By Bo Prosser
Too often we have made the words of the Bible so “high and holy” that we can’t interact with their deeper meanings on a personal level. Praying a passage as if it is your prayer brings a new and deeper appreciation for God’s Word. Inserting your name makes the passage more accessible.
The challenge is to personalize the passage by placing your name in the reading. Try this with the Beatitudes, “Blessed are you, Prosser, when…” Or, try the Great Commandment, “Prosser, you shall love me (God) with all your heart…” When God calls my name in Scripture, I pay attention in a whole new way! How about you?
Choose a passage that is somewhat familiar. For the coming month, use a new passage each week. For example: Psalm 23, Matthew 5:1-10, Jeremiah 29:11-14, Luke 11:9-13. The passage is not as important as the practice. Whatever passage you choose, make sure it can be personalized.
Center yourself, being quiet, settling yourself for prayer. Then read the text intentionally, inserting your name as appropriate. Listen for God’s blessing. Know that God hears your prayers, knows your name and responds to all that you share. If helpful, keep a running list of the praises and requests you lay before God. See how God responds!
Next, pray for one of the names on the prayer list below. Speak their name aloud, insert their name in your prayer even as you have spoken your own name. Interact with God personally and intercede for the person whose name you have chosen. Accept the blessings and lessons God delivers.
Finally, read the passage again and rest in God’s Spirit. Live with confidence that God is hearing and responding. Know that through the reading of Holy Scripture and the love of God, you are known by name as a beloved child of God.
Bo Prosser is CBF Coordinator of Organizational Relationships.