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    11 May '12 14:42
    The best way to understand the Bible is with the aid of the same Spirit that produced the Bible. Since the Spirit of God "breathed" out the words of Scripture the best way to take in the words of Scripture is prayerfully, touching that same Spirit of God.

    The whole Bible definitely can be considered a prayer book. And aside from research, study, analysis (which are also highly valuable) there should be a time to mix reading and praying of the Bible together. Some Christians call this prayreading.

    I will be writing on the Scriptural exhortation to "prayread" the Bible, or pray over and with the words of the Holy Bible. I will also write about the experience of many Christians through the centuries praying with and over the words of the Bible for nourishment, enlightenment, revelation, empowerment, etc.

    I hope some seekers for truth and old Bible students will be encouraged to PRAY over the Bible's words as they READ it. That is to MIX their reading and their praying together for the maximal benefit of God's word.
  2. Joined
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    11 May '12 15:071 edit
    Paul instructs the Christians in Ephesus how to take the Scripture - "by means of all prayer" -

    "And receive the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which Spirit is the word of God, by means of all prayer and petition, praying at every time in spirit ..." (Eph. 6:17,18)

    The Apostle Paul tells the Christians to receive the "sword of the Spirit" by means of all PRAYER.

    The "sword of the Spirit" in this illusion to Roman soldier's fighting armor, is the word of God. The antecedent of "which" is "Spirit" which means the Spirit here is the rhema or [word] of God. So the Recovery Version translates it -

    "And receive ... the sword of the Spirit, which Spirit is the word of God. "

    This English word "word" in Ephesians 6 is not the Greek logos. It is the Greek rhema. Only briefly I mention that the "rhema" is a kind of instant word, or instant speaking of God. It is a speaking of God expressly convicting or enlightening us instantly in a very subjective way.

    We should receive the word of God by means of all prayer. That is praying with the word of God. That is using the word of God in our prayer. That is praying BACK to God the very words of the Bible.

    " ... By means of all prayer and petition, prayng at every time in spirit ... "

    This is not a legal matter. This is a healthy exhoration which has great benefit. A seeker of God who is even not yet sure if he has become a Christian yet or not, I believe, can benefit by PRAYING with the words of the Bible. Praying back to God the words which seem to leap off the page to touch their hearts.

    Take in the Bible by means of prayer. Take in the Bible by means of "all prayer" . Take in the words of the Bible by means of all prayer "at every time".
  3. Joined
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    11 May '12 15:18
    Originally posted by jaywill
    The best way to understand the Bible is with the aid of the same Spirit that produced the Bible. Since the Spirit of God "breathed" out the words of Scripture the best way to take in the words of Scripture is prayerfully, touching that same Spirit of God.

    The whole Bible definitely can be considered a prayer book. And aside from research, study, analy ...[text shortened]... is to MIX their reading and their praying together for the maximal benefit of God's word.
    "The best way to understand the Bible is with the aid of the same Spirit that produced the Bible."

    This phrasing suggests that there are other ways to correctly understand the Bible. If so, what are they?
  4. Standard memberSwissGambit
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    11 May '12 15:56
    Lord, please prepare my mind for the spiritual insights you will give me as I read your word...

    (opens Bible, starts reading)
    31 One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to give us children—as is the custom all over the earth. 32 Let’s get our father to drink wine and then sleep with him and preserve our family line through our father.”

    33 That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and slept with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

    34 The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I slept with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 35 So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

    36 So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father.

    (listens for the voice of God...)

    Dr Phil (in thick Texas drawl): YEWWW NEED TO STOP DRINKIN'! AND YEWWW TWO NEED TO STOP SCREWIN' YER DADDY!

    (audience loudly applauds the bleeding obvious)

    😞
  5. Standard memberRajk999
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    11 May '12 15:56
    Originally posted by jaywill
    The best way to understand the Bible is with the aid of the same Spirit that produced the Bible. Since the Spirit of God "breathed" out the words of Scripture the best way to take in the words of Scripture is prayerfully, touching that same Spirit of God.

