“I didn’t get anything out of it.”
Sympathetic nods bobbed around the room. No, the topic wasn’t an empty milk carton or a dry sponge. Unfortunately, “it” was the Bible.
This young woman’s statement is epidemic in our world today. In fact, we’ve heard it so often, we have begun to accept it as truth. “Maybe the Bible isn’t meant to always speak to us.”
Let’s stop and recognize this for what it is: deceit from the mouth of the white serpent.
God’s Word reveals that His “logos” is not some gender-neutral thing. Nor some ethereal influence. No, Truth is a Person! “In the beginning was the Word (logos) and the Word (logos) was with God, and the Word (logos) was God” (John 1:1). Or to put it another way: “His Name is called the Word of God” (Revelation 19:13).
For an extended time you have heard that the Bible is of utmost importance in the life of a Christian. From podcast to pulpit — children’s Sunday School to adult Bible study, someone has emphasized God’s Word to you. Your history with the book probably includes memorization, meditation, and muddling through. From the day of your first experience with the Bible, you’ve known “it’s” importance.
But what if you truly believed that the bulky book you hold in your lap is more than just a story? More than merely an inspired string of words? What if you went so far as to believe, not just in Jesus as your Savior, but as Jesus’ Words as your life? “These have been written that you may believe that Jesus in the Christ, the Son of God and that believing you may have life in His Name” (John 20:31). The Word that He speaks (which includes those written on the page) are spirit and are life (John 6:63).
So with a believing heart, let’s delve into our third spiritual hunger exercise.
You will first need the availability of an audio version of the Bible on your phone. Both the YouVersion and BibleIs apps have these capabilities in several versions for free. (If you need a tutorial, google “how to listen to audio Bible on YouVersion.”) Listen to a sample of several versions to decide which one best speaks to you. Some are dramatized, with music and alternate speaking voices. Some are not.
Once you have decided upon your preferred version, set aside at least 30 minutes for listening to a selection in the Psalms. You may take a walk as you do this or sit quietly in a comfortable place. In this exercise, you will be allowing Him to pray through you. He will come up with the words, you will simply agree with Him. “For we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words” (Romans 8:26).
Focus your thoughts on His Word, allowing the God of the Word to wash over you as you listen. Unless specifically directed by Him, do not take notes, pause the reading, or stop to ponder. Instead, simply allow His Word to shower over you. You are transmitting the prayers that He Himself is praying.
Within a few minutes, you will find yourself resonating with a particular verse. Your heart may stir in agreement of praise or in an outcry against a specific evil situation. Instead of stopping the audio to pray, say something simple like, “Yes, Father,” or “Praise Your Name!” or “This is so-and-so’s situation, too!” His Word will guide your thoughts in responsive prayer rather than you thinking of the correct words to use. One participant explained this as “tuning her heart to sing His praise.”
Because the Psalms is quite lengthy, you probably will not be able to finish in one sitting. Here are a few suggestions of places to start:
Psalm 1 and following – Protection from wickedness
Psalm 61 and following – Deliverance and the need for silence
Psalm 90 and following – Praise and security
Psalm 119 and following – Hunger for His Word
Know that I’m praying for you because the “Lord has set apart the godly one (that’s you!) for Himself. The Lord hears when (you) call to Him” (Psalm 4:3).
I promise. You will receive something “out of Him” (not it!).