Faith & Life: Do You Pray for Understanding Before Reading the Bible?

Someone reading the Bible
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Do You Pray for Understanding Before Reading the Bible?

The Holy Spirit Will Give His Illumination of the Scriptures

by J.M. Troppello

I saw the following quotes in the devotional that I read this morning by Pastor David Jeremiah. They definitely made me think. I have to admit that I rarely pray before I read the Scriptures during my morning devotional time. Dr. Jeremiah wrote, “Trying to read the Bible without the Holy Spirit is like trying to navigate the roads with a windshield coated with frost. We can’t discern the words, grasp the significance, or recognize the meaning of what we’re reading. The warm breath of the Holy Spirit clears our vision, allowing us to see all the mile markers, guardrails, and signposts of Scripture.”

“We should pray that the Holy Spirit would give us His illumination and thereby help us to understand rightly when we study Scripture or when we ponder situations in our lives.” – Wayne Grudem

Wow! Both of those quotes convicted me today. I want to get all that I need to receive out of my daily devotional time. However, that won’t happen if I’m not praying for wisdom and understanding before reading the Bible.

6 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9 But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (I Cor. 2:6-16, NKJV)

The Holy Spirit is the only one who can reveal the truths of God to anyone. You can read more about this illumination in 2 Peter 1:9-21. According to the Thomas Nelson Study Bible, “The first verb for know [in verses 9-12] refers to innate knowledge; the second refers to experiential knowledge. We could never have discovered the mysteries of God or the benefits of Christ’s death by ourselves. But we can know them by experience because they have been freely given to us by God.” [Source: TNSB]

I am making a commitment to myself and God today to begin to pray for illumination before reading the Bible. Do you pray for understanding before reading God’s Word?

Article syndicated by Mustard Seed Sentinel on


About the Author

JM Troppello at Mustard Seed Sentinel

J.M. Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.

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