    The whole Bible definitely can be considered a prayer book. And aside from research, study, analy ...[text shortened]... is to MIX their reading and their praying together for the maximal benefit of God's word.
    By far the best way to understand the Bible is to have God in your life, and to have Christ make his abode with you.

    How?

    John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

    Did you understand that verse? If not then I suggest you prayread over that verse until you get that important point.

    I will help you out here :
    1. Know Christs commandments .. especially Love God and the royal law - Love Your Neighbour as Yourself.
    2. Follow them. This is demonstrating your love for Christ
    3. Then God & Christ will love you in return
    4. Then Christ will manifest himself to you, and make his abode with you.

    Reading the Bible is not a substitute for actually doing the will of Christ. Christ will not make his abode with you if you are simply a Bible reader/scholar. In fact those who read the Bible [or even prayread the Bible] are hypocrites if subsequently they fail to follow Christ commandments and do good works.

    [Note : 'You' is a general expression for people not you personally.]
  6. Standard memberRajk999
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    11 May '12 15:58
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    Lord, please prepare my mind for the spiritual insights you will give me as I read your word...

    (opens Bible, starts reading)
    [quote]31 One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to give us children—as is the custom all over the earth. 32 Let’s get our father to drink wine and then sleep with h ...[text shortened]... TWO NEED TO STOP SCREWIN' YER DADDY!

    (audience loudly applauds the bleeding obvious)

    😞
    Thanks for dealing with that point, you saved me the trouble.

    The entire Bible can never be a prayer book. I dont know what Jaywill is smoking .
  7. Joined
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    11 May '12 16:02
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    ... I don't know what Jaywill is smoking .
    God apparently...
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    11 May '12 17:141 edit
    Originally posted by JS357
    "The best way to understand the Bible is with the aid of the same Spirit that produced the Bible."

    This phrasing suggests that there are other ways to correctly understand the Bible. If so, what are they?
    My phraseology is imperfect. For now I want to write about the benefit of praying with the words of the Bible. To get sidetracked talking about "other ways" at this point I will avoid.

    What it a good practice though, is to have two Bibles for reading. One you feel free to mark up with pen or pencil with many study notes. This Bible may be studied with tools available like word studies, lexicons, dictionaries, commentaries, and other helps. You feel free to mark it up with underlines, highlights, and notes scribbled in the margins.

    Then you can have another Bible you never mark up. This one you concentrate on reading for pure nourishment of the innermost spirit.

    Then you can balance your time by these two approaches. That's all I feel to say about "other ways" right now.
  9. Joined
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    11 May '12 17:343 edits
    The whole Bible can be used for prayer. And this prayer is a kind of assimilating God's speaking into our hearts. It is even kind of spiritual eating.

    Jeremiah the prophet wrote - "Your words were found and I ate them, And Your word became to me the gladness and joy of my heart." (Jeremiah 15:16)

    The prophets stresses that he took in God's words for spiritual nourishment. He "ate" the words of God. This implies even a kind of chewing or masticating of God's words. By reading and musing with heart felt repetitions over portions of it, we can "eat" the word of God. The result will be that our hearts are made joyful.

    Jesus, the Son of God, reminded the Devil that man lived not by physical bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. This also implies the Bible as a "food" needed daily for man's living:

    "And the tempter [the Devil] came and said to Him, If You are the Son of God, speak that these stones may become loaves of bread. But He answered and said, It is written, 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God.' " (Matt.4:3,4)

    More necessary that physical bread is the inner feeding imparted by the word of God. That is what Jesus Christ implies here. Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word of God. He was quoting the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy.

