Do you always find it easy to read the Bible? Do you constantly burn with a deep passion for God’s Word?
If you honestly couldn’t answer yes to those questions, maybe these will resonate more. Do you struggle to meditate on God’s Word? Do you get distracted when you sit down to read? Do you long to delight in God?
Yes? I know, me too.
Too often our pursuit of God is so weak. We struggle with half-hearted desires to see the beauty of God in His Word. But the Christian who loves God cannot and should not be content starving themselves of the life-giving bread of God’s Word (Matthew 4:4).
The writer of Psalm 119 faced these struggles too. Throughout the Psalm, we see how the writer is obsessed with God’s Word. But we also see him desperately pray for a right desire toward it. We also need to pray to have a deep passion for God’s Word.
Here are four prayers that the psalmist prays over God’s Word. As we pray these prayers, may the Bible become our delight, as they did for the writer of Psalm 119.
Before you read, as you read, and after you read the Bible, pray the following . . .
1. Incline my heart to your Word
Psalm 119:36 says, “Incline my heart to your testimonies and not to selfish gain.” We are so prone to wander from the Bible and run to other things. God must transform our hearts and bend them to His Word.
We are like a tree that just wants to go its own way. God needs to use a stake in our lives and tie us to it so that we are inclined to His Word. This prayer invites God to bend our hearts toward Him to seek Him in His Word.
When your mind is all over the place and you don’t feel like reading God’s Word, when you want to run to your phone or rush into starting the day, pray these words: “God, my heart drifts and is so inclined to other things. Incline my heart; my desires, thoughts and emotions to your Word.”
2. Turn my eyes from worthless things
For our hearts to be inclined to God’s Word, they must first be turned away from everything else. This is why the psalmist prays, “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways” (Psalm 119:37).
We slip into so many deceitful traps and worthless junk in this life. The device you are reading this on is probably one of the biggest dangers. We need to see the worthless nature of so much that we pursue. When our eyes are set on this world, we’re blind to seeing the treasure God offers in His Word.
When you come to God’s Word, seek to remove the distractions and many thoughts you have about worthless things. We all know how much you need to pray for this! We all know how quickly our minds runs to other things when we sit to read God’s Word.
As you sit down with your Bible, pray this: “Lord turn my eyes from what is worthless. Clear my head of the rubbish and give me life through your Word.”
3. Open my eyes to see wonderful things in your Word
After seeking to turn from what is worthless, we must pray that we’ll have sight to see what is wonderful. We need to cry out to God saying, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18).
We often struggle to see the beauty of God in His Word, when everything in this world is so bright. But there are wonders and gems in God’s Word. Every verse is full of them, if we just open our eyes and take the time to look.
The writer of this Psalm often speaks of the worth and wonder in God’s Word. Yet he still has to pray to see these things. This is the nature of sin. We have something wonderful before us, but fail to see it and run to worthless rubbish instead.
So, pray: “Lord open my eyes to see the treasures in your Word. Open my heart God, I want to see you and your glory.”
4. Give me understanding so that I may meditate on your works
Psalm 119:27 says, “Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works.” We need to pray for understanding, so that we can dwell on the works of God. Then we can chew on the bread of God’s Word again and again, to get every bit of sustenance out of it.
This is why we must pray, “Lord, give me understanding so that I may meditate on your Word. Help me to think on your Word and reveal your truth to me. Cause your Word to permeate every moment of my day and every corner of my mind.”
If you struggle to read the Bible and want to delight in it like the Psalmist, then pray the prayers that the psalmist does. And as you pray for these things, seek to do them as well. Pray and seek God in Scripture until God’s Word floods your life.
Rise up and seek to be someone gripped by God’s Word. This is the only way young people will be useful for God’s kingdom. So, read, think and pray over God’s Word until it comes to life in you and overflows to those around you.