FIRST: Praying the Bible
This may seem like an oxymoron, but when it comes to praying the Bible, I must point out two “firsts.”
My first encounter with praying the Bible was while I was attending the Railton School. During one of our Spiritual Formation groups I was introduced to this ancient tradition. To be completely honest, it was a little odd. It felt as though we were all singing the same song, but each person had their own key and tempo, resulting in a disjointed choir of calamity. Of course each person was sincere in their praying, but I can’t say it was the most enjoyable spiritual discipline I encountered during this time.
For no fault of the teacher, it didn’t stick with me. Was it because I wasn’t spiritually ready for this new discipline? Perhaps. Was it because I had never experienced praying the Bible before and it didn’t resonate much with me? Maybe. I dare say, however, that much of the reason was because I didn’t have intention to make it stick – to make it a discipline.
Anything we desire, anything we want to grow in our lives, starts with a single spark. Our endurance/tenacity/drive/intention is the fuel to fan the flame into a full blown blaze.
Eight years later I find myself back at the CFOT again, this time as a cadet. Since Railton I have grown exponentially as a Christian, and have had more than a few lessons in endurance and intention. I have been exposed to more spiritual disciplines, but I never intentionally wandered back to praying the Bible until the discipline presented itself to me again during a spiritual formation class. This time my initial response was not hearing a disjointed choir, but understanding that we were simply a group of people crying out to our God. I better enjoyed this experience of the discipline, but my enjoyment isn’t what caused it to stick – it was an intentionality to make the discipline a natural routine.
I understood that it was good for my soul, and that birthed the drive to make it a permanent place in my spiritual life. It’s like learning to play an instrument. At first it takes intentional discipline to train your body to act in a way that doesn’t seem “normal”, but eventually it become second nature and part of your everyday life. Praying the Bible helps me to see with my head and heart that the Word truly is alive! It applies directly to me life, it challenge me, convicts me, and confirms me as His child.