For years I used to do my Bible study without much prayer.
I mean, I’d separate my prayer time from my Bible study time. Prayer meant sitting down with a list of people to pray for, and Bible study meant sitting down with my Bible and a notebook. They were two separate parts of my life, and they both became chores.
And honestly, when someone would say I should pray before I start my Bible study, I’d be all like, “Yeah, yeah, sure. Maybe for you. But God’s given me a good head on my shoulders and I can figure this out on my own. I don’t see why the Holy Spirit needs to intervene when I’ve got this down pat.”
I know. That’s ugly. Pride always is.
But as I’ve come to realize just how dependent I am on my heavenly Father for every breath I take and every insight He gives me, I’ve learned to thread prayer into everything I do, including my Bible study. And I’ve learned to view Bible study not as an end in itself but as a means toward deeper knowledge of and love for God. Bible study without prayer is like a lightbulb without elecrticity; it doesn’t do anyone any good.
And I believe it will do the same for you.
I like using the acronym ACTS to remember what to pray for, both in life and in my Bible study. You’ll see it explained below:
Adoration in Bible Study
Before you begin reading the Bible, spend some time simply worshipping God for who He is. Praise Him for being eternal and that His Story began before this world was ever created. Meditate on His goodness, His holiness, His love, justice, and kindness. Before you even open the pages of your Bible, remind yourself who God is, and what a privilege it is to serve Him.
During your Bible study, keep an open communication with God. As you’re reading, ask yourself, “What does this passage say about who God is and what He is like?” And after you write down the answer, respond to it with adoration. Let this knowledge penetrate not just your mind but your heart also as you grow in love for God.
After your Bible study, you may have discovered a new facet of God’s character. Respond to Him in worship and adoration. Feel free to sing or make music, and celebrate who He is.
Confession in Bible Study
Before you begin studying the Bible, invite the Holy Spirit to move you to repentence. Acknowledge that your heart is prone to wonder and you need His help to be faithful. Confess any sins that come to mind before you open His Word, and ask Him to purify you of those sins.
During your Bible study, you may sense the Holy Spirit pricking your conscience. As you read of Peter’s denial or Saul’s disobedience, ask yourself, “Have I acted in the same way in my own life?” Move from simply remembering the deed to confessing it and asking for the Father’s forgiveness.
After you study the Bible, spend a few moments asking God to bring to mind anything you may have missed. Ask Him to create in you a clean heart and renew a steadfast spirit within you (Psalm 51:10).
Thanksgiving in Bible Study
Before you begin your study, thank God for all He has done for you. Think on the last 24 hours and recite His faithfulness as you see it in your life. What has gone well? What has been difficult but bearable because of His presence in your life?
During your study of the Bible, thank God for giving you the Bible and this window into His story. Many people around the world wish they had their own personal Bible, and this privilege should move us to thanksgiving.
After your Bible study, thank Jesus for His sacrifice and reconciling you to the Father. Is there anything in the passage you studied that reveals new things to thank God for? Take time to do it.
Supplication in Bible Study
Before you begin, ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and your mind to understand the depths of His truths in Scripture. Ask Him for wisdom and patience and discipline as you study the Bible (James 1:5). He will gladly give you these things.
During your study, ask God to help you notice if there’s any instruction in the text. Are there ways to grow in your love for God and others that you’ve failed to do in your life?
After your study, ask the Holy Spirit to help you implement what you’ve read. We know that “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” (Matt 26:41), so ask that God will help you follow through.
Listen After You Pray
Conversation is two-way: one person speaks, then the other, and so forth.
When you start with prayer, you talk to God; in studying the Bible, He speaks to you; then you respond to Him in prayer again. But don’t rush off after you’ve said “amen.” Be still for a few minutes and listen in silence. Sometimes the Spirit of God may want to further explain or apply something to your life.
The Holy Spirit is alive in every believer, and He longs to teach and instruct us Himself. Sometimes He will speak to you, and sometimes He won’t, but you’ll never know if you don’t listen. And when He does speak, the Word will come to life in a whole new way. What an incredible way to experience the Word of God!
Start praying today, and you may just discover it’s soon become your favorite part of Bible study.
- Take time to talk with God about what you’ve just read. Is there something you want to Adore Him for, Confess to Him, Thank Him for, or Supplicate (Ask) Him for?
