Let’s talk about how Bible reading and Prayer are means of attaining greater and deeper intimacy with God.
I’ve been struggling forward in the race for the prize, as Paul put it – that’s why I haven’t been posting lately. But God’s taught me some things in this period of spiritual poverty.
It’s hard to stay consistent in Bible reading and prayer if one views them in a legalistic fashion. If reading the Bible is just read a book, or if prayer is just saying words to a being we can’t physically see, and that’s all there is to it for both of those things, what’s the point overall? What purpose is there to it?
The reality is, there’s a number of purposes. By studying God’s word, we get to know God better, get to know His will, get to understand His character more, and get to know how to please and follow Him and also what He hates, and consequently we therefore know what choices and actions in this life and in our walk that we should avoid at all costs. It also is a means of us being transformed into the man or woman God wants us to be (Isaiah 55:10-11, Hebrews 4:12). Prayer is a means for us to communicate with the Holy and Majestic God, in our fears and our troubles and our desires and our joys – we get to share our lives with God beyond Him knowing what’s going on in it from watching us every moment of our lives.
Now, what’s the common thread between these two things? They both cause us to draw closer to God in intimacy. By studying God’s word, we get to know God better. In a relationship, don’t you want to know more about the person you love and care about? So it is with God, and the best thing is is that since He’s infinite, we can never stop learning new things about Him. By allowing Scripture to transform us by internalizing what it says about God, the world and us, we grow closer to God by becoming more holy and Christlike. We grow to know God’s deep love for us, and that’s a beautiful, wonderful gift.
Now let’s go into prayer. Prayer is us sharing our lives with God, us baring our hearts and our souls to God, leaving nothing hidden from Him. This is intimacy too – when you love someone, you’re an open book with them, and they with you – so it is with God, as God’s already made Himself an open book with us in all the ways we need Him to be by giving us Scripture (though of course there will always be things that He keeps to Himself, even in eternity). It’s hard to explain this aspect of it, it just seems so intuitive. Having an active, continuous prayer life with God draws us closer to Him, and I would argue, makes us trust Him more and makes it easier for us to follow Him. I’d also argue it helps us to fall in love with Him more.
Basically, when you decide to read your Bible for an hour or so and then give some time to prayer, don’t see them as these legalistic, mechanical sets of actions – see them as a means and way of getting closer to and more in love with a person, with God. See Bible reading and prayer as vital parts of your personal relationship with Him. Pray that God will help you see things that way, and live it out that way.
That’s it for now. Grace and Peace.