Study His Word.

o   Confess any sin that is in your life.

o   Ask the Lord to speak to you through His Word.

o   Ask for wisdom to understand what you are reading.

o   Ask for focus.

During your time with the Lord, it is important to integrate prayer. View this time with God as a consistent conversation with Him. As you are reading/studying a passage, pray the verses back to the Lord, ask for specific wisdom to understand a phrase or concept, and confess sins that are revealed.

After you have studied a passage, there are some important things to pray as well:

             o   Thank the Lord for speaking to you.

             o   Praise Him for what He taught you about Himself.

             o   Ask Him for boldness and diligence to obey what He has asked of you through His Word.

             o   Ask Him to show you at least one person to tell what you have learned today. 

Also, here are some practical tips to help you stay focused while praying:

            o   Write down your prayers in a journal.

            o   Pray out loud.

            o   Make sure your studying/praying environment is conducive to staying awake.

                  - For example, make sure you are not lying in bed, under the covers with and only a lamp on.

Let's put this to practice! Take a few minutes to pray through the “Before” prayer points from above. 

Now, practice the “During” prayer ideas:

Read John 3:1-3

Thank the Lord for openly talking with Nicodemus and for willing havingconversations with you.

Read John 3:4-8

Thank God for His willingness to answer your questions just as He was willing to answer Nicodemus’.

Read John 3:9-13

Thank God for caring enough about Nicodemus to loving call him out on his misunderstanding about Christ. 

Ask God to reveal to you any areas of misunderstanding about Himself that you might have.

Read John 3:14-15

Thank God for consistency in His Word. From the Old Testament to the New Testament, He has been making a way of salvation from death!

Read John 3:16-17

Spend some time praising God for the incredible gift of His Son, Jesus. Thank Him for the way of salvation His death and resurrection made for you. 

Specifically, thank God for not sending Jesus to condemn you, but to offer forgiveness and salvation!

Thank Him for making His forgiveness available to anyone who believes!

Read 3:18

Ask the Lord to show you someone (a friend, family member, or even a stranger) who needs the forgiveness and salvation the Lord offers. Pray for boldness to share the truth about Jesus found in John 3:16-17 with them.

Read 3:19-21

Ask the Lord to reveal any area of your life you might need to bring into the light; any sin you need to confess to Him. 

Ask the Lord to show you a godly, mature Christian to confess this sin to and be held accountable by to no longer practice that sin.

Now, pray through the “after” prayer points listed above.