God is talking to you, are you listening?
The art of slow reading.
Our God is self-revealing and desires a relationship with us. In the Bible we read:
“The word is very near you, it is in your mouth and in your heart.” (Deut 30:14)
“God’s word is given to guide and light our way.” (Ps 119:105)
God’s Word is given as the chief means to knowing God. It is alive and active, so we can expect that reading the Bible will change us: it has power to transform us emotionally, spiritually and relationally.
As we allow the Word of God to ‘read us,’ it will affect the way we live. This is the experience of scripture illuminating our lives and bringing new insight. We may be convicted of things we did not think were issues. We may see ourselves in the story and realise the extent of our struggle and our need for God’s transformation. We understand ourselves and our lives better as a result of engaging with scripture. By not stopping at reading the Word, but by allowing the Word to read us, we are changed in how we relate to and respond to the Lord, ourselves, each other and the world.
The art of slow reading provides a framework that enables us to read the Bible so that we engage both our head and our heart:
- We bring our whole self into a transformational encounter with the Word.
- We allow Scripture to read us and take root in our lives.
- We aim to be aware of God’s presence with us and focus on being present with God.
- We respond to God through prayer and decision.
The discipline of slow reading aims to help you engage with the Living Word. As you read, reflect, pray and rest in the process, each element of the discipline has value, but there is no need to be rigid in the way you proceed. It may help you to consider a flowing movement, from one element to the other, or back and forth in a natural way as you feel the need.
Above all, do not rush.
How to read slowly.
There are many ways to practice, here is one:
1. PREPARE: Settle yourself in a place that is comfortable and free from distraction. Position your body in an open posture – uncrossed arms and legs, relaxed hands, and ability to breathe deeply. Relax, breathe and pray to be fully attentive to what God has to say.
2. READ: Read the passage slowly as many times as you like, but at least three times. Listen and really hear. Note any words that stand out to you or capture your attention.
3. REFLECT: Allow the passage, a phrase or single word to speak to you. What questions does it raise for you? Notice any emotional responses: fear, joy, resistance, excitement, relief, awe etc.
4. RESPOND: Talk with the Lord about what you have read: your reflections and responses, your thoughts and emotions. Questions like these might follow: What are you saying to me here Lord? Am I willing to allow your word to shape how I live? How is my life touched by this word?
5. REST: Remain in God’s Presence. Soak in God’s love for you. There might be a word or phrase from the reading you recall and hold. This is the place of contemplative prayer.
6. RETURN: Take into your day any insights or commitments you have made. Carry any particular word with you and recall it throughout the day.
Sign up below and for the next seven days, you will receive an email with simple instructions and a short Bible passage that will bring the Bible alive in new ways. Allow God’s living word to take root within your life in a deeper way.
Here’s an outline of the emails you will receive:
Day 1 – What do you want from Jesus?
Day 2 – God’s Speak Over Us
Day 3 – Jesus Doesn’t Condemn You
Day 4 – Jesus Speaks to Our Storms
Day 5 – The True Vine
Day 6 – Transformed by God
Day 7 – Jesus Prays for Us
Emails will be sent at 5.00am each morning .
You will receive the first email (Day 1) as soon as you sign up. We won’t be sending you any other promotional emails and you can unsubcribe at any time.
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