John Wesley, pioneering Methodist preacher and leader, penned the words “read and pray daily; it is for your life” to one of his co-laborers in the movement whose spiritual vitality was waning. Wesley was speaking to the pivotal role of personal reading, study, and reflection upon Scripture of course along with personal prayer. This blog provides a plan to work systematically through the entire Bible over 3 years, a chapter a day. There will be a link or links next to the Scripture chapter (VIDEO) to a page where videos from THE BIBLE PROJECT that help us put the Bible in context and hear its central message will be posted.
Additionally, one’s prayer life is encouraged through the regular praying through the Psalms (a Psalm, or in some instances a portion of a longer Psalm, a day). Christians throughout the centuries can testify to the way the Psalms can provide “wings” in our prayer life. This can be done either by prayerful reading, singing a “metrical” version of the Psalm (see the “Sing” hyperlinks), or both. A person is encouraged to make the “Lord’s Prayer” their daily companion, both through prayerful repetition and as a framework for our own thoughts and words. Included are prayers from the Book of Common Prayer (which, as an Anglican, Wesley knew and used) along with excerpts from Wesley’s Sermons and Notes on the Bible (see “For Reflection”). Other material will be included to offer additional resources for Christian spiritual formation.
Finally, persons are invited to affirm daily “The Jesus Creed.” This is Scot McKnight’s name for Jesus’ central teaching on the love of God and neighbor found in Mark 12:29-31. This is a fitting reminder of the goal of one’s prayerful seeking of God through reading and prayer, one which Wesley himself constantly stated: to experience the grace of God which leads one into a true and growing knowledge and love of God and love of neighbor. Hence, the alteration: not simply read and pray daily, but read, pray, love…daily. For Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross DAILY and FOLLOW ME” (Luke 9:23).