Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. (Psalm 119:18 NIV)
This is a verse that my mother taught me to pray as I read the Bible. We come to the Bible with our pre-conditioned frame of mind. We have experienced many things in our lives unique to our personal journeys. We are unfamiliar with the journeys of other people. We also struggle with questions of life when things are not going well. We lose our minds and hearts to God’s revelation as we read the Bible. Before we read God’s Word, we can pray a prayer like this (Psalm 119:18). We ask God to open our hearts for eyes that see and ears that hear what God wishes to speak to us.
For many years, I have read the Bible and prayed the Lord’s Prayer with Luke before he went to bed. However, when he turned 15 last year, I decided that it was time that he started reading the Bible for himself. I asked him to think through the following questions as he reads his Bible. The first question is about God and the second, about life. I like to call them the “God and life” questions.
- GOD-What do these verses teach me about God?
(his character, his actions, God the Father, Jesus Son of God, God the Holy Spirit)
- LIFE-What do these verses teach me about life as Jesus’ disciple/student?
(a promise to cherish, something to practise, something to pray about, something to do more research in the Bible, something that I can share with someone else, a warning for me to heed)
Spiritual life is a life in relationship with God. To have a relationship with someone you need to take time to get to know that person. Therefore, the first question points us in that direction.
Reading the Bible should also give us some ideas for how we can live life. Sometimes this application comes easy. Sometimes it takes some time before we can figure out some practical aspect of the Christian life. The second question is a guide to reading the Bible for life application.
The most important thing is to read the Bible for ourselves. Don’t wait for Sunday morning to hear something from God. If these questions can help you, use them.