Our gracious and loving God, we thank you that you have been touching our lives: illuminating us; opening us at deep levels of our being; stretching us at points of our narrowness; confronting us where we are distorted; challenging us to become the word you speak us forth to be; but in every way working in it all for your good purposes in our lives. As we begin to consider ways of coming to Scripture that will enable it to become your living Word in our lives, help us, God, to remain open to the guidance of your Holy Spirit. Amen.M. Robert Mulholland, Jr., Shaped by the Word: The Power of Scripture in Spiritual Formation
This prayer merges helpfully our role in taking up the Scriptures and reading while simultaneously developing a deep, abiding trust that it is God’s work through the living Word within us to transform us and make us new, to grant us new insight, to grow and expand our souls, to correct and rebuke us when we are wayward, and to challenge and invite us in the taking of our next step–all for our good–through the sustained openness to the work of the Holy Spirit through prayer.
It is possible to know the Bible inside and out, and yet somehow miss the presence and activity of God. Consider the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, who knew the Scriptures, but did not recognize the Christ.
If you have a daily Scripture reading habit, wonderful! Take one more step in marrying that habit to prayer. Ask God to speak again through the Word, to use the written Word to conform you more fully to the incarnate Word, Jesus Christ, so that you might more fully mature in him and more faithfully testify to the transforming power of his grace.