    W.H. Griffith Thomas wrote an insightful comment about the Scripture and Prayer in his book "Life Abiding and Abounding":

    "Thus the Word and Prayer are never absent from our life, and never far apart from each other. In the life of the Old Testament believers they were always connected (Psa. xix.; cxix). [19;119] In the life of our Lord they are constantly found together (John xvii). [17] In the life of the Early Church they are united (Acts iv. 24, 25; vi. 4). In relation to the Holy Spirit they are inseparably connected (Eph. vi. 17,18) [6:17,18]. There is not a single channel of belief, not a single element of experience, not a single pathway of service, not a single hope, not a single possibility which is not in some way associated with the Word and Prayer. When these two are allowed to occupy in our life the place they occupy in God's purpose and plan for us, we have learnt the essential conditions, the blessed secret, the unspeakable joy of abiding in Christ and abounding for Christ."
  10. Joined
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    11 May '12 17:512 edits
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    Thanks for dealing with that point, you saved me the trouble.

    The entire Bible can never be a prayer book. I dont know what Jaywill is smoking .
    The entire Bible can never be a prayer book.


    If your heart is right the entire Bible is good for praying over. Of course one does not have to go out of his way to locate some long geneology to prove it untrue.

    One can start the blessing of the prayreading the Bible in other places. Someday he will see every page is possible to pray over. "All Scripture is God breathed and profitable ..." wrote the Apostle Paul. He did not say "most scripture". He did not say "Some Scripture". He wrote under inspiration that 'ALL Scripture is GOD BREATHED [ given by INSPIRATION ] and is PROFITABLE for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete fully equiped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16)

    ALL SCRIPTURE means the whole Bible. Do not go find the more unlikely places to pray over to prove some cynical point. Just believe that "ALL SCRIPTURE" means "ALL ... ALL .... ALL SCRIPTURE".

    It is ALL profitable to the man of God.

    From church history we have the example of R.A. Torrey who considered it one of the rarest priviliges of his life to read every chapter and every verse of the Bible on his knees.

    [R.A. Torrey, The Importance and Value of Proper Bible Study (Chicago, Moody Press, 1921) , pg. 48 ]

    This man of God counted an honor that he had prayed over every chapter of the whole Bible. We all may not do that. But we can have the blessing of practicing our praying mixed with reading of God's word.
  11. Standard memberRajk999
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    11 May '12 19:19
    Originally posted by jaywill
    The entire Bible can never be a prayer book.


    If your heart is right the entire Bible is good for praying over. Of course one does not have to go out of his way to locate some long geneology to prove it untrue.

    One can start the blessing of the prayreading the Bible in other places. Someday he will see every page is possible to p ...[text shortened]... e can have the blessing of practicing our praying mixed with reading of God's word.
    Placing people. like Torry, who are fallible, on pedestals, and outward demonstrations of faith [like kneeling down and reading the Bible] is causing you to go astray.

    What do you have to say about what Christ said in John 14:21 ? You very rarely quote the teachings of Christ. You are more into your 'people' than into Christ.
  12. SubscriberSuzianne
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    11 May '12 19:41
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    By far the best way to understand the Bible is to have God in your life, and to have Christ make his abode with you.

    How?

    John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

    Did you understand that verse? ...[text shortened]... s and do good works.

    [Note : 'You' is a general expression for people not you personally.]
    5. And most importantly, tell every Christian how badly they suck at following Christ's commandments and how they'll burn in hell while somehow forgetting another of Christ's commandments to show love for your Christian brothers.

    Well done!
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    11 May '12 20:10
    Originally posted by jaywill
    The best way to understand the Bible is with the aid of the same Spirit that produced the Bible.
    Whenever someone claims to have the best way of understanding the Bible, my first question is: is it a reliable way.
    If we want to know if something is not reliable, we get a number of people to try the method then compare the results. If there is a reasonably high correlation between the results then it might be reliable (it might not), but if there are large variations between the results then it clearly is not reliable.
    So, my question to you:
    Of the people who use your method for understanding the Bible, how wide a range of beliefs/understandings of the Bible do they have? Or are you one of the few people doing it right?
  14. Standard memberRajk999
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    11 May '12 21:19
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    5. And most importantly, tell every Christian how badly they suck at following Christ's commandments and how they'll burn in hell while somehow forgetting another of Christ's commandments to show love for your Christian brothers.

