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How Prayer and Bible Study Will Revolutionize Your Life

A Family Picnic
Written by Patti Greene
  1. Prayer and Bible study will revolutionize your personal life. The mixture of these two powerful disciplines can provide the comfort and security we all desire in our lives.

Prayer

In the charming children’s story The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant, a child’s extended clan gathered one afternoon to enjoy each other’s company amidst laughter, love, and family festivities. What better summer day could any child have, other than relishing the comfort and security of aunts, uncles, and cousins?

In 1962, while on a summer vacation in Connecticut, my relatives came from everywhere—California, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Vermont for a similar “kinfolk” reunion.

As an 8-year old child, dressed in my blue-flowered tunic and denim jeans, I stood in my aunt and uncle’s backyard mesmerized by the hustle and bustle of summer activities. The adults were running around, in and out of the house, preparing for the long-awaited summertime barbeque. My relatives were laughing, smiling, and just plain old happy to be together.

The picnic tables and card tables were covered with red and white checkered tablecloths; the tea was being poured; the aroma from the barbequed hot dogs and hamburgers permeated the backyard.

From my vantage point, I could see the bright blue sky surrounded by the tall New England trees. I remember vividly that my mind was centered on God. I wanted to see Him work that day. I wanted to test His power. Yes, right then and there—on that beautiful summer day.

I wanted to know if God was real. I wanted to know if He would listen to an 8-year-old little girl. I wanted to know if I could pray for rain even though no sign of rain was evident anywhere, knowing full and well that rain would ruin our family celebration.

I prayed for rain. And rain it did, just as Psalm 77:17 says, “the clouds poured out water . . . “

As we readied ourselves to eat, small droplets of rain slowly landed on my head. Before long, larger, heavier drops began streaming down from the sky.

My aunt made the final call as she waved us all into the house. “Hey kids and everyone, we are moving everything inside! Grab something and get inside immediately!”

Within a few short minutes, my enterprising prayer was answered!

Do I believe God answered my prayer? Yes, most definitely! I asked, and God answered. I am not saying He always answers so quickly or so affirmatively, but He did that day. Why? Because in the big scheme of my life, maybe God needed me to experience His “realness” and His “power.”

I never told my relatives that I was the cause of the rain that day, but God chose that incident to show me that He can not only move mountains, but He can also change the minute events in our lives through honest, sincere, childlike prayer.

We pray prayers like . . .

“God, give me strength and healing in my sickness.”

“Lord, I don’t understand why my son my son/daughter has turned against You.”

“I don’t know when to retire. I am seeking Your timing as I move into the next stage of my life.”

These prayers and others like this reach the throne of God day after day. God hears them all and

He is ready to answer them. But, we must do our part—and that is to pray and to seek out His wisdom and direction through becoming familiar with His Word—The Bible.

Bible Study

The Barna Group, a market research firm specializing in studying the religious beliefs and behavior of Americans, has carefully and strategically tracked the role of faith in America, developing one of the nation’s most comprehensive databases of spiritual indicators. They state that:

“Americans continue to own Bibles—but readership is not as ubiquitous as ownership. About one-third of Americans read the Bible at least once a week, and this proportion has remained fairly stable. Likewise, the two out of five American adults who read the Bible less than once a year or never has thus far proven to be a stable proportion. Unless something dramatically changes among Millennials, however, Barna researchers expect reading frequency in the general population to trend downward in coming years . . . “ ¹

Prayer and Bible reading are inseparable. The two go together. Prayer is us communicating with God. The Bible is God communicating with us.

Embracing the Word of God and expanding our Biblical knowledge is the key to learning the wonderful truths of our God.

I learned early in my Christian walk to value the Word of God.

Many prayers later — 14-years after praying for rain — I prayed again and made a “deal with God.”

As my second year of teaching wore on, however, my lofty hopes were rudely dashed, and I really just wanted to go home and be with my family in Houst0n. But, it had to be because God chose that path for me, rather than my own pain and frustration doing the selection for me.

I had previously resolved that I would read the Scriptures until God clearly showed me which way to go. Yet, I had already read the ENTIRE Bible under this mandate, and God still had not given me an answer!

In my early twenties I got a job teaching second grade in Aledo, Texas, a suburb of Fort Worth. I chose that location because the area offered promise for my life ahead, as I was just out of college, full of rosy dreams and great expectations.

As my second year of teaching wore on, however, my lofty hopes were rudely dashed, and I really just wanted to go home and be with my family in Houston … but it had to be because God chose that path for me, rather than my own pain and frustration doing the selection for me.

I had previously resolved that I would read the Scriptures until God clearly showed me which way to go. Yet, I had already read the ENTIRE Bible under this mandate, and God still had not given me an answer!

