The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
For through wisdom your days will be many,
and years will be added to your life.
If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you;
if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.
- Proverbs 9:10-12
“When we pray, we open our hearts to a clearer and deeper understanding of God’s Word. As we read His Word, we open our minds to a greater understanding of how and for what to pray.”
- Honor Books Publishing, God’s Little Devotional Book on Prayer
The devotion that ended with the quote above was rather bizarre. It talked of never praying without Bible study and never study the Bible without praying.
That fits the quote, but then the bulk of the devotion was about Dr. Alexander Maclaren and how he never studied when he went into his prayer closet. He rarely had guests and when he did, they were not allowed to say anything. He usually sat with his hands over his face with the Bible in his lap. An assistant said that in the rare moments when he opened the Bible, he would read like a child reading a story book. He never took notes and absolutely, during his daily prayer hour, would never study Scripture for the purpose of his writing or his sermon preparations. That hour was for prayer and talking with God – only.
Regardless of whether you want an extra long life, as the Scripture above suggests, or not, we should all desire to know and understand God. We need that “Quiet Place” that I wrote about yesterday, and with the philosophy lesson of Tuesday (Dao D’oh Duh), we should know that God is knowable, not like Laozi’s dao.
My Bible study suffers a bit when I struggle with other activities, like the doctor appointments and such. My wife’s and my schedules have been out of kilter for over a month with the preparation to visit the grandchildren, the two-week vacation, and then my wife’s surgery. I need to get to the point fully as Dr. Maclaren did – Bible reading just for the joy of it in addition to the Bible study to prepare for Sunday school lessons and the Bible study to prepare for writing. That part of what I read in the devotion seems missing in my life.
But as for the praying, if I went into a small room and placed my hands over my face for an entire hour, I would soon be asleep. Maybe I need some work in that area too.
But I think that quote above from the devotional on prayer is that there needs to be a balance. To have a meaningful relationship with anyone, we need to have a clear channel for communication in both directions. The most foolproof of ways for God to speak to us is through reading the Scriptures. And we need to be accustomed to openly telling God anything and everything. All in a manner like we would have a conversation with our best friend.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.