For the next few months, Bro. John O’Malley will be sharing with us from his book, Overcoming Your Devotional Obstacles. We know that everyone can use some encouragement to stay in the Word of God on a daily basis, and we hope these articles will be a blessing to you in your walk with the Lord.
The Obstacle of Application–I do not know how to apply Scripture to my life.
Last month, we began looking at Bible study methods to aid you in overcoming the Obstacle of Application. To review the EXAMINE method, click here. This month, we will look at two more methods to help overcome this obstacle: the PRAY method and the Your Best Devotions Ever method.
Like the EXAMINE Bible study method, the PRAY Bible study method is an acrostic. This Bible study method is simple to complete. It places focus on a short passage. This method engages both the mind and heart to find the application of a passage as you examine what is there. I developed this method to help me. I hope it helps you.
Choose one short passage or a specific verse in which you want to discover its application. I find it difficult to do very many verses. I like to find the paragraph beginning and ending and narrow it down to the verse which I would like to discover its application.
P – Pray. I know it seems obvious to say, but pray!
- Ask the Author of the greatest Book of all time to help you discover what He has for you.
- Ask Him for wisdom to understand what is preserved for you in His Word.
- Ask Him for knowledge to learn what He placed in His Word for you.
- Ask Him for His power to discern what He inspired men to write.
- Ask Him for His lesson for you from this passage.
R – Read the passage or verse.
- Read silently five times.
- Read deliberately and pause at every punctuation mark.
- Read the passage or verse aloud at least once.
- Read it to hear it. If you prefer, use an audio Bible to listen to that verse being read.
A – Ask yourself these questions:
- Who: Who is doing the speaking? Or to whom is the verse addressed?
- What: What precept, principle, promise, or practice is being expressed?
- When: When is the action in this verse to be taken? Is there a condition or context mentioned?
- Where: Are there places mentioned? Make note of what else happened in the same place in Scripture.
- Why: Why did the subject of the passage or verse need to hear the message delivered? Why do you need to know what is here?
- How: If this was the only thing you ever read in the Bible, how would you change your life because of its message?
Y – Yield yourself to Him.
- Are you submitted to obey His Word? All of it? Every word of it?
- Are you sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s conviction in this passage?
- How does this passage call you to draw closer to Him because you read it?
Lastly, you may find the Your Best Devotions Ever Bible Study Method helpful.
Your Best Devotions Ever Bible study method uses five prompts to help you have the Best Devotions Ever. While the title is ambitious, once you do it a few times, you will see how helpful it is. I began using this method when I was a very young. My father gave me the essence of it. I have modified it over the last forty years. I gave the method a name, but at its core, it is unchanged.
You can use index cards or an index card app. You also could add notes to your digital Bible app or your digital journal app. I encourage you to review the index card at least four times in twenty-four hours. Save your cards as you will enjoy them for years to come.
5 Steps to Your Best Devotions Ever
- Write a simple, deep, or catchy title for this passage.
- What is the best phrase or verse that supports your choice for a title?
- What verse challenges you the most?
- Write out a one-sentence prayer that requests God’s help for the above challenge.
- What can you do today that will show you have applied this passage to your life?
While I can show you steps to take and methods to follow, you will need to develop your own set of skills. Do not put too much pressure on yourself. Take your time. If it takes you two days to fill out one of the methods, it is fine. Get a win for yourself by completing one method. Try doing one method for a week. Then try one of the other two methods in this section, which are designed to assist with Bible application, for a week. You will gravitate to one more than another.
My goal is to give you the tools to overcome the Obstacle of Application. When you get stuck, review the three Bible study methods to assist with applying Scripture.
If these thoughts have been an encouragement to you, you can email Bro. O’Malley here to let him know. If you’d like to purchase the entire Overcoming Your Devotional Obstacles book in PDF, Kindle, or iBooks format, click here.