Prayer for bible study

prayer for bible study

A Prayer to Pray before Studying God’s Word
By Christina Patterson

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” – James 1:5

The Bible compares the Word of God to a double-edged sword showing its ability to cut the heart and change lives forever. (Hebrews 4:12) Whenever I pick up my Bible I feel the weight of this sword and its power. It makes me feel like a little girl holding a weapon too big to carry. Handling something so powerful is exciting yet intimidating at the same time. 

prayer for bible study

So I never go into studying God’s Word lightly. We never should. The Word of God has the power to change minds, heal hearts, and cut out sin. However, something so powerful handled the wrong way can also cause harm. I never want to be the one using God’s Word to cause hurt, pain, or confusion. And I’m sure you don’t either.

For this reason, before I open my Bible and heart to the Word of God I first open my mouth in prayer to request specific things from God. And over years of studying my Bible God has faithfully answered this prayer. I want to share my prayer with you in hopes it will increase the quality of your time in God’s Word and help you to handle it’s truths with clarity and confidence.

I always start off praying for discernment and wisdom. James 1:5 tells us:

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (NIV)

Coming across a scripture I do not understand can be discouraging. But I’ve found that unlocking the mysteries of scripture starts with prayer. All wisdom, knowledge, and correct understating come from God and He is ready to grant us understanding if we are willing to ask.  This also ensures that I am receiving God’s understanding and intention about a scripture and that I am not relying on my own understanding.

Let’s Pray:

“Lord, thank you for this time you’ve given me to open your Word and discover who you are. Thank you that you don’t leave us in the dark about who you are and what you are doing in the world, but that you have revealed yourself and your will through the Bible, your sacred words to us. Lord, I need wisdom as I read your Word. You promise us in James 1:5 that we only have to ask for wisdom to receive it. Lord, please give me your wisdom now as I approach your word. Help me discern the truth of this text. Help me not rely on my own understanding. Thank you God for the clarity, encouragement and hope your Word brings. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.”

Editor’s Note: Portions of this devotional were taken from Christina Patterson’s article, 3 Prayers You Should Pray before Reading Your Bible. You can find that article in full here.

prayer for bible study

Welcome to Five Minute Devotionals!  A time to grab your coffee (or tea) and sit for five minutes, read Scripture, and spend a few minutes in prayer! I’ve made it easy for you this morning. Simply jot down the questions below in your journal, or print off the attached PDF of today’s devotional to do in your free time today. If you are on the go, look up the references in the SheReadsTruth App or Bible App on your phone.

It is about our daily life in the Word. Jesus is ready to meet us here. If you have five minutes to scroll through Facebook, you have five minutes to spend in the Word!

Dear Lord, I pray you will guide our minds and hearts for even the next few minutes. Draw us close to You. As we open your Word, let the Holy Spirit guide us to truth. Amen.

Let’s talk about……

Prayer and Bible study. 

We call know prayer and Bible study should go together, but how often do we just use prayer as the Opener and Closer of our Bible study time? Did you know prayer should be the FUEL to POWER THROUGH our Bible study? It is time we start praying BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER our Bible study. We know through the work of Christ and the Holy Spirit we have amazing access to God through prayer.

We pray for our days, weeks, and lives, but do we pray for our eyes to be opened to the truths of Scripture? Praying for our physical health and the health of our friends and family is common, but what about praying for your spiritual health? Do you pray for your Bible study time to be productive? Our time in prayer is often spent asking the Lord God to work in marvelous ways (and He does call us to do this: _ ). What about working a mighty work in our lives through praise and thanksgiving?

How much time is spent during your Bible study time in prayer? 

Before this month, I was the person who prayed before beginning my study. I used a general notebook, from Rooted Ink. Although I did praise God, list requests and answered prayers, I hardly asked prayer for my Bible study time. I might say something quick in my head before starting…..Dear Father, help me understand…Amen.

As far as specific prayers FOR my Bible study, I just felt like I was stumbling around. So for today, I’ve listed FIVE prayers I have begun to pray over my Bible study and devotional time. These prayers have Scripture associated with them. I encourage you to look up each passage as well.

1. Dear God, I praise your word. I give you honor and glory for all you have written. With words you created all of heaven and earth. How awesome, perfect, and wonderful are all of your ways. Above all, you are seated on your throne, to reign in steadfast love and mercy. (Psalm 8 & 9)

2. O God, I give you thanks for the good gift of your word. Let my heart and mind be still in thanksgiving for this amazing gift. Every good gift, including your word, is a gift to me. I thank you for the wisdom you provide. I give you thanks for your love and mercy towards me. Amen. (Psalm 136)

3. Lord, please open my eyes to the truth of your word. I pray for wisdom as I prepare to read your word, clarity for while I read, and discernment as I apply your word to my heart. Let your word change my actions. I pray the truth I find here will transform my heart and mind to follow more after you. Amen.  (James 1:5, 22-25)

4. Dear Heavenly, use your word to convict and correct. Show me in your word how I am falling short. Search my heart. Cleanse me from my sin. Wash me clean with the truth of your Word. Set me on the right path again. Amen. (Psalm 139:23-24)

5. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, holy is your word. Perfect are your ways. Let me be blessed by your word today as I mediate on your precepts. Your promises are true. Your word is faithful. Let me walk in the path of your word today. I pray the words of my mouth come from YOUR truth.. Let my thoughts be governed by YOUR commandments. Please bless this day as I seek to dwell in your word today. Amen. (Psalm 119)

I’ve shared with you five prayers you can pray over your Bible study! Now, print off today’s devotional so you can put into practice praying over your Bible study. I’ve included a short passage to read, meditate, and asked a few questions. However, really spend the majority of your time in prayer.

prayer for bible study

You can also just download a copy of the prayers here. Download just the 5 Prayers to Pray Over Bible Study and use them everyday.

prayer for bible study

Time for Tuesday Talk Link-up!

prayer for bible study

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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.

Your Turn

  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. End your reflection by responding in prayer, using the ACTS model.

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