Be Still: A Simple Guide To Quiet Times
DAY 2 OF 5
Be Still: The Power of Scripture
The power of the Bible is extraordinary: a light for our feet: a guide on our path (Ps 119:105)
The Bible is essential for an effective quiet time.
You can’t separate the two. You must approach the Bible with prayer, and you must approach prayer with the Bible. The order doesn’t matter; sometimes you can read before you pray, sometimes after you pray. But the Bible should always be near whilst you pray.
We need to give the Bible weight in our lives, allow it to challenge, inspire, and shape us and the way we live.
The New York Public Library is home to a Gutenberg Bible, the first substantial book printed in the West, an amazing and almost priceless book. It is said that when the book arrived in New York in 1847, as it was brought into customs house and carried through, everyone stood and took off their hats as a sign of respect to this remarkable book.
In Jewish synagogues, Rabbis would remain seated to give a sermon but stand to read the Scriptures. Jesus did the same; we read in Luke 4:16, “He stood up to read.” The Hebraic tradition was one that held the Scriptures—The Torah—with absolute respect.
When I approach the scriptures, I metaphorically take off my hat and stand in respect for what sits on my lap, next to my coffee!
In Psalm 1 the Psalmist encourages us to meditate on the scripture day and night. What does the word “meditation” mean to you?
For some, it’s so deeply embedded in the idea of eastern transcendental meditation that they see it as spiritually dangerous, or discount it as simply not for them. In reality, meditation has deep roots in the Christian faith.
The word “meditate” used in this Psalm denotes a “verbalized rumination,” like a pigeon cooing repetitively, a gentle murmuring. The same word is also linked to chewing the cud—the process by which a cow eats grass in such a way as to extract all the nutrients.
Or, perhaps, it’s easier to think of it like sucking a hard sweet rather than crunching it; if we suck the sweet we allow all the flavours to coat our mouth and we end up fully tasting the sweet. Sometimes in my daily Bible read I can crunch my way through the text rather than stopping to meditate and absorb the full flavour of what I am reading.
Biblical meditation is not an emptying of one’s mind, but a filling of one’s mind and thoughts with the word of God.
A helpful way to meditate on the Bible is to memorize it.
The Bible becomes embedded in our hearts when we memorize it. God’s word is often found on our closest electronic devices when in reality we are called to hide his word in our hearts, we can do this by committing verses from the Bible to memory. Memorizing scripture takes it from the page into our souls, the head to the heart.
There are verses that we should have to help us when we can’t sleep at night when we face challenges when we pray for others when we are alone when we go through trials, verses that we have memorized will sustain and strengthen us throughout life.
Pick a verse today and commit to memorizing it this week.
About this Plan
Be still. For some, these two simple words are a welcome invitation to slow down. For others, they feel impossible, out of reach in our increasingly noisy world, or simply just too hard to maintain. Brian Heasley demonst...
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