Question: I’ve heard that reading the Bible and/or other inspirational material every day is the key to spiritual progress. I try to do that, but sometimes it doesn’t hold my interest and my mind wanders. Am I missing something?
Answer: You can’t just sit down and start reading and expect to fully understand what you read, or for it to have the desired effect. Jesus said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”1 The Spirit of God is what brings the Word to life and makes it more than ink on a page. The key is getting your spirit in tune with His.
One of the best ways to do that is to start your times of reading and reflection with prayer. There are many short, powerful prayers in the Bible about the Word. One classic is “Open my eyes to see wonderful things in your Word.”2 Ask God to clear your mind and heart so He can fill them with His thoughts and truths.
Another good way to start is with praise, recounting and thanking God for His goodness. “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.”3 Sing it, say it, read it (the Psalms are full of praises to God), or meditate on the words of a devotional song—whatever you find works best for you to put your mind and spirit in a receptive, reflective mood to receive whatever God has for you that day.