    Well done!
    I have never said any such thing. Clearly your conscience is bothering you. Your personal life is probably far from Christ. I cant help you with that, sorry.
  15. Joined
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    11 May '12 21:443 edits
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    Placing people. like Torry, who are fallible, on pedestals, and outward demonstrations of faith [like kneeling down and reading the Bible] is causing you to go astray.

    What do you have to say about what Christ said in John 14:21 ? You very rarely quote the teachings of Christ. You are more into your 'people' than into Christ.
    Placing people. like Torry, who are fallible, on pedestals, and outward demonstrations of faith [like kneeling down and reading the Bible] is causing you to go astray.


    Refering to Christian brothers is not declaring them "infallible". It is "fellowship" .

    Refering to the experience of those who have gone before as Christians is not to put them on a pedestal. It is to benefit from their fellowship.

    Refering to the experience of other Christians is not to make their experience a legal requirement - ie. "R.A. Torrey prayed through the Bible on his kness therefore we make it mandatory that each of us must do so also."

    You are just too eager to find something to complain about.

    I will continue to point not only to the Bible but to church history. You are just a contrarian starving to exploit some perceived shortcoming of this thread.


    What do you have to say about what Christ said in John 14:21 ? You very rarely quote the teachings of Christ. You are more into your 'people' than into Christ.


    I quote the words of Christ quite a lot. What is this false charge. What I say about John 14:21 will be necessarily related to my subject matter. So let's see what it says.

    "He who has My commandments and keeps them, he is the one who loves Me; And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him." (John 14:21)

    THIS THREAD IS ABOUT PRAYREADING THE WORD OF GOD.

    Having said that, an excellent way to KEEP the Lord's word in our heart that we may obey His word is to PRAY over His word. For He says that His words ARE spirit and life. So we should have a habit to execise our human spirit in prayer over His words along with the rest of the Bible.

    "It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothng; the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life." (John 6:63)

    Jesus said this after some followers withdrew from following Him. They withdrew because He had told them that unless they ATE His flesh and DRANK His blood, they could not have divine life in them.

    "He who eats My felsh and drinks My blood abides in Me and I in him. As the living Father has sent Me and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven, not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread shall live forever." (John 6:56-58)

    This was too hard of a saying for some of the disciple to take. And they began to consider it too hard to follow Jesus -

    "Many therefore of His disciples, when they heard this, said, This word is hard; who can hear ?" (v.60)

    Of the disciples who remain, Jesus points them to HIS WORDS. It is His words that they have to "eat". To take in His words is to receive Him. Those who reject Christ reject all of His words. Those who "eat" Christ so that they may live by Christ must take in not His physical flesh but His words which are spirit and life.

    When the human spirit is born again, we can exercise our human spirit by means of prayer. We take the words of Christ which are spirit and divine life by means of the exercise of our regenerated spirit and we EAT both the word of God, the word of Christ and Christ Himself.

    This next part is not explicitly only for Rajk999 [edited]

    Do not get hung up on Catholic "transubstantiation". Do not worry about whether the loaf actually becomes Jesus' body or whether the wine actually becomes Jesus' blood. According to the Lord's teaching - "It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the WORDS which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life."

    Peter admitted to Jesus - " ... Lord to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life." (v.68)

    An excellent way to KEEP His words - the words of eternal life, the words which are spirit and life, is to PRAY over His very words. It is one way to "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, ..." (Col. 3:16)

    The "dwelling" word is the living word. Praying with His words breaths spiritual life into the words. It is like striking flint to ignite a flame. We strike the words of Christ with our praying spirit to cause the living flame of His divine word to indwell us. We first have to have His word dwell in us richly in order to instantly KEEP His word -

    "He who has My commandments and keeps them, he is the one who loves Me ..."

    We can express our love for Christ, certainly, by not only reading His words but praying over His words. We practically show our love to Him by the taking of words like the bread of life - chew in prayer, digest in prayer, masticate in prayer, assimilate in prayer.

    And Jesus Christ will then manifest Himself to such a one. Prayreading is an excellent way to keep the Lord's word for our following and obedience.

    The very NOURISHMENT we receive from this living bread is what enables us and strengthens us to go along with Christ.
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