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10 Prayers for Your Bible Reading

10 Prayers for Your Bible Reading

Reading the Bible before praying is like putting the cart before the horse.

The proverbial horse is the Holy Spirit of God, who empowers and enlightens our Bible reading as we mine the depths of his Word. The proverbial cart makes up our willing eyes and hungry hearts, the Spirit-led choice to crack open our Bibles and pursue his everlasting truth.

Our Bible reading depends wholly on God’s grace. This is why we pray.

The cart must be pulled by the horse; our efforts to read must be motivated and helped by God’s grace and power. Christians come to God’s Word willing and hungry because he first made us willing and hungry to receive—but only he can enable us to receive. This is why we ask for help before we start reading.

Psalm 119 guides us. This list of prayers from each stanza of the psalm will keep us mindful of our need and God’s provision, will focus us and help us set aside distractions, and will remind us that only Jesus opens the new and living way to God, making our hunger real and our reading possible.

Pray one or more of these 10 prayers before you receive from God’s Word today:

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  • 1. Pray for Wholehearted Seeking

    1. Pray for Wholehearted Seeking

    Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways - Psalm 119:2-3

    Are you diving into the word or just going through the motions? Have you allowed distractions to cloud your thoughts? Just like Martha in Luke 10, we can easily get caught up in all the troubles of this world and forget to focus on Christ. Yet, if we truly hope to hear the voice of God we must first empty our hearts of worry.

    Clear your mind. Remove yourself from the disruptions of daily life, and find a quiet place to open your Bible. Then bow your head and ask your Heavenly Father to give you wisdom. We cannot hope to follow God if we let the things of this world draw us away.

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  • 2. Pray for Protection from Sin

    2. Pray for Protection from Sin

    I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you - Psalm 119:11

    The Bible tells us the devil is like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Have you ever seen a lion hunt? They are clever, patient hunters who can track their victims for miles. Sin is a trap that can just as easily snare you at church as it can at work. Don’t allow the enemy to claim your heart!

    When you open the word, ask God to place his hand of protection upon your heart. Remember, you are not alone in this battle. The Lord is with you, and he will never leave you or forsake you!

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  • 3. Pray for Spiritual Strength

    3. Pray for Spiritual Strength

    My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word - Psalm 119:28

    Scripture tells us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces in the Heavenly Realm (Ephesians 6:12). A person can be physically strong but spiritually weak. It’s important that we take the time to recognize the difference! Only by honest pursuit of God can we grow in grace and wisdom as believers.

    Before you begin your reading, take a moment and ask God for spiritual strength. Petition him for greater understanding in all areas of your life, and be reminded that He is the Lord of all things great and small.

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  • 4. Pray for Delight and Longing

    4. Pray for Delight and Longing

    Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!…Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life - Psalm 119:36, 40

    How often do we rejoice in the Lord? We come to him when we’re in need, and we come to him when we’re feeling conflicted, but do we ever come to him in praise? We should. Do not forget to delight in the wonder and glory of our Heavenly Father!

    The Bible tells us to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Luke 10:27). Do not neglect the longings of your heart. Remember that the Lord delights in our praise, and any joyful noise is music to his ears. 

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  • 5. Pray to Fight Lies

    5. Pray to Fight Lies

    Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord, your salvation according to your promise; then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me, for I trust in your word. - Psalm 119:41-42

    Lies have the power to ruin lives. In today’s age, it can be difficult to know who is telling the truth and who is feeding you lies. Bible study is the perfect time to ask God for guidance. Put aside your worries and preconceptions, look for the truth through the eyes of our savior. All we need to do is ask.

    The truth can be painful. Often it reveals how grossly we have sinned against our neighbor, but the truth can also set us free. Remember, Jesus called himself the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6), we discover these only by looking toward him.

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  • 6. Pray for Good Judgment and Knowledge

    6. Pray for Good Judgment and Knowledge

    Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments - Psalms 119:66

    More than ever, today we need wise believers. Searching the scriptures is a good start, but prayer can also lead to better understanding. Ask God for sound judgment and knowledge. Pursue these virtues in daily life. Don’t be afraid of what you don’t comprehend, but instead seek to learn from it.

    Our God is a God of light, hope, and justice. As Christians, we are called to follow his example in every way. Don’t be tempted by comfortable words, the Lord delights in truth and detests injustice. It’s time to make this a priority in our prayers.

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  • 7. Pray for God’s Light to Guide You

    7. Pray for God’s Light to Guide You

    Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path - Psalms 119:105

    Sometimes there are no good answers. We like to believe that everything will be easy, that life will always provide us with a right way and a wrong way, but this isn’t true. There will be moments when we don’t know what to do. Decisions that will always leave us in doubt. When these day’s come, it’s important that we look to Jesus.

    The Bible tells us to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8). Let us pray that we live each day according to these words. For when we walk with God, we can accept any road with a spirit of confidence.

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  • 8. Pray for Trust in the Lord’s Justice

    8. Pray for Trust in the Lord’s Justice

    I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies! It is time for the Lord to act, for your law has been broken - Psalms 119:125-6

    Why do bad things happen to good people? Why are there so many injustices in the world today? These are questions ever believer asks, but don’t be afraid, God is not silent. In all things he is good, and there is no iniquity he does not see. Rather, he calls his followers to stand up and be his light in a dark world.

    In your prayer, do not neglect the orphaned and the widowed. Do not forget your neighbor who suffers persecution. Do not turn your face from injustice, for God desires righteousness from those who follow him.

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  • 9. Pray for Joy in Trouble

    9. Pray for Joy in Trouble

    Trouble and anguish have found me out, but your commandments are my delight - Psalm 119:143

    In this world we will have trouble, this is a fact. Sometimes God will calm the storms in our life, other times he’ll hold us close as they rage around us. What’s important is that we remember he is with us. There is no power in heaven or earth that can separate us from the love of God.

    Before you begin your study today, search your heart for bitterness or doubt. Is there something troubling you? Bring it before the Lord, and don’t be afraid of honest questions. Pray in times of trouble, and rest in the knowledge the God has a plan for you.

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  • 10. Pray for A Soul of Praise

    10. Pray for A Soul of Praise

    Let my soul live and praise you, and let your rules help me - Psalm 119:175

    Reading the Bible is an act of praise. Lifting up your heart to God is an act of praise. Even taking the time to reflect on his many blessings is an act of praise. You don’t need to have a great voice or know how to play the guitar to praise God. Today, as you sit down to open the scripture, take a moment to praise your Heavenly Father.

    The following is an abridged version of 22 Prayers for Your Bible Reading. To read the full article, follow this link!

    Kristen Wetherell is a writer, Bible teacher, and the content manager of Unlocking the Bible. She is the author, along with Sarah Walton, of Hope When It Hurts: Biblical Reflections to Help You Grasp God’s Purpose in Your Suffering (The Good Book Company, April 2017). She blogs at her website, and you can follow her on Twitter. She and her husband, Brad, are members of The Orchard in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Connect with Kristen at her website.

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