Praying the Scripture
Madame Jean Guyon, who lived in France almost 400 years ago, has some answers to this important question. She was a giant of faith who gave her life over to teaching ordinary people how to experience the living presence of the Lord. Her teachings show us how to find Him in the deeper levels of our hearts through a particular way of reading the Bible that she calls “Praying the Scripture.”
Madame Guyon said that there is a kind of reading of the Scripture that is for learning and study, but that is not the same as praying the Scripture. Praying the Scripture bypasses the mind in order to open our hearts to the Lord’s presence.
In Praying the Scripture, we are seeking to encounter the Lord in what we are reading. This is possible because the Messiah was the Word made flesh. When we pray the Scripture, the words themselves become our focal point of attention. Our goal is to rest quietly in the presence of the holy words, allowing the Scriptures to reveal the Lord to us.
Here is a summary of how to begin: ‘First, turn to the Bible and choose a simple and practical passage. It does not have to be a long passage; a short one will do.
Next, imagine that you are coming into the presence of the Lord. Come quietly and humbly. There, before Him, read a small part of the passage you have chosen.
Be careful as you read, and go slowly. Gently, carefully take in what you are reading. Do not try to understand the main point with your mind, but instead, taste it and experience it as you read. Let the words themselves be present within you, giving off their essence.
Read the small part repeatedly. Close your eyes and say it to yourself many times, until you feel your heart sensing the words. Let go of your mind and understanding, and seek to let your whole being experience the words. Plunge into the very depths of the words until revelation, like a sweet aroma, breaks upon you. Humbly and with thanksgiving, accept what He reveals to you.
Do not seek to move quickly through the passage. Only when you sense that you have extracted the fullness of the words, move on to the next small part of the passage. In this way, you will take everything from the passage as the Lord reveals it to you.
As you follow this course, little by little you will begin to experience a very rich prayer that flows from your inward being.’
This summary was taken from the book, “Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ” edited by Gene Edwards. There are other translations of Madame Guyon’s writings, but Gene Edwards does the best job in bringing her teachings to life.
Linda Josef is a Christian psychologist who is working on a book about supernatural healing with Messianic Vision. The book should be available in the next few months. If you have a story of healing that you would like to share, or wish to ask questions or make comments, you can write to Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org.