bible prayer

3 Ways To Use The Bible In Your Prayer Life

Yesterday, we talked about the Bible and what this holy book is about. Today, let’s talk about three ways to use the Bible in your daily prayer life.

  1. Start with the Psalms. If you’re a “newbie” to using the Bible for prayer, the Psalms are a great place to start. First, we hear them at every Mass, and you’ll find that you’ll be familiar with many of the Psalms. One great part of the book of Psalms is that there is a psalm for virtually every human emotion; King David (who wrote most of the Psalms) poured his heart and soul into these lyrical prayers. The Psalms are part of the daily prayer of the Church, known as the Divine Office, which priests and religious must pray and lay people are encouraged to pray. Pick a Psalm and read through, slowly, meditating on the words. What does it stir up in you? How is God using that Psalm for you, right here and now?
  2. Pick a Gospel. The four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) all tell of the coming of Christ, His ministry, his death, life and resurrection. The Gospels are surprisingly short, but don’t let fool you: they are packed with material for your prayer life. Make sure you have a good Catholic Bible, one with detailed footnotes. Of course, you can always read Scripture online at the United States Catholic Conference website. Choose one of the Gospels and again: read slowly and meditatively. We’ve heard the Gospels so often that sometimes, we don’t really hear them at all. Take the time to listen to the voice of Christ. How do his parables have meaning for you? If you place yourself into the Gospel as one of the people, does it change your perspective? (For example, think of how the older son might have thought and felt in the parable of the Prodigal Son. In his place, would you have been jealous? Angry? How does a different perspective of a familiar story change your faith perspective?
  3. Finally, some people will simply open the Bible and choose a verse or a section upon which to meditate. Now, one runs the risk of opening up to something likeWhen a man or a woman has an infection on the head or in the beard,should the priest, upon examination, find that the infection appears to be deeper than the skin and that there is fine yellow hair in it, the priest shall declare the person unclean; it is a scall. It is a scaly infection of the head or beard. Let’s face it: that may not give one a whole lot to meditate deeply upon. So, try again. Let the Holy Spirit move you. However, you might just want to stick with that tough verse from Leviticus. After all, it might lead you to ponder how we consider people “unclean” in our society. How do you and I treat people in an “unclean” manner? How can we change that? What does Catholic faith teach us about this?

The Bible is fertile ground for a deeper prayer life, a way to engage God in a meaningful conversation. God has spoken to His people for thousands of years in Scripture, and He continues to do so today. What does praying with the Bible hold in store for you?