Studying scripture has never been something that I (Alissia) have never really had a passion for. Sure I would read my Bible during my quiet time and glean a few things here and there, but I never really had a desire to dig into a passage. Until now…
So just a little backstory first. My friend and I had a discussion about how we felt our faith life was lacking and our prayers seemed to be hitting the ceiling. Both of us had seen better seasons and were just overall lacking in discipline, so she reached out to a mentor to give us a little peptalk. We met with her and had a deep conversation that eventually led to realizing we don’t know how to study scripture and our time with the Lord is not what it needs to be.
Now, here we are meeting with this sweet lady every other Tuesday to study Ephesians. I don’t think I realized how serious she would take this mission to teach us the Word, but she is challenging me in ways I didn’t realize I needed. This “Bible study” has really turned into a “How to Study the Bible 101”, and I couldn’t love it more. I wasn’t taking the Bible as seriously as I should have been and man was I missing out on all God has for me, so I thought I would share a few ways studying scripture has changed my prayer life and overall my heart.
1. I don’t know anything, which means I need God for everything.
I grew up in church. I knew all the Bible stories. I even have scripture memorized, but the more I actually dig into the Word the less I actually know. Let me explain, I have head knowledge but my heart knowledge is lacking. Just because you know things about the Bible doesn’t mean you are letting it penetrate your life. This realization is leaking over into my prayer life. I realized I NEED the Lord to guide me, to give me wisdom, and to teach me. I don’t have the answer without Him. My plans are greatly inferior to what the Lord wants to do in my life if I would just give up control and be obedient. Which leads into…
2. I’m desperate.
I have heard Val say that “we need a desperation” before but now I can feel it. The more I study the Bible the more I see that I desperately need Jesus. I HAVE to have him leading my life. Not only that but there is an urgency in my learning and an urgency in my prayers. There is a hunger there for the things of the Lord that is radically changing how I am viewing almost everything.
3. The closer I draw to him, the louder the Holy Spirit becomes.
As I am studying the Bible and learning the historical context of the scriptures, I am becoming more aware of the Holy Spirit. He’s been there all along, but I have had the volume turned down for so long that I thought he had exited the conversation. Now I am hearing Him speak into my life and lead me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a small voice still, but I am determined to turn that volume all the way up. Again this is working its way over into my prayer life, I know He is there and listening. Because my heart is more aligned with His word and His will, my prayers are feeling weighty like they have substance and are being heard.
If there is anything that resonates with you, can I just encourage you for a second. God is still there, the Holy Spirit has not left the building, and you aren’t alone in your feelings. Sometimes we take a detour on our spiritual journey and it leads us into the desert. Our prayer lives and Bible study can feel empty. Sometimes sin, lack of self discipline, or even laziness can lead us there. We can lose the zeal we once had for the Lord. We are human, but we live in the fullness of the grace of God and we can get back to the oasis of Him!
Just take one small step and see what He has waiting for you! I want to encourage you to study Scripture. Set a plan. Pick a chapter, a topic, or even expand upon Sunday’s sermon. Find a way that speaks to your heart and purpose. Are you a teacher? Study the Word like you are teaching a class on it. Are you into podcasts? Pretend you are interviewing the author of the passage. It makes studying the Bible more than just reading words and praying that something sticks. Get to know the Bible and get to know the Lord! This will affect what you are praying about, how you worship, and most importantly your heart posture. Don’t feel like you can even begin studying the bible? Why not jump in on our October prayer challenge and begin praying about your feelings! God is big enough to handle any feeling, doubt, worry, or obstacle you have. I am praying for you friends and I will keep you up-to-date on what else I learn 🙂