Sacred Reading

Overview of the Practice of Sacred Reading

The practice of Sacred Reading is one of the most common Spiritual Disciplines. You might hear something like this called Devotional Reading, or Bible Reading, or having a Quiet Time. all these terms get at the same thing — reading Scripture and allowing God’s word to really soak into you. It’s very similar to Bible Study, except in Sacred Reading, you are reading Scripture not primarily to search for facts, but to hear from God. Sacred Reading not only involves reading the Bible, but also involves keeping up a conversation with God in prayer.

What Scripture says

Incorporate this practice into your life

You can incorporate Sacred Reading into your normal daily routine, as an interlude between times of more in-depth Bible study, or at special times with your small group or Running Partner. When reading the Bible devotionally, your focus in not necessarily on what concepts you can learn, what Bible characters you can better discover, nor what facts you can pick up — it is on listening to what God is saying through His word and responding to it.

Sacred reading is perhaps a less involved approach than some of the study methods you’re familiar with. You won’t need a highlighter or reference books — just a Bible and a quiet space. As you read Scripture, think of it, and pray about it, you are given an opportunity to hear God in a different way than you normally experience in your hectic life. Reading this way isn’t always easy; it requires you really to settle yourself before God and re-focus yourself when your mind wanders.

There are different approaches to Sacred Reading, but all generally involve picking a short passage of Scripture (the Psalms are a great place to start), and reading and praying about it.

How does this practice relate to what I’m facing?

  • Sacred Reading when you feel despair:
    • If you are feeling despair or hopelessness, try a Sacred Reading practice with these passages: Psalm 23, Psalm 37.
  • Sacred Reading when you feel tempted:
    • Here are some possible passages to use in Sacred Reading, when facing temptation: Proverbs 1:10-17 or Psalm 73. Choose a passage and approach it with a Sacred Reading practice.

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