Prayer and bible study are intricately connected. Disciples aren’t just those we read about in the bible or see in da Vinci’s The Last Supper artwork. All followers of Jesus are Disciples or students of His teachings. As a result, we must continue to study His word. 1 Thessalonians 5:18-19 tells us to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Prayer is asking God’s wisdom, guidance, and inviting His will into every occasion and situation. Some reserve prayer for extreme situations, but it should be an ongoing part of your daily walk. You can integrate prayer into your ongoing internal dialogue so that it eventually occurs as naturally as breathing. You should not only pray about situations, but need to pray as you develop and strengthen your spiritual habits.
For example, we should pray before reading scripture to ask God for fresh revelation. We should pray after studying scripture to thank God for revealing His truth to us. The Bible is “loaded”! It overflows with God’s promises! Like a coveted playbook, it offers sound counsel about how to identify distracting tactics and be victorious over the trick plays fabricated by our opponent. Studying scripture is critical because if we are unfamiliar with God’s promises, we cannot hold Him accountable to them. Reading scripture cultivates our faith. Romans 10:17 says “ So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
God is absolute. His love is unconditional. When reading scripture, you can tune in to His promises by paying close attention to whenever absolute statements are made. As you read, the Bible, you’ll find that where you read the word(s):
- always or never – you are in a prime place to learn about the sacred promises of God.
- all – you are usually learning about the relationship between God and humans.
- forever – you are learning about principles.
God is sovereign and honorable. Praying His word back to Him activates Him to honor His word. Here are examples just a few of God’s truths revealed through absolute statements in scriptures:
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” -Philippians 4:4
“Your statutes are always righteous; give me understanding that I may live.”
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” -Deuteronomy 31:8
“As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”
“You have delivered me from all my troubles, and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes.” -Psalm 54:7
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” -Proverbs 3:5
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.” -Psalm 136:1
“As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” -2 Corinthians 9:9
Continue to study God’s word as it supports your prayer life. Continue to pray as it supports your study. Try God at His word. In your prayers, be bold in declaring the promises that you trust God to deliver. Allow the cycle of prayer and scripture to be a constant source of motivation and inspiration in your life.