Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hearing, Praying, and Speaking the Word

In listening to an old lecture recently by J. I. Packer, he made the comment that it was not until after the 17th century (as far as he could tell) that people started doing silent prayers and reading as opposed to praying and reading out loud.

For most evangelicals, silence represents the vast majority of our reading and praying. But I wonder if that's to our detriment. One of the great enemies to Bible reading and praying is a wandering mind--and one of the great ways to make your mind wander is to do everything in your mind without involving your voice and ears!

With regard to reading the Word, one thing I've found helpful is to hear and read the audio at the same time. For example, in the ESV you can go to Psalm 1. Notice that next to the chapter reference there's a little button where you can listen (for free) to Max McLean read whatever portion of Scripture you've selected.

Here's something else to consider: the entire Bible on audio is usually about 75 hours (or 4500 minutes). If you commute to work 5 days a week, that's about 260 days a year. And if it takes you, say, 17 minutes to commute each way to work--and if you listen to the Bible on audio during your drive each way--you'll get through the entire Bible twice in a year. That's a good start on Psalm 1:2.