Bible reading/study and prayer go hand in hand. Where you find a believer genuinely devoted to one, you’ll find the same genuinely devoted to the other. Bible reading/study feeds prayer and prayer feeds Bible reading/study. The Word moves us to pray. Prayer points us back to the Word. In the Word, God is speaking to us. In prayer, we speak to God. You seldom have one without the other.
Think about how prayer is central to Bible reading/study. Before we read we ask God to speak to us. As we read God reveals His character and promises to us, He sheds light on our sin or encourages our faith, so that when we finish reading, there’s always something to pray about – praising God or seeking God’s grace. In other words, before, during, and after our time in the Word, we should be in a mind of prayer, asking God to help us see and apply the treasures within.
On the other hand, the Bible is central to prayer. The Bible informs our prayers. It teaches us how to think about God, approach God, it aligns our will with God’s, it directs us to pray according to truth – “in my name.” We need to know the Word to know how to pray, what to pray, when to pray, and even further, how to guard our prayers.
Take John 14:14 as an example. When we read in the Bible Jesus’ promise that if we ask Him anything in His name, He will do it – the powerful promise motivates us to pray and at the same time instructs us how to pray (in His name). If you’re having trouble praying, read the Scripture. If you’re having trouble being consistent in Bible reading, pray about it. Soon you’ll find yourself engaged in both – it’s a package deal!