Did you ever notice that the most commonly correct answer in Sunday school is “Pray and read your Bible”? I first picked up on this in second grade.
“How can we obey God?” the teacher would ask.
Hands would shoot up. But as soon as the first person answered, “Pray and read your Bible,” the hands lowered.
“What does Jesus want us to do?” the teacher would ask.
Again, hands all over the room.
And again, first person who answered got it correct—“Pray and read your Bible.”
This answer began to seem so routine to me that I remember trying to come up with a more creative one—usually something along the lines of “Be nice to your brothers and sisters” or “Go to church.”
A few years later, I began to think that even those answers were becoming annoyingly predictable. How could the answer to every question be the same? Was there nothing more to the Christian life than “pray and read your Bible?”
But then, I started praying and reading my Bible differently—in earnest, with a heart hungry for God. And I made a thrilling discovery—there is lots more to the Christian life than Bible reading. There’s a personal relationship with an incredible God who made me unique and meets my individual, one-of-a-kind needs.
“Pray and read your Bible” is not a boring, one-size-fits-all answer. It is the foundational habit that allows me to develop an intimate relationship with my infinite God. It is through this daily practice that I discover who He is. I learn His plans for my life, and even for my day. I have the opportunity to explore the depths of His love and catch a glimpse of the greatness of His glory. I learn how to personalize and apply His truth to my life. I get answers to questions, strength for trials, and help for the nitty-gritty issues of daily living.
Over the years, I’ve discovered that there are lots more questions than my second grade Sunday school teacher ever asked. But I’ve never found one that God couldn’t answer. And how do I discover these answers? Pray and read my Bible.
I know that sounds routine, maybe even empty. But perhaps that’s because you are not doing it. Really, prayer and Bible reading are the gateway to a lifetime adventure of a deepening relationship with an infinite God.
Do you need a spark in your Christian walk? Are you feeling constrained or bored with just going through the motions? May I suggest an answer that is always correct?
Pray and read your Bible.