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How to Pray the Bible

A way to simply hear how the words–and the Word–speak to you.

Simple advice for praying with the Bible

The Bible is a rich resource for renewal, knowledge, inspiration, hope, faith, understanding, but it’s also a source for prayer. I don’t mean just the passages that are specific prayers, like the psalms or the Lord’s Prayer, but the practice of reading any passage in a prayerful way.

There is a fancy name for this, lectio divina, which is Latin for “divine reading,” and has evolved into stages of reading any specific passage and meditating on it, something developed by various monastic orders over the centuries.

You can certainly read more about that practice, but I would urge you not to get too worried about “doing it right,” because like any prayer practice, you can’t possibly do it wrong. As I’ve said before, to attempt to pray is to pray. You can’t fail at it; trying is doing. Not for nothing do we use the word “practice” with prayer.

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Just pick a passage of Scripture, maybe a dozen verses, maybe less. Read them a couple times. Read them aloud if you want. Linger over any verse that speaks to you. At different times, different verses speak to us. This is the Holy Spirit at work.

Then take a few words, a phrase, maybe a full verse, close your eyes, and say it to yourself. Meditate on it. Pray it. Hold it in your head until it dissolves into your heart.

This is not a Biblical practice where you need to rush to a concordance or look up something in Google to find the original Hebrew or Greek. Those things are valuable, but when you pray the Bible it is simply to hear how the words–and the Word–speak to you. 

Sometimes a phrase will amplify in meaning. Sometimes just a few words will be like a depth charge, exposing hidden valleys. Sometimes nothing will happen, at least not that you’re consciously aware of.

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I once heard of a holy man who prayed through the entire Bible this way. It took him decades. That sounds right. Don’t rush yourself. Linger over a passage that sticks with you. There’s probably a reason for it. It’s a way of God speaking to you.

Pray the words as the Word works through you.

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Pray a Word a Day

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This top-selling prayer devotional available only at Guideposts.  Discover how one word can deepen your prayer time every morning.  Focus, pray, reflect and be more aware of God’s love for you every day.

Pray a Word a Day is unlike any daily devotional you’ve ever seen before!
It is a non-dated, 365-day book that invites you to connect with God in ways that will inspire and uplift you—while giving your prayer practice a fresh boost.

You’ll also get 12 beautiful Pocket Prayer Cards – FREE!

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