Praying with Scripture
Praying with Scripture can be done alone or with others. When done with others, it can be a means of sharing more deeply the faith that you attempt to live out day by day. We believe that one of the ways God is manifested to us is through the Scriptures. When we prayerfully read the Scriptures, we open our minds and hearts to the Spirit of God. We can be both challenged and affirmed by the Word of God.
The following steps will help you to use the Scriptures in prayer. They can be done alone or when you gather as a group.
Choose a passage of Scripture, about five to ten verses in length. You might choose one of your favorites, part of the Scriptures from the previous or coming Sunday readings, or, use an index to help you locate a passage that seems to be appropriate for the time or occasion.
Choose a comfortable place where you can be uninterrupted and uninhibited.
Light a candle. Take a few moments to get your body in harmony with your spirit. Sometimes it helps to take a few deep breaths or stretch the body and then relax.
Acknowledge God's presence with you. Ask God to send the Spirit to be with you and guide you in this time of reflection.
Read the passage you have chosen slowly, listening carefully to it. You might want to pause after a sentence or phrase.
Speak aloud the words or phrases that struck you. Do not discuss them, just speak them.
Read the passage a second time, slowly and prayerfully.
Consider the message the passage might have for you – a challenge, an affirmation, an insight. If doing this with others, you could invite them to share what comes to mind.
Read the passage a third time, slowly and prayerfully.
Pause for about ten minutes of silence and allow the Spirit to speak to you. If no words or thoughts come, just sit in the silence. Sometimes God touches us in ways that we cannot know.
Consider how the passage calls you to action following the time of prayer. Is there something you need to do to make the Scripture alive for you here and now?
Close with a brief prayer of thanksgiving or praise to God for the gift of the Spirit.