Our attention spans have become so splintered that prayer, and the Word of God for many, have become go-to things almost only in cases of emergency. When the heat is turned up, only then is the Bible opened or prayer to God turned to as a means to provide hope, relief, or help.
We sell God, His promises, resources, and our relationship with Him FAR too short! He is not honored as such. This can be changed, but let's consider a few things first.
Let's consider two things: Prayer and the Bible (the Word of God)
R.A. Torrey speaks about insincere (untruthful) prayer. "Psalm 145:18 throws a great deal of light on the question of how to pray: 'The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.'"
Our short attention spans can easily lead us to offering a quick burst of prayer in a moment; one that may not be truthful at its core. We would do well to pause, consider what we're truly thinking about asking God in prayer, and then proceed in asking only after considering if what we're asking is being done so "in truth."
How to Properly Study God's Word
Torrey outlines four things that make for effective study of the Bible as the Word of God.
1. "The unquestioning acceptance of its teachings when they are understood, even when they may appear unreasonable or impossible. Reason demands that we submit our judgment to the statements of infinite wisdom. Nothing is more irrational than rationalism. It makes finite wisdom the test of infinite wisdom and submits the teachings of God's omniscience to the approval of man's judgment. Conceit says, 'This cannot be true, even though God says it, for it does not approve itself to my reason.' 'O man, who are you to reply against God?' (Romans 9:20)."
"Real human wisdom, when it finds infinite wisdom, bows before it and says, 'Speak what You will and I will believe.' When we have once become convinced that the Bible is God's Word, its teachings must be the end of all controversy and discussion. A 'Thus says the Lord' will settle every question. Yet many who profess to believe the Bible is the Word of God will shake their heads and say, 'Yes, but I think so and so,' or 'Doctor--- or Professor--- or our church doesn't teach it that way.' There is little advantage to that sort of study."
2. Absolute reliance on all its promises in all their length and breadth. "The person who studies the the Bible as the Word of God will not discount any one of its promises one iota. A student who studies the Bible as the Word of God will say, 'God who cannot lie has promised,' and he will not try to make God a liar by trying to make one of His promises mean less than it says. (See 1 John 5:10) The one who studies the Bible as the Word of God will be on the lookout for promises. As soon as he finds one, he should seek to discover what it means and then place his entire trust on its full meaning."
"This is one of the secrets of profitable Bible study. Hunt for promises and appropriate them as fast as you find them by meeting the conditions and risking all upon them. This is the way to make all the fullness of God's blessings your own. This is the key to all the treasures of God's grace. Happy is the one who has learned to study the Bible as God's Word and is ready to claim for himself every new promise as it appears and to risk everything on it."
3. Prompt obedience to its every precept. "Obedience may seem hard or impossible; but God has commanded it, and you have nothing to do but to obey and leave the results to God. To get results from your Bible study, resolve that from this time on, you will claim every clear promise and obey every plain command. When the meaning of promises and commands is not yet clear, try to discern their meaning immediately."
4. Study in God's presence. "When you read a verse of Scripture, hear the voice of the living God speaking directly to you in these written words. There is new power and attractiveness in the Bible when you have learned to hear a living, present Person- God our Father- talking directly to you in these words."
The short attention spans of modern Christians seek more to honor the clock (how much or little can I pray, cram, or read in the short, allotted time I've set aside for God today?) than dwell deeply in His presence- for as long as He desires us to dwell with Him.
Father, I desire to change- and for You to help spur the changes within me. Renew my appetite for Your Word. Expand my hunger for Your Word, then increase my capacity to read, listen, take to heart, and apply your truth in my life. Help me to prayerfully read Scripture; seeking your Spirit to interpret and illumine all that I read. Thank you for your promise of making all things new. Thank you for including me, my mind, heart, soul, and all my being within that promise (and so much more beyond me as well)! I praise You. You are worthy. In Jesus' name, Amen.