May 4, 2012

How to Pray In Silence: 7 Steps to Effective Scripture Reflection

 

Reading the Bible is one thing; it’s quite another to let it take deep and strong root in our hearts and allow it to shape our lives. In this second post in the “How to Pray in Silence” series, we look at a method of reflecting on what we read so that the reading does not end with . . . well . . . just reading!

Just about any method of Christian prayer incorporates the scriptures in some manner – for it is God’s Word that teaches, corrects, consoles and helps us to grow in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16). So here are some steps to effective reflection while we read:

  1. Like the Psalmist, start with this type of a prayer: “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.” – Psalm 143:8.
     
  2. Choose a short passage to read – starting with the Gospels is a great idea, especially one of the many parables. Use a contemporary translation like the NRSV, NAB, NIV etc.
     
  3. Read it multiple times very slowly, till every word is familiar. Every time it is read, chances are we will notice something that we missed earlier.
     
  4. Now start asking these questions:

    • What do these verses reveal about God?
    • Is there a commandment here that I should obey?
    • Is there a lesson for me to learn in these verses?
    • Is this passage posing a challenge for me?
    • Does this passage reveal a sin that I am struggling with?
     
  5. Not all passages will have an answer to every question. But when the Holy Spirit reveals an answer to any question(s), note it down in a personal prayer journal along with the passage reference.
     
  6. Now offer a prayer of thanksgiving and make a resolution if required (e.g. to fight a particular sin or obey a command, etc.) and write it down too.
     
  7. If possible, spend some time later in the day to go through the entry in the prayer journal as a recap, maybe even at night before going to sleep.

That’s it! Now this is obviously only one of the many different ways of pondering the scriptures, but it’s a useful method to start with and will lead to some amazing insights into God’s Word.

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What is your favorite method of reading and reflecting on the scriptures?

Gangai Victor is a Jesus lover, worship buff, Internet enthusiast, social media aficionado, and author of proWORSHiP.in, the most unknown award-winning Christian blog!

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