Reading the Bible is absolutely essential to a Christian’s growth in his or her faith. All of us probably know this (even if we don’t always do it). But it can’t be overstated: There is no book more important to us as believers. There is no book that will shape us like this like this one. And there’s one thing that is absolutely essential for us to commit to as we read it. Prayer. I love the way J.C. Ryle put it:
Is the Bible the Word of God? Then be sure you never read it without fervent prayer for the help and teaching of the Holy Spirit. Humble prayer will throw more light on your Bible than any commentary that ever was written. You will not understand it unless your heart is right. You will find it a sealed book without the teaching of the Holy Spirit. Its contents are often hidden from the wise and learned, and revealed to babes.
Reading the Bible is essential, but it isn’t enough without prayer. We need the Holy Spirit’s help in understanding the text. We need Him to transform us as we read the text. We need him to give us the humility to repent and believe as we read. Of all the things we should do, this is one thing that should never be overlooked.