Read! Meditate! Pray!

Read! Meditate! Pray!

Luke 10:38-42

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (ESV)

We need to read the Bible

God gave us a book so obviously he expects us to read it (2Tim 3:16; Rev 1:3) …

Jesus said: “have you not read” – “search the Scriptures” (Matt 4:4) …

We need to meditate in the Bible

Ps 119:97 Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.

the Hebrew word for meditate means to “ponder deeply” (pour over)

to meditate is to mull over God’s truth – to chew over each sentence, phrase, word

meditation is saturating your mind (cramming your soul) with the word of God …

meditation is more than reading (Jos 1:8) …

reading the Bible allows God’s truth to pass through your mind (only bits lodge)

meditating in God’s word allows his truth to settle more securely in your mind

Donald Whitney: “… anyone who reads the Bible without meditating on it becomes a forgetful reader … If you normally spend ten minutes in Bible reading, from now on don’t spend your entire time reading … read for five minutes and meditate for five minutes. It’s far better to read less but remember more than to read for the entire ten minutes and remember nothing. It’s far better to close your Bible knowing that you have something from God’s Word with you so that you can ‘meditate in it day and night” (Jos 1:8) than to realize that you’ve already forgotten everything you’ve read.

We need to depend on the Holy Spirit

if you want to get what the Bible says you’ve got to depend on the Holy Spirit

as you read, meditate – ask the Holy Spirit to give you insight (Jn 16:13-14) …

Walter Kaiser: The Word of God is different; it is unique. We cannot fully understand His Word without the enablement of the Spirit. Reading the Bible as a scholarly or intellectual exercise is certainly possible, but to receive the full blessing of the Lord’s word, and to understand His full meaning, one must approach the Scriptures through the Spirit of God … I used to read the Bible for its academic merit, and I will confess I got nothing out of it. God didn’t speak to me; it didn’t change my heart. Then I heard a preacher say that one must ask God for enlightenment. I began praying, “Lord, speak to me through your Word.” I did not simply want to read the stories; I wanted to know God’s heart. At first I noticed very little difference in my reading. But soon, within three weeks of praying that prayer as I read, my heart began to burn within me. I started to see new things in Scripture. God began revealing to me how His Word should change my life. I developed a love for His teaching. God heard my prayer and began to speak to me through His Word.

We need to pray the Bible into our lives

it’s a big mistake to close your Bible before you “pray in” what God has said …

Explore (April-June 2011): Reading done, we shut our Bibles, and close our eyes to pray. We start on our list of family, friends, and the tricky situation we will face later that day. Big mistake … It’s easy for prayer and Bible reading to become two separate things. I listen to God’s word, and then I talk to Him about the things that are on my mind. But prayer should be a “conversation”. Both the motivation for our prayers and their content should spring from our listening to God’s word. So it’s a big mistake to close your Bible before you have “prayed in” the things that you have heard God saying to you (see the Sunday, June 12 reading).

Is reading, meditating and praying really a daily necessity?

Ps 119:97 Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.

Ps 1:2 … but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.

this does not mean we mediate all day long – 24/7

it does mean we turn our thoughts to spiritual truth through the day …

D.L. Moody: “A man can no more take in a supply of grace for the future than he can eat enough for the next six months, or take sufficient air into his lungs at one time to sustain life for a week. We must draw upon God’s boundless store of grace from day to day as we need it.