I’ve heard someone say, regarding Bible study, that we should always approach the written Word with the presence of the Living Word, meaning that we should study the Bible prayerfully, in constant communion with Jesus. Without God’s guidance, our interpretations of Scripture can quickly wander into error and heresy, and so as we study God’s written Word, we ask Jesus, the Living Word, by His Spirit, to guide us into truth.

Perhaps you’ve noticed, as I have, that reading God’s Word can deepen your prayers, and motivate you to pray more. God is somehow mysteriously present in His spoken and written Word, and when God speaks, things happen. His words are never just words. Scripture says of itself that “the Word of God is living and active.” When we read God’s Word, it’s as if God Himself is there, speaking those words for the very first time, to us. When God speaks, His words hit with force, with impact, and if your heart is with Him, then you can’t remain silent.

I’ve been spending more time than usual in the written Word lately, and I’m noticing that it has affected my dialogue with the Living Word. I find that I want to pray even more, and that I’m gaining a deeper understanding of how prayer is a dialogue. My life, though varied, is limited, and when I’m talking to God only about myself, I quickly run out of things to say. God is a rich and unending source of mystery, variety, activity, profundity, and creativity. The more I let Him contribute to our conversations, the more fertile they become. The more I listen to God speak, the more my prayers become a response to who He is and what He is doing, the more my prayers become worship.

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