I am honored to lead the Resources Division at LifeWay and serve with a team of leaders who are passionate to serve the Church in her mission of making disciples. Each Wednesday, I share the heart behind one of the resources our team has developed and give an opportunity for you to register to win a free copy of the resource. This week’s resource is the CSB Ultrathin Reference Bible. Our Bible team wrote this post.
There can be a temptation in ministry to be so busy caring for other people that your own family and your own soul take a back seat.
You pray for struggling church members or with your ministry team, but praying for your family or your kids is not so neatly planned out. You invest hours preparing for a Bible study but spending more than a few minutes in the Bible with your spouse doesn’t really happen.
While not every leader may struggle with this tension, if you’re among those who do, you are not alone. It’s not selfish to spend some of your limited time praying and caring for your own soul and your family. Remember, Jesus Himself would regularly retreat from the crowds to spend time with His heavenly Father.
Let me encourage you to make a regular habit of praying through Scripture for your family and your own soul. God’s Word is one of the most powerful tools He gives us for knowing Him and shaping our hearts after His. In the midst of hectic schedules and full to-do lists, let’s not neglect this priority.
Why Pray Through Scripture?
Praying through the Bible allows God’s Word to shape how we pray and what we pray for. When we pray out of our own heads alone, our prayers tend to emphasize our immediate worries, whether those be real-world frustrations, political anxieties, or personal concerns. Bringing those things before God is a wonderful way to address what’s on our heart and ask for His help—but if we only pray for those things, our priorities may be miles away from God’s.
If I pray weekly for the health of my church but never for the health of my marriage, my heart is reflecting only a portion of what God cares about. If I thank God weekly for His mercy but never worship Him for His justice, I’m not appreciating the full glory of God. Praying through Scripture helps us pray about the things on God’s heart, not just the things on our current radar.
What Does Praying Through Scripture Look Like?
Praying the Bible will look different for each believer. You may find it helpful to read the passage out loud as a practical reminder that you’re addressing a listening God. Others prefer to write it out or to pray through it while on a walk or run.
It doesn’t have to be fancy. One classic strategy is to follow three R’s: Rejoice, Repent, and Request. First, search the passage for things that are true about God. Worship Him for what is revealed in those verses. Then repent of the sins that passage may uncover in your own life. Confess your sins and ask for God’s forgiveness through Christ. Ask God for the other things the passage shows that you need—whether spiritual provision (patience, humility, etc.) or practical provision (healing, guidance, financial provision, etc.).
Regardless of your approach, shepherd your soul and the soul of your family before you shepherd the souls of others.
Enter here or in the form below before 11:59pm CT tonight, March 8, 2017, for the opportunity to win one of ten copies of the CSB Ultrathin Reference Bible. We will notify the winner within a week via email.