“I didn’t get anything out of it.”

Sympathetic nods bobbed around the room. No, the topic wasn’t an empty milk carton or a dry sponge. Unfortunately, “it” was the Bible.

The young woman continued passionately, “I know God’s Word is supposed to show me His ways, but reading a book doesn’t seem very personal. God seems so inaccessible. How can words written thousands of years ago apply to my crisis at work or the struggle with my children? I want a way to connect with God and have Him connect with me.

How do I do that?”

Her struggle is real and one shared by many. Indeed, how do we connect our hectic, messy lives with a holy, majestic God? And how do we do so without feeling like it is just “one more thing to do”?

I’ve been grappling with this for years myself – both personally and with young women I mentor. Maybe we are looking at God’s Word from the wrong angle. Let’s take a fresh approach.

Join me in an experiment with His Word. Over the years, I’ve found this exercise helpful to combine prayer and His Word, allowing you to converse with God at the same time that He converses with you.

First, locate an audio version of the Bible on your phone. YouVersion is a great resource for this. Listen to a sample of several versions to decide which one best speaks to you.

Once you have decided upon your preferred version, set aside at least 15 minutes for listening to a selection in the Psalms. You may take a walk as you do this or sit quietly in a comfortable place. In this exercise, we will be taking our cues from Romans 8:26: “For we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” You will be allowing Him to pray through you. He will come up with the words, you will simply agree with Him.

Focus your thoughts on His Word, allowing the God of the Word to wash over you as you listen.

Until you are quite familiar with this method, it’s best not to multitask (drive, sort-laundry, etc…) while you do this. Especially if you haven’t been resonating with the Word in a while, this will work best when you are free of distraction.

Remember Hebrews 4:12 says, “His Word is alive and active,” and Jesus Himself said that “It is the Spirit who gives life” (John 6:63). Since His Word is to be working within you, His Spirit will be the One doing the work. Allow Him to do so by relaxing into listening and agreeing with what you hear. Do not stress when you are distracted briefly, but bring your thoughts back when you notice yourself drifting in focus.  Unless specifically directed by Him, do not take notes, pause the reading, or stop to ponder. Instead, simply allow His Word to shower over you. Listen for the prayers and praises of the Psalmist voices.

Within a few minutