THE PRAYER OF SUBMISSION
“Hold your hands in these specific positions / postures to mirror your intention to live these vows out today.
Firstly, hands up.
“I choose to hold up my hands as a symbol of surrender.
My life is not about me, I surrender to your Lordship.
I surrender my preferences, prejudices and position to you.
My fears, finances, friends and family to you.
Second, Hands out
“I choose to hold out my hands as a symbol of generosity. What I have is not mine.
I am only a steward of all that you have given me.
I want to mirror the way the you have opened your hand to us and lavished your love and life upon us.
I want to live an open handed life in a closed fist culture.
And thirdly, hands forward.
“I choose to hold my hands forward as a symbol of mission.
I want to live for something greater than me.
I want to embrace your kingdom mission.
I want to embrace and welcome your mission to the lost, last, least and lonely - the poor, powerless, privileged and persecuted.”
THE PRAYER OF EXAMEN
Look back on your day with the Holy Spirit. The day may seem confusing to you. Ask God to help you understand it and how to learn from it.
Review the day with gratitude. Look for the good in the day, how God was present to you through people, places, and things. Pay attention to the small things because God is in the details.
Pay attention to your emotions. What were your feelings today? Happiness? Sadness? Boredom? Anger? Confidence? Frustration? What is God saying to you through these feelings?
Choose one feature of the day and pray from it. Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you to something during the day that God thinks is particularly important. Look at it. Pray about it.
Look toward tomorrow. Ask God to give you light for tomorrow’s challenges. Seek God’s guidance, help, and understanding. Pray for hope.
4 TOOLS FOR INTERPRETATION
1. Learn The Context
Pay attention to the original context into which the God-inspired writer is speaking. A good principle of Biblical interpretation is, “The Bible can never mean what is never meant.” Our goal is to find out what the author was communicating to the original audience, and then apply it to our lives and culture. A Bible commentary can be helpful in this undertaking, or a good Study Bible.
2. Let The Rest of the Bible Help you Read Parts of the Bible
Another general principle for reading the Bible is, “Allow scripture to interpret Scripture”. For example, Ecclesiastes 9:7 says, “Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favours what you do.” Read by itself this text could be used to promote drunkenness. This is where scripture helps interpret scripture. In Ephesians 5:19, the apostle Paul writes, “Do not get drunk on wine (or beer or hard liquor), which leads to debauchery. Instead, by filled with the Spirit.” Ecclesiastes 9:7 should, therefore, be understood to encourage the believer to enjoy God’s good creation, which includes wine (Psalm 104), but not abuse it. The rest of the Bible teaches that alcohol should be consumed in moderation at an appropriate age if conscience permits (Ecclesiastes 9:7, Psalm 104:15, Romans 13:1, Romans 14)
3. Look for Jesus in the Text
Jesus claims on multiple occasions that the entire Bible is about him (Luke 24:27, John 5:39-40,46-47). Even the Old Testament is pointing towards Jesus. Jesus is our high priest, our sacrifice for sins, and the temple in which the presence of God fully dwells. Whenever we read of sacrifices, the priesthood, or the temple in the Old testament, our hearts and minds should be drawn towards Jesus.
4. Enter Into The Story
If you are reading a story in the Bible, use your imagination and seek to place yourself in the narrative. How would you feel if you were in a similar situation? Can you identify with any of the characters and the emotions they may be experiencing? Does the story speak to anything you have experienced in the past, or are experiencing in the present?
S.O.A.P. is a helpful format for reading your Bible and journaling your thoughts and prayers. Each letter represents a section to write in your journal. Use this method as you read your Bible each day, even if you only have time to make 1 or 2 observations.
S - SCRIPTURE
Take time to physically write out the scripture you’re reading. You’ll be amazed at what God will reveal to you just by taking the time to slow down and actually write out what you’re reading.
O - OBSERVATION
What do you see in the verses that you’re reading? Who is the audience? Is there any repetition of words? What words or phrases stand out to you? Take some time to write out any interesting observations you may have while reading.( )
A - Application
This is when God’s word gets personal. What is God saying to you through this scripture? How can you apply what you just read to your own personal life? What changes do you need to make? Are there any actions you need to take?
P - Prayer
Once you’ve completed the other sections, take time to pray about anything God may have revealed to you through the text.