The choice was forced upon me one day by the school where I worked. I remember the date – April 1st. My principal knocked on my classroom door and handed me my contract for the next school year and declared, “I need this back by the end of the day today.”

I had to specify whether I would be returning to the school next year, and decide, one way or the other, in the next few hours.

The advantage of staying, of course, is that I had a guaranteed job for next year, without the hassle of having to move. But it would be at the expense of my family and me having to navigate my despair without their close support.

So, what do good teachers do? They give their class some busy work, pull out their Bible, and plead with God for an answer. That, at least, is what I did.

God’s answer came in the form of a Bible verse from Ecclesiastes 11:5, “Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.”

I can’t really explain why that verse confirmed I should move to Houston other than His Holy Spirit revealed that I should move. As I have pondered that verse over the years, I believe that even though we don’t understand how bones are formed in the womb of a pregnant mother, I didn’t need to understand why I was led to move back home, but I was to obey His leading. In addition, God was gracious enough to confirm that this verse was especially for me by allowing the verse numbers to parallel my birth date—November 5.

Appreciatively, I turned in my unsigned contract that very day with unbelievable poise and confidence. I was at peace, because this long drawn out decision process was finally over, and God had finally “weighed in” with His choice.

God’s Word PLUS prayer gave me the confidence to follow His will. He will do the same for you However, some believers just don’t pray or read the Bible. Their reasons vary. They might say . . .

“Why pray and read the Bible when God is going to do whatever He wants to anyway?”

“Nothing will happen when I pray.”

“I don’t have the time or the discipline to pray or read the Bible.”

“I tried praying before and nothing happened.”

“The Bible isn’t relevant to me.”

There are many reasons why we should pray and read God’s Word. They are . . .

  • Prayer and Bible reading makes us become more like Jesus.
  • God will comfort us through prayer and His Word when we need it.
  • Prayer and reading the Bible teaches us how to model ourselves after Jesus.
  • We need to find, know, and understand God’s will for our life. Prayer and the words of God with the help of the Holy Spirit help us to discern His will.
  • Prayer and Bible study makes us aware of evil while helping us to recognize our own sin and how forgiveness is necessary.
  • Prayer and embracing God’s Word helps us to submit to God and resist Satan.
  • Prayer and Bible reading protects us from evil.

Concluding Assignment

I want you to think of prayer as the yolk of an egg. Then, I want you to think of Bible reading as that same egg’s white part.

You can make scrambled eggs with the yolks and whites separately, but they just don’t taste the same until they are mixed. That is the same with us. When we combine prayer and Bible study together, we will receive His comfort and security. And as a bonus, we receive the confidence that He knows the big picture for our lives.

Bible Verses:

In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. (John 16:23)

Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God? (Mark 12:24)

Therefore, though I have enough confidence in Christ to order you to do what is proper, (Philemon 1:8)

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, You are my confidence and comfort. Motivate me daily to pray and study my Bible. Lord, show me Your will through Your words and Your Holy Spirit. With arms open to You, I commit today to put You first in my life. Guide me, help me, and lead me to be the person You want me to be. I commit my ministries to You. May all I do glorify You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

God Bless,

GreenePastures.org

Member Inspirational Writers Alive; Bible Gateway Blogger Grid Member #bgbg2


Edited by E. Johnson; Bible verses are taken from the NASB if not noted otherwise.

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Books by Patti Greene

To order, please click the links below.

Answer Me: Developing a Heart for Prayer (A Devotional Prayer Journal) by Patti Greene, click here

Awaken Me: Growing Deeper in Bible Study and Prayer (A Devotional Prayer Journal) by Patti Greene, click here

Anchor Me: Laying a Foundation in Bible Study and Prayer (A Devotional Prayer Journal) by Patti Greene, click here

Answer Me: Developing a Heart for Prayer by Patti Greene

Answer Me: Developing a Heart for Prayer by Patti Greene

Anchor Me

Anchor Me: Laying a Foundation in Bible Study and Prayer

Awaken Me

Awaken Me: Growing Deeper in Bible Study and Prayer

Bibliography

¹ Barna. https://www.barna.com/Accessed November 10, 2017.

*Outfit has been renamed to match the image.

About the author

Patti Greene

Patti Greene is the author of three outstanding devotional prayer journals, Answer Me, Anchor Me, and Awaken Me and a book titled "Christian Caregiving: Practical Advice for a Happy Ending." Patti earned a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and pursued graduate studies in religious education and library science spending two years as a second-grade teacher. After spending 12 years as a stay-at-home mom, Greene spent 18 more years as a school librarian in St. Louis, Missouri and Houston, Texas. When not writing books or blogs, Greene spends her time caregiving, reading, researching, and hanging out with her family and friends. Patti and her husband have three adult children and five grandchildren. Visit her blog at GreenePastures.org.

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