40 Days of Prayer 2024: Day 18

Today, we are on Day 18, and we continue our time on the practice of Scripture.

(You can catch up on Day 1, Day 2 , Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, and Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 15, Day 17 if you missed them)

As we’ve been moving through this challenge focusing on practices of Jesus, we see how they overlap. Prayer saturates all our actions and moments. Fasting redirects our hunger and orients our hearts toward God. Sabbath requires we place work in its proper place and gives us a taste of His Kingdom. While we focus on each one, we can see how they synergistically work together, helping us grow in relationship and forming us in Christ. 

Understanding the teachings in the Bible does not depend on our education, intellect, or skill. It is wholly dependent on our sensitivity to God’s Spirit. Understanding God’s word requires God’s Spirit. (1 Cor 2:10-12)

When we meet with God on the pages of scripture, we are invited to experience Him and know Him more. It always amazes me how, in the same worship service, some will be encountering God in a powerful, tangible way, and others will be semi-bored waiting to be able to sit again after their long week. We can do the exact same actions and have wholly different experiences. The same is true in reading scripture. We can read the same passage and come away with different interpretations and applications. We can read the same passage, and one of us might leave confused or disheartened, while the other comes away refreshed and transformed.  It depends on how and with Whom we read it. 

We can read for knowledge, we can read for status or ego or justification, and we may come away with what we are seeking. But when we approach scripture with a humble heart, our hineni on our lips, ready and willing to hear and do everything the Lord wants to tell us, we will be transformed in the experience of Him. 

There is a time and place for different types of readings of scripture, light devotional, in-depth word study, etc. Over the years, I’ve done several Bible-in-90-days readings, where we fly quickly along the highway of scripture. It’s amazing the connections we can make by seeing all of God’s word together in just three months. But for me, the most transformational practice in God’s word has been slowly reading and rereading passages, washing my heart in the words the Spirit highlights for me, and spending time with Him in them.  

And so, the practice we’ll focus on this week, as we read scripture, is to slow down and feast on each passage, reading with God’s word with God’s Spirit and allowing God’s word to read us.

Lord, open your word to us today. Reveal to us hidden treasures and let the seeds fall on fertile soil in our hearts. Open our eyes and our hearts to your word and make us even more sensitive to your work in our lives.

An excellent place to practice this is Psalm 27.

Note: if in your heart the Lord brings to mind another passage, always go where He is leading you. You can read that passage along as we read this one.

Read Psalm 27 slowly once altogether. Note or underline any words the Spirit highlights for you. Have a notebook with you to write down anything that comes to mind as you read. What does the Lord have for you today in this passage?

Psalm 27

A psalm of David.

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
    so why should I tremble?
When evil people come to devour me,
    when my enemies and foes attack me,
    they will stumble and fall.
Though a mighty army surrounds me,
    my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked,
    I will remain confident.

The one thing I ask of the Lord
    the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
    delighting in the Lord’s perfections
    and meditating in his Temple.
For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
    he will hide me in his sanctuary.
    He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
Then I will hold my head high
    above my enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
    singing and praising the Lord with music.

Hear me as I pray, O Lord.
    Be merciful and answer me!
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
    And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
Do not turn your back on me.
    Do not reject your servant in anger.
    You have always been my helper.
Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me,
    O God of my salvation!
10 Even if my father and mother abandon me,
    the Lord will hold me close.

11 Teach me how to live, O Lord.
    Lead me along the right path,
    for my enemies are waiting for me.
12 Do not let me fall into their hands.
    For they accuse me of things I’ve never done;
    with every breath they threaten me with violence.
13 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
    while I am here in the land of the living.

14 Wait patiently for the Lord.
    Be brave and courageous.
    Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.


Look at the words or phrases the Holy Spirit highlighted on our first read-through. As David said in verse 14, wait patiently for the Lord. Sit in His presence, with your heart open to His promptings. Write down anything that comes to mind.

Now, we read it again, slowly. Continue to ask God to speak to you through His word. You can pause on the words God is highlighting for you, and write down any promptings the Lord brings to your heart.

Read it once more, and continue, being still, in His presence. Wait patiently for Him, feast on these words. What is God saying to you today? Is there encouragement in the passage? Is there a prompting to adjust anything in your heart or in your life? Write down anything you sense the Lord is saying, and write down the parts that He highlighted for you.

Father, you say to us, come and talk with me. And our hearts reply we are coming! We ask for your Spirit to be evident to each person reading this. Help us quiet our minds and souls to hear you. Reveal your heart for us in this passage and give us the courage to adjust ourselves to your promptings. In your presence is fullness of joy and you are our light and our salvation. In the name of Jesus we pray together, amen.

♥ Samantha