The bible is a spiritual book, just as prayer is a spiritual activity. To enjoy both requires us to ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in the Scriptures and to exercise the opportunity to be in prayerful fellowship with God.
In Acts 17, we read of Paul and Silas’s ministry to the people of Berea. In v11 and 12: ‘ . . . they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Many of them therefore believed . . . ’
Three things stand out regarding the Bereans, they were willing to learn, to be disciplined and to be obedient.
1.Clearly they were open to God which is why we should pause before we read the Scriptures. We need to be quiet in God’s presence and ask Him to speak to us.
2. We need to be disciplined, the Bereans examined the Scriptures every day. This is where bible study notes are so helpful in opening up the bible text to us.
3. They were obedient, the bible is not just a book for the curious. The bible is out to change lives, if we are not changed people as a result of our bible reading then something is amiss. We must act when God speaks to us.
There is no doubt in my mind that time spent in God’s presence, with our bibles open before us, is an essential to provide the life-blood to the Christian.
Prayer too is the other source of the Christian’s life-blood. David Watson wrote: ‘Paul the apostle was confident that God would deliver him—yet he asks for prayer. He urged young, inexperienced Christians to pray constantly for the mighty apostle! Even Jesus asked his disciples for their prayers. Why? Again, I don’t know, says David Watson, but I do know that when we pray, God works.’
Now, it’s good to meet with God individually but not exclusively, being with fellow Christians is a great way of learning more about God. Don’t miss the opportunities to pray especially during this 24-7 Prayer Week.
We read in Exodus 33:11, ‘the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to a friend.
Nothing has changed, we have the same opportunities, whether through the scriptures or in prayer we can still hear the Lord speak to us, face to face.