Advice On Reading The Bible And Praying

Q. I can recount the feeling I had after accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior as well as being Baptized. There are even seasons in my life where I feel closer to the Lord than I do at present. I am a fairly new believer, I know peers who read the Bible daily, who pray consistently, and generally are just shining beacons to those around them. I want to be like that but I just do not know how. Do I start some where in the Bible and just begin reading? When I pray, should I be asking something specifically here? I apologize for such questions but I appreciate your time in answering them!

A. I recommend that believers who are new at reading the Bible begin with the Gospel of John. It was written especially for the Church. Take your time and read it carefully without setting any goals for getting through it. Just commit to reading a little each day. If you feel like stopping to think or pray about something you’ve read, do so. This is the Holy Spirit prompting you.

As for learning how to pray, try using the word “ACTS” as an informal guide for your prayer. “A” stands for adoration. Start by telling the Lord how much He means to you. “C” is for confession. Admit that you’re a sinner and seek His forgiveness. “T” is for thanksgiving. Thank Him for saving you and for all the blessings you are receiving. “S” is for supplication. Ask for His help with problems you’re having, or with things you need, or questions you have. You can also pray for others here.

With practice your prayers will become more relaxed, you’ll be praying more often, and you’ll realize you and the Lord are becoming close friends.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:6-7).

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