- Could you relate to my confession at the beginning of this post? Or do you lean more toward asking than adoring? Reflect on this post in your journal, writing about what role prayer has played in your Bible study up to this point.
- End your reflection by responding in prayer, using the ACTS model.
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Table of contents
Three Ways to Pray for Others
1. Pray Right Now
You can pray right now. Click here to sign up for our email prayer update sent from our office a few times each week. Please note we can only send this to those who are members or regular attenders of our church. Identify yourself if you are not a member of the church, and pray for the requests posted there.
2. Join the Intercessory Prayer Team
Prayer Team members receive the church’s public and private monthly prayer list and help lead others in prayer. Newcomers are always welcome. If you are interested, please e-mail us at [email protected]
3. Join in Group Prayer on Sundays
You can participate in group prayer in the Prayer Room (located to the left side of the Worship Center auditorium) on Sundays at 9:45 a.m. We invite people to use our prayer room which is open before and after all Worship Center services.
4. Prayer Gathering
Wednesday Intercessory Prayer will resume October 3. Friday Intercessory Prayer will continue to meet.
Everyone is invited to attend Intercessory Prayer on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm in Hoover Hall foyer or Friday mornings from 9:30 am to 10:30 am in the Prayer Room. They will not meet on Fellowship night (third Wednesday of each month).
Prayer is usually conversational and voluntary—you can pray out loud or silently.
In addition, male and female prayer leaders are available at the front of the sanctuary at the conclusion of every Sunday morning worship service. They are available to pray for any need you might have.
“The function of prayer is not to influence God,
but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” – Soren Kierkegaard
Sunday Morning Bible Study Will Resume November 4
Sunday morning Bible study meets at 9:00 am in the Hoover Hall classroom.
Women’s Bible Study (Thursdays) WILL RESUME SEPTEMBER 13
Come to Hoover Hall classroom on Thursdays at 9:30 am.
Men’s Bible Study (Mondays) Will Resume October 1
Men’s Bible Study meets from 8:00 am to 9:00 am on Mondays. If you are interested, contact the church office (623.546.2980 or [email protected]).
Community Bible Study Will Resume September 19
Community Bible study meet at our church on Wednesdays from 9:30 AM, with a general opening session, followed by small group discussions, and followed by a group lecture on the lesson for that week.
All men and women of our church, as well as the community, are invited to attend. They meet September through April. For more information please call Joyce Westlund at 623-523-4407.
Community Bible Study is an interdenominational Bible study, founded over 30 years ago with chapters throughout the United States.
Victory Through The Lord Jesus Christ – 1 Corinthians 15:57-58 – Pastor D. A. Waite – BFTBC
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
The Bible For Today Baptist Church of Collingswood is an independent Baptist Church that uses and defends the King James Bible. The BFTBC believes that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone and in Christ alone. Bible For Today Baptist believing that the Scripture is the supreme standard for faith and practice.
Let One Interpret – 1 Corinthians 14:24-40 – Pastor D. A. Waite – BFTBC
All midweek services are streamed live Thursdays at 8:00 pm ET at biblefortoday.org/flow_player.htm
Most weeks the services are also streamed over youtube.com/user/MyDailyBlessing/live
It is also streamed over sermonaudio.com/source_detail.asp?sourceid=biblefortoday
Pastor D. A. Waite, Bible For Today Baptist Church, Collingswood, NJ 08108, BibleForToday.org
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“Lord God, I reaffirm my faith in Jesus Christ, Your Son, who died for me on the cross and was resurrected that I may now have life in Him. Thank you, Father, that I have the authority of Jesus Christ over every evil power. In the name of Jesus Christ, by the power of His cross and blood, I bind the spirits, powers and forces of the earth, the underground, the air, the water, the fire, the netherworld and the satanic forces of nature. I bind all interplay, interaction and communication of evil spirits as they would try to affect me in any way during this time of Bible study. I claim the protection of the shed blood of Jesus Christ over myself, including my eyes, ears, hands and mind as I read the Bible today. Thank you for your protection, Lord. Please prepare my heart and help me to receive your Word with understanding and without distraction from the enemy. Please send your holy angels to fill my home and minister to me especially as I read Your Word. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”
bible study prayer