Year 1: Through the New Testament
1. To encourage regular reading, reflecting, responding and journaling of the Scriptures.
2. To understand how God speaks to and leads His people.
3. To learn to listen to the voice of God and record daily what He is saying.
4. To deepen trust and faith in God.
5. To learn the events, miracles, and teachings of Jesus Christ.
6. To learn how the early church developed
7. To understand the New Testament’s teachings for churches, Christians and Christian leaders
Throughout Church history mature believers practiced a method of Scripture reading that is unique. They began by slowing down, finding a quiet place, taking deep breaths and reading each verse of a passage slowly. This slow reading method allowed them to listen to the text and focus on what they were reading. They allowed the message to flow into their mind and heart, reflecting on its meaning to their lives. Applying what they discovered in their reading lead directly into a time of prayer, letting the biblical reality lead into an attitude of gratitude, confession, or asking. The focus on this prayerful reading of Scripture would lead to obeying the Scripture, turning away from their wrong lifestyle and into the way God would have for them.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”
Prayerful Reading Can be Accomplished
SCRIPTURE — Select a passage of Scripture from your daily reading.
OBSERVE — Observe in the text a word or phrase that sticks out, glimmers, or you notice quickly.
APPLY — Read that word or phrase several times, thinking about its meaning to you. Ask yourself, “How can you use it in your life?” “If I did what it is saying what would be different in my life?” “What should I change?” “What should I be glad about and rejoice with?”
PRAY — Pray what you have discovered, learned, observed or applied to your life back to God. Express your gratitude to Him. Be honest, He can handle your emotions and feelings.
You might find it helpful to read, reflect, respond and journal your thoughts each day. It will be easier for you to recall what God said, or what you learned during the week, if you have it written down. If you do journal your thoughts, be sure to bring your journal with your next group meeting.