A Prayer Before Reading The Bible

A Prayer Before Reading The Bible

As the oldest and most revered Christian scriptural text, the Bible is read and prayed to by millions of people all around the world. Before reading the Bible, many readers start off by offering a prayer – a simple request for guidance and blessing as they start their journey into its pages. This prayer is a time-honored practice, and can be an integral part of deepening one’s relationship with God and understanding of the gospel.

A prayer before reading the Bible can take many forms, from intense and lengthy petitioning to a simple phrase of acknowledgment. Whatever form it takes, a prayer before reading the Bible serves to remind the reader of the text’s origin, foster reverence and respect for the message, and open the reader’s heart and mind to experiencing the power and grace of God. While there is no official form for a prayer before reading the Bible, there are several common versions of prayers which can be recited to engage with the scriptures.

One of the most well-known prayers before reading the Bible is known as ‘The St. John’s Bible Prayer’. This prayer was originally composed by St. John Chrysostom in the fourth century AD, and is still used by many to this day: “O Lord, you are infinite in your goodness, grant me, I pray, to read the Scriptures with a true heart, and may they be unto my soul the words of eternal life.” This prayer acknowledges God’s goodness and asks for his grace as the reader enters into the scriptures. It serves to remind the reader of the ultimate goal of Scripture – to encounter God and come to know Him.

Another prayer before reading the Bible is attributed to St. Augustine, who lived in the fifth century AD. This prayer is basked in humility and submission to the will of God: “O Lord, open our lips, that our mouths may declare Your praise. O Lord, open our hearts, that we may receive Your Word. O Lord, illuminate our understanding, that we may know Your truth. O Lord, strengthen our will, that we may live in accordance with Your Word. Dove, grant us the guidance of Your Holy Spirit, that we may use it aright.”

For many people, a prayer before reading the Bible also includes a brief petition of guidance, protection, and strength from the Lord. This is often stated not as a prayer to convey understanding, but in order to ask for the Lord’s help in understanding and applying the teachings of the Scriptures. This could be a simple plea for guidance, such as “Lord, please open my eyes to understand Your Word,” or a request for strength to live according to God’s will, such as “Lord, give me the courage to practice Your will in my life.”

By opening the Bible in prayer, readers can cultivate a deeper understanding of the Scriptures and a more meaningful relationship with God. This practice can open the heart and mind to the power of God’s Word and allow the Holy Spirit to speak through the reader’s experience of the text. A prayer before reading the Bible is a practice respected by religious scholars and lay admirers of the Bible alike, and can be an effective way to seek more profound understanding of God’s will.

Engaging with the Scriptures

Engaging with the Scriptures begins not just with reading them, but by entering into the text with an open heart and mind. A prayer before reading the Bible helps to do this by inviting the reader to put aside their preconceptions and submitting to the will of God. A prayer also helps to focus the reader on the text, to concentrate more deeply and truly engage with the message being conveyed.

Engaging with the Scriptures can also be enhanced by maintaining an attitude of humility and reverence while reading. It is important to be aware of the language used while reading, and to recognize the text’s origin and its various interpretations. Practicing humility and reverence while engaging with the text helps to open the heart and mind and gain greater insight into the Scriptures.

Similarly, studying and meditating on the Scriptures can give a reader greater insight into the Word of God. By spending time focusing on the text and its many interpretations, a reader can gain a deeper understanding of its message and be better equipped to apply it to their life. Scripture study and meditation can also help the reader to identify and focus on the main themes of the text, and ponder their understanding of those themes.

Finally, engaging with the Scriptures can also be done through prayerful contemplation. By asking honest and earnest questions about the text, and then setting aside time for quiet contemplation, readers can strive to find deeper understanding and meaning in the text. After some quiet reflection, a reader may find themselves with further questions or reflections, which can help them to gain even more insight into the scripture.

Expanding Knowledge of Bible

Expanding one’s knowledge of the Bible can also help a reader deepen their understanding of the Scriptures. This can be done by studying the bible in context, understanding its various translations, and learning about its historical and cultural context. Knowing the background of the Bible can help to bring the words to life and bridge the gap between distant time periods. Undertaking further study can also help the reader to gain a fuller understanding of the themes and messages within the scriptures.

In addition, learning from the experiences of others can also be a valuable tool for deepening one’s knowledge of the Bible. Reading the works of biblical scholars and theologians can help to provide insight and deeper understanding of a text. Similarly, speaking with others and sharing personal and collective interpretations can be a powerful tool for truly understanding and applying the scriptures to life.

Another way to expand one’s knowledge of the Bible is through the use of study tools, such as concordances, commentaries, and Bible dictionaries. Having access to study tools can make the task of understanding and interpreting a text much easier, and can provide insight into a particular phrase or idea. As well, studying and learning in a group setting can be advantageous, as collective study can often lead to a deeper understanding than one could achieve alone.

The Power of Prayer

The practice of praying before reading the Bible is important for many reasons. As outlined earlier, it serves to open the heart and mind of the reader, drawing them into the scriptures with intention and reverence. Prayer also serves an important spiritual purpose, cultivating an intimate relationship between the reader and God and allowing the reader to draw nearer to Him.

The practice of prayer also allows the reader to have an experience of the Word of God. While studying the scriptures may provide intellectual understanding of its meaning, prayer helps the reader to connect with the message of the text on a deeper and more meaningful level. This experience of spiritual connection can be invaluable in helping to apply the scriptures to one’s daily life.

Finally, prayer can also be a powerful tool in overcoming distractions and tuning out the rest of the world. Prayer serves to realign us with our true purpose, and helps to remind us that God alone is our source and our guide. Playing a simple prayer before reading the Bible can redirect the reader’s focus to the scriptures, helping them to truly engage with the material.

Benefits of Reading Bible

Reading the Bible has a number of physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits. Practicing consistent and regular Bible reading can help readers to better understand their faith and the history of their religion. It can also serve to strengthen one’s relationship with God, and help to pinpoint areas in one’s life where growth and change may be needed. Regular Bible reading can also help to concentrate the mind and aid in spiritual development.

In addition, reading the Bible can provide comfort during difficult times. It can help readers to recognize the presence of God in their lives and find peace in His message. This can be an invaluable source of comfort during times of trials and tribulation, and can help people to see the bigger picture and remain faithful in their lives.

Finally, reading the Bible can also provide guidance, insight, and strength. Reading the Bible can remind readers of their purpose in life and help them to understand God’s will. By taking the time to read the Bible and study its message, readers can gain a clearer understanding of their faith and be better equipped to live according to God’s will.


A prayer before reading the Bible can help readers deepen their relationship with God and gain insight into the scriptures. By engaging with the Scriptures with humility, reverence, and an open heart and mind, readers can come to truly understand and apply the message of the text. Expanding one’s knowledge of the Bible through study and discussion can also help to reveal greater understanding and application. Finally, with the power of prayer, readers can remain focused and undistracted, and keep their hearts attuned to God as they engage with the text.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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