Read Scripture Blog: Week 14

I just want to take a few moments and briefly look at a key component to any Scripture reading as a reminder to us (especially to me!) to not neglect this fundamental part! Spoiler: it’s prayer.
Prayer is the act of us talking to God. It used to be, and you might have noticed through reading the Old Testament, that talking to God was often reserved for the priests. People would have questions (i.e. “Should we go up to battle?”) and the priests would intercede for the people to God and then God would respond with the answer through the Urim and the Thummim or through a vision. We see Hannah, the mother of Samuel, as one of the lone examples so far of someone who is seen praying in their heart directly to God.
For those who are under the leadership of Jesus and who are committed to follow wherever He leads, Hebrews 8 tells us that Jesus is the high priest of a better covenant than the one with Israel. And as high priest, Jesus is able to intercede for us before God continually. This is important for those who have committed their lives to following Christ because it means that we have a direct line to the One who hears and is able to answer.
This is why prayer is so important to our lives, not just in our Scripture reading, because as we go about living how Jesus commanded us to live, we are able to ask for what we need on that journey and He will hear us and answer us. (It should be said that the same promises cannot be made is we are choosing to live under our own leadership.) In our Scripture reading, prayer offers us an opportunity to humble ourselves before God, to open our hearts and our minds to what He desires to say to us, and to ask for discernment and wisdom to hear and to know what it is that He is saying. Prayer becomes fundamental to the entire process – before, during and after.
And thus, the reminder to us to pray. But as I alluded to before – this post is better served as a reminder to me, since I have not been consistently praying before, during, and after my readings as I know I ought. But I hope that it can also serve as a helpful reminder to you as well. Let’s not neglect to open that line of communication with God as we read His Word. Otherwise, could we really say that we were reading to hear from Him? Or could we only say that we were reading for ourselves?