Reading God’s Words in the Bible and praying is about the relationship with Him. It’s more than just reading to gain knowledge and giving some requests. It’s about connecting with Him, understanding His ways, getting to know Him more and being connected with God so He can guide us.
Prayer is our chance to talk with God. In any real relationship, there needs to be communication. So when you pray, do it for the relationships. Don’t just list requests. Pray to connect with Him. There are no special words you need to say. Be yourself. Talk to God. For more thoughts on prayer, check out the Why I Don't Pray series. It might be weird at first so here are a few ideas to help you pray:
Admire/Praise – Tell God what you admire about Him and praise Him (i.e. Savior, Creator, Father)
Confess – Confess our sin to God, ask for forgiveness, turn away from wrong paths
Thank – Thank God for specific things He has done and for His blessing in life
Share – Share your requests. God cares about all aspects of our life, so ask Him for help.
When you are reading the Bible, ask questions like What does it say about God? and What does it mean for me? Then you can follow up and thanks for He who He is and for what He's done (what it says about God...) and ask Him to help you take steps (what it means for me...).
The Bible talks about prayer and connecting with God. We can cast all our cares on God because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phillippians 4:6-7). It also takes about praying continually. Don't stop praying (1 Thess. 5:7). This is about an attitude of prayer by going through life connected and focused of God and His ways. When we are in a relationships with God, He will make our paths straight and make sense out of life (Proverbs 3:5-6).
When you go to read the Bible, take some time to pray first and ask God to reveal Himself to you. Open your mind. Open your heart. Don't just skim it like you would a webpage, explore God. As you read, think about what the passage is saying about God and His ways. Try to gain an understanding of the Bible as a whole. The Old Testament sets the stage for the New Testament. The Old Testament show our need for a Savior. The New Testament begins with the story of the Savior, Jesus and show how we can experience real life through Him. If your Bible has notes before the chapters or in the margins, read them to gain more insight.
We know this can be overwhelming. You might not feel like anything or it can become routine. It understandable to feel like you don't know where to start or what to do. The resources provided on this website & at The Journey can help. They're designed to help people start or continue to connect with God through His word. We want you to take steps to not be dependant on a resource but to be connected with God. So when you read the Bible, read it for the relationship. As you read, ask yourself questions like this: What does it say about God? What does this mean for me? Don't just walk away with some knowledge. Put Him and His ways to the test and see how life starts to make sense.
STARTING LINE PACK: This packet has some helpful information, a booklet about big questions, and a short book that has daily readings & thoughts to get you going in your relationship with God. It's available at the Next Step Center at church.
BIBLE APP: every Sunday we provide some readings and thoughts that go along with the series focus. This is a great resource for you, but also a great thing to discuss as a family or with a Running Partner Group. You can find it with the Bible App or on the Pontaluna Exit or North on M120 site pages.