We know reading books is a valuable endeavor, but what if I told you we may be missing out on the biggest benefits of reading a book?
It’s the thing that could have exponential potential to change your life way more than any words on a page could possibly do on its own. And if you’ve been around here long enough, you know exactly what I’m about to share.
What if we invited God into the process of our reading?
Pray as you read, sounds pretty basic, right? We strive to live lives in the presence of the Lord. We know compartmentalizing our faith isn’t how we want to live. But how much does it cross our mind to pray as we’re reading?
As I was reading the book Resilient Kids by Kathy Koch, I found that I was also praying a ton, too! I was curious why this was happening so much for this book and hadn’t with others and the truth is, I was way more desperate and felt incapable of raising resilient kids on my own. I always say the #1 ingredient for prayer is desperation. If we think we can do it without God, we simply won’t feel the need to pray.
But in this book, so many passages sparked prayer and I thought it would be helpful to show you how what we are reading can expand our prayers and how our reading of books can be further beneficial to our lives as we allow it to increase our prayer life.
This post is super simple but I hope you’ll take action on it immediately to level up your reading game with prayer. Feel free to jot down the points below in the front of the book you’re currently reading or on a post-it that you use for a bookmark.
There are opportunities to pray before you read, as you read and after you finish reading. Let’s take a look at all 3:
1. Before you start reading.
– Lord, make me desperate. This is a prayer that helps us become so aware of our need for him. It’s always there, we just can’t always see it.
– Lord, help me focus. It’s not far-fetched to think that even as we have time to read, it gets eaten up by a ping on our phone or distracting thoughts we can’t release.
– Lord, give me wisdom. Give us the
understanding to know what is true and good.
– Lord, help me see you. Even in fiction and secular books, we can see God’s glory on display. May we have eyes that see it!
– Lord, help me to remember just what is helpful. We can’t and don’t need to remember everything!
– Lord, search my heart. It’s easy to read something and find ourselves thinking of someone else who needs to hear it, but this prayer is so simple and a great opportunity to let God speak through what we read.
– Lord, let me not get greedy. Maybe this is a prayer I just need but the time I get to read is never enough. I never want to stop. It always feels too short. But I want to learn to be grateful for the time I get to read and not be greedy for more.
2. As you read:
– Lord, help me live this out. As I was reading things in Resilient Kids, I was highlighting a TON and just found myself praying about how much I wanted what I read to be true of me.
– Lord, help me turn from this. You might read things that you know are a personal struggle. What if instead of just letting it make us feel shameful or down that we struggle with it, we asked the Lord to help us turn from it.
– Lord, help me discern this. Is what I’m reading valid? There are plenty of things you’ll read in even good books that are not 100% accurate. Should we fear books altogether? I don’t think so. I think we should be smart, but I’ll put a question mark by things I’m not sure are true. To be honest, if I write multiple question marks in a short amount of time, I normally put it down. It’s not worth my time to sift through.
– Lord, I lift up ______. Are you reading a fiction story about someone who just got evicted? Maybe it stirs up a reminder to pray for those on the streets. Or a story about a broken relationship with a family member. Pray for the family dynamics that you know are struggling.
3. When you finish reading:
– Lord, transform me. The fruit in our life will speak to the Lord’s work in our lives. May we bear fruit and be transformed.
– Lord, use me. May what we learn not just be for our benefit.
I hope this was helpful! To be clear, this is NOT a checklist of all the things you need to pray as you read! This is just a list of opportunities and ideas you can be praying through as you read.
When you pray as you read, it can amplify the impact of books on your life. I’d love to hear – do books spur prayer for you? Are there any prayer opportunities you’d add to this list?