I can’t think of any instances where I “prayed” to the bible. Why am I saying this? As I was working through some old Word files, I came across an article from ChurchLeaders.com written by Brian Jones.
The jist of his brief but searing article is to tell us Christians that we place too much emphasis on the bible. In fact, he wrote, “Most Christians today assume that to be a Christian means to have a personal relationship with the bible instead of the risen Jesus.”
The author goes further by adding, “to be consumed with it,” and “to obsess over it.” I will attempt to keep my response to his post as short as possible; but no promises.
Again, I must say, I have never found myself praying to the bible. I have never placed it on a pedestal and worshiped it. I have however, had people tell me that I put too much emphasis on it.
I suppose you could say I am one of the people who might answer your question with, “the bible says.” Is this an inappropriate response to give? The fact is that God, through the Word (bible), often answers most of today’s questions.
I believe the problem lies in that many people simply don’t like the answers God provides. I can’t even say, “don’t kill the messenger,” because they in deed did kill the messenger; Christ Jesus.
We Christians often refer to the bible as the “living” book. That’s for a very good reason. The bible is not a book that is irrelevant to us today. The bible is not a book filled with mere stories.
Today we face many, if not all, the same problems that our forefathers faced thousands of years ago. Not only does the bible share those issues, God, through the bible gives us the solutions to the problems.
When I am reading (studying) the bible, I truly sense that God is speaking to me through its words. I honestly believe that if one wishes to truly hear from God, they simply need to open their bible and read.
People often forget that much of the bible, especially the New Testament, is made up of letters; letters written from the apostles to both private persons as well as to churches.
These letters from those such as Paul, John, and James are indeed timeless. Each of their letters addresses issues or problems that without a doubt we face today.
I would never advocate for anyone to worship the bible or suggest that they pray to it. We are to worship God and God alone through Christ. We are to pray to God through Christ.
I don’t believe in praying to anyone else. I don’t pray to saints. I don’t pray to Mary; the mother of Jesus. We’re told to pray to God through Christ.
We are in fact told by God Himself, “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success,”(Joshua 1:8) bold-Author’s emphasis.
Now, some people will say Jesus did away with the “law.” While I’m not an expert on the Old Testament, there is more to the books of Moses than law.
“I don’t think we could ever spend too much time in the Word. In fact, I think some of us, myself included, don’t spend enough time. We need to continually be in the Word and know what it says so we can be prepared for every attack of Satan,” says Martha Berge, one of my many coworkers-in-Christ.
The apostle Paul tells us, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things,” (Philippians 4:8). bold-Author’s emphasis.
Pastor John Piper wrote, “The person who delights in God’s law so much that he meditates on it day and night is delivered from the ways of the wicked and sinners and scoffers and is made fruitful and durable and prosperous. That’s the point. Delighting in the law of God is the central issue.” bold-Author’s emphasis.
Another of my fellow coworkers-in-Christ, Michael La Tulippe, says, “I personally do not believe we can spend too much time knowing our heavenly Father through his word.”
Both Martha and Michael, in their brief words, get right to the heart of the matter; when she says. “says so we can be prepared for every attack of Satan,” and Michael with, “time knowing our heavenly Father through his word.”
Of course, It is not impossible to know God without reading the bible. I think however, we should heed Paul’s words, “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;” (1 Thess 5:21).
It’s a wonderful thing to hear the Word; from a priest, pastor, or even a stranger. But, we shouldn’t always rely on what other people tell us. Hearing gives us a great starting-point, but we should be examining the Word ourselves and ask questions; for deeper understanding.
Doing this indeed gives us a richer grasp of the Word, by understanding it in the reality of its context. Remember, the bible is not to be read as if it were a work of fiction; a novel or merely a book of short stories. Most of the bible is simply compiled of personal letters.
I have a deeper relationship with God because of the time I spend in the bible. When I am reading and studying the bible I am learning more about God. When I am in the bible, I feel a special closeness not only to God, but to Christ my Savior and to those whom He chose to be His witnesses here on earth.