- high calling
- petition on behalf of another
Relational prayer focuses simply on being with God and prayer is simply a matter of having a conversation with our Father. Praying scripture is a simple but effective way of interacting with God. Augustine said:
“When we pray, we speak to God; when we read Scripture, God speaks to us.”
An unhurried, contemplative reading of a portion of Scripture can provide a great framework for experiencing God through Scripture, meditation, prayer, and contemplation. The emphasis is communion with God.
Praying scripture begins by withdrawing to a quiet, undistracted place with no agenda, checklist, prayer requests, or anticipated outlook in mind. Take a few moments to be quiet and still. Offer a brief prayer such as this: “Father, I love You and want to be with You right now. Let my heart be open and sensitive to You. May the Holy Spirit lead me and let Your Word be a light to path and a lamp for my feet today. Amen.”
Read through a selected portion of scripture (not too long; Psalms, Gospels, Epistles). Reading should be slow, attentive, contemplative, reflective, and listening. Read the same passage again in the same manner (perhaps several times).
Quietly meditate on what you have read. What words or phrases stand out? What truths are present? What do needs to be repented of? What needs to be rejoiced in? What do needs to be avoided? What needs to be embraced?
We often think of prayer as primarily talking to God about our issues. This makes prayer a monologue rather than a dialogue. But scripture invites us to conversational intimacy with God. That is, my prayer is a conversation with God about what I have read in His Word. Invite the Holy Spirit to take His Word into the deepest and most intimate places in your life.
Don’t hurry away; this is a time for reverence and rest as you entrust yourself to God and reflect on what He has spoken and what you have shared together. Do not have the frantic need to fill this space with words – “Be still and know that I am God.”
Praying with an open Bible not only brings relational intimacy with God in prayer, it also illuminates the scripture, making it relevant and personal. Martin Luther once said that he had learned more about the Bible by praying scripture than by studying it.