Bored reading the Word?
Try a prayer before
reading the Bible.
If you’ve been saved a while, let’s face it: reading the Bible can at times seem overly familiar and even repetitive after a while. Consider trying a prayer before reading the Bible during your next Bible Study or devotion time.
Bible study in itself can feel like another “thing to do.”
It’s not really your fault. I think it has something to do with the brain’s filter, called the reticular activation system. After a while, we can become numb or “tone deaf” to it. That’s why saying a prayer before reading the Bible can help.
It will give you the spiritual acumen to make the Bible relevant and fresh.
Prayer connects us with the Father by way of the Holy Spirit. That’s what I think. What do you think?
Why prayer can help…
I’ll bet you’ve memorized so many verses you can recite them with your eyes closed.
As the pastor preaches, you’re probably one of those people saying the scripture out loud as he’s reading it. You know it. It’s in your brain.
If this sounds super familiar, you may have pondered the following question: how do I make reading my Bible fun and exhilarating again or why am I bored reading the Bible?
You’re not alone… a lot of people need to pray before Bible Study.
I think many Christians feel this way and are actually ashamed to say it aloud.
That’s one conversation you never hear two girlfriends having over lunch.
No one is going to say “I get bored reading the Bible!”
To hear a response of “Girl, I feel like I’m reading the same things over and over and over again”.
Nah, you never hear folks saying that to one another. LOL
Thank God He knows everything about us and still loves us just as much. He knows we have struggles. I even think He understands we may get bored reading the Bible.
David explained it best when he said we are but smoke; a silly little vapor that passes away.
Our human frailness makes us prone to feelings like boredom, disobedience, fickleness, etc.
The best part: God knows this about us and loves us anyway!
Did you know some people are more hardwired to get bored quicker than others?
Her context is marriage, but I see some applications here with Bible boredom.
Think about this. Could your boredom [with things done by rote] be linked to your temperament or your personality?
I think so.
In her article, she references people who are thrill-seekers. If you’re one of them (I certainly am), then reading Bible passages you may have already memorized could be maddening for you.
Don’t beat yourself up. Again, God understands – He created you that way.
You can’t misunderstand me though. Just because He understands doesn’t mean you get a pass. Bible study is critical to our spiritual formation and growth.
Bible study can be fun and exhilarating again! You just have to make reading it more interesting to your natural man and even factor in your learning style.
I have a few tips for
Bible Study (at the end)
Tip 1 when the Bible seems boring:
Read another Bible translation.
If you’re like me, you were raised on the King James version. You know the one with the “thee’s” and “thous”.
That’s the version from which I memorized scripture and when I read it now, my brain goes on autopilot.
I can just spout the scriptures out without thinking. Without thinking – therein lies the problem.
That’s why I love to experiment with other translations. Two of my favorites are the New American Standard Version or Eugene Peterson’s Message Bible. Theologians recommend these translations and interpretations Try it.
Tip 2 when the Bible seems uninteresting:
Listen to the Bible from an app.
If you learn best by hearing things, this could be a real blessing to you.
The YouVersion Bible app has a feature that will actually read the Bible to you as you drive to work or get ready in the morning.
Important tip: listen to scriptures you’ve read earlier in the day. Listening to the Bible can easily become “white noise”. Besides, it’s easy to be distracted, so I think it’s better to use it as a way of reinforcing something you’ve read earlier. Do you agree? Yes? No?
Tip 3 when the Bible seems tedious:
Pick one scripture and dig deeper into it.
Free-hand write two paragraphs about what a particular scripture means to you.
Then, look it up in a commentary to see what other theologians have said about it.
Next, grab a concordance (or find one online) and look up the words in the scripture.
Ask the Holy Spirit what the scriptures means to you in your current life season.
Ask Him and wait in silence. He may show you something very specific.
Similarly, ask Him what it means to others in your life.
Finally, ask Him what He wants you to do with that scripture NOW.
This very moment.
The goal is to dig into the depths of the scripture and find the Holy Spirit’s intent. Pondering the Word of God in this way allows you to take it beyond the part of your brain responsible for memorizing and engrafts it into your heart.
I learned another way to accomplish the same on a blog written by Leah Lesesne, MA, CSP called Shelemah. She says:
“When we read the Bible, the goal should never be to finish, to check a box off on a list, to add another memory verse to our collection; the goal should always be to let our hearts align more and more with the heart of Jesus.”
The Word can’t be something we just do; it can’t be the sort of commonplace that numbs our ears to it.
She went on to use the same word I used in this post: rote.
Memorization (or knowing the Bible by memory) is a good thing when you’re a new Christian, but when it’s already deeply ingrained, it’s easy to miss much of what the Lord is trying to do and say to us because it’s just too familiar.
Being accustomed to it may also be a barrier to the Word changing our hearts. It becomes like that pretty picture you purchased years ago and now you walk by every day without even noticing it. No good. Check out what Leah says here:
“There’s nothing wrong with memorizing scripture, but when we place rote memorization and knowledge above relationship with the Holy Spirit and letting Him guide us, we’ve missed the point of reading scripture.” Visit her post called “Why I’m not memorizing scripture this year”. Click here to view her full post.
I wrote this for seasoned Christians who have a strong handle on scripture texts and stories.
Let’s be clear: if you’re a fairly new Christian, I recommend sitting down and reading your Bible daily. I urge you to spend as much time in it as possible. Only then, you will see your life, mind, and heart transform into being more like Christ. Hide the Word in your heart. Make sure it’s in your heart and not just your brain.
Again, it’s not a sin to find it a little dry and boring from time to time. Let me give you a personal example that makes a lot of sense: I find taking vitamins boring and even burdensome, but I take them. I know they render a greater benefit than I can fully imagine or even understand. The same with God’s word, it’s working even if it feels routine and a bit mundane. Never stop ingesting it – just find other ways to do it.
Finally my prayer before reading the Bible.
“Father, I thank you for your word. I think you’ve given us your word to give us guidance, comfort, and help in navigating our lives.
It is a light into my path and a lamp into my feet. Father, help me to study your word so that I can show myself to be approved unto you.
As I read your word, I will not let it depart from my mouth. I will meditate on it day and night so that I can learn to walk in it every single day.￼
Your word brings faith to my heart and gives me the ability to trust you. Speak to me through each Holy Spirit-inspired page of the Bible.
I understand your word is life to me. I don’t live by food or bread, but I live by every word that comes out of your mouth. Sear your word into my mind and into my spirit, Lord.
Empower me to become a doer of your word and not just a hearer of it.￼￼￼￼￼￼
￼ I determined to meditate on the word in every aspect of my life. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen and so be it.”
I hope you’ll try my ideas to make the Bible fresh again. But, whatever you do, don’t stop reading your Bible. Find your own words word speak to the Father. He will help you, guide you and direct you in His powerful words.