Basic Exercises Defined
Prayer is one of the most important things you can do before you read your Bible. I also recommend talking to God as you read the Scripture. Prayer is talking to God with intention and purpose as His child, according to His word. Pray for God’s wisdom and understanding, pray for focus and discipline, and pray for growth and transformation. And, as you read, pray about questions you have, thank God for observations you make and engage with God.
I recommend you read slowly and thoughtfully as you connect ideas together. Don’t rush through it. This is about slowly reading while meditating and thinking through what the Bible is saying. You may have to read something several times before it really makes sense. Don’t skip over something that doesn’t make sense, but ask God for clarity and wisdom, and if it still is unclear, keep reading to gain insight into what the biblical author was saying.
Meditating on God’s word does NOT mean you are mindlessly repeating a set of words. This doesn’t refer to emptying your mind. Meditating means considering what a bible verse is saying. Think through what this means and how it applies to your life. Thoughtfully consider what the implications are and what other Scriptures connect to any given bible passage. Rehearse the Scripture in your mind. Chew on it repeatedly to make sense of it.
In this exercise, I want you to ask five questions about the verse you’re reading. What does God do here, if anything? What does He personally say here, if anything? What does this imply about who God is, if anything? What is clearly said about humanity here, if anything? And, is there a good or bad example for humanity to follow, if any? Then take notes about whatever you observe in a way that is helpful for you.
Whenever you learn something, write it down. When you make an observation or gain insight, write it down. Use an electronic device or use a good ole’ fashioned pen and notepad. Do whatever will make it more personal and memorable for you. Taking notes is a way of solidifying what God is teaching you, and it allows you to look back on it later on if you forget what God showed you. Take notes on whatever stands out and you’ll be glad you did.