The Prayer Guide

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Prayer and the Bible
As Christians we know we should pray and that we should read our Bibles. What is less well understood is that the two go together - hand in hand. We should come to expect that we may need our Bible during our prayer time, and can pray as we read!

Meditation. Jeremiah speaks of eating God's words ("When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God Almighty." Jer 15:16), and meditation gives us the chance to slowly chew over portions of scripture. Unlike other forms of meditation where we seek to empty our minds, Christians seek to fill our mind and heart with the presence and Word of God.

Unlike academic study, meditation seeks to repeate words and phrases, to go over the same words and thoughts. The word "meditate" means to "murmur persistently". The psalmist writes "I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways." (Ps 119:15); and in v48 "I lift up my hands to your commands which I love, and I meditate on your decrees."  In meditation, we ponder on key scriptures, and as we do so, we allow the living Word of God to penetrate our hearts as well as our minds.

Pointers for Prayer : Read and re-read a passage slowly, perhaps repeating a verse several times, expecting God to make it come alive with relevance for your situation. Spend time reflecting on their meaning - what does God want to say to you through these verses?

Place yourself in the verses you are reading, especially those passages with promises. Personalise it. Change "he" to "she" if appropriate e.g. Psalms 1 or 91.

Do write in your Bible! As a child, you may have been told that writing in books is wrong,  but it can be very helpful to mark particular verses and passages that have been given to us in prayer. As we re-read these later, we are reminded of the situation and how God spoke to us at that time.

Why not write out verses that are significant to you, and put them in a prominent place e.g. on a notice board, the fridge or inside the cover of your Bible. Every time you see them, your thoughts will flicker onto those verses.  Find out more about praying through the psalms, the prayer book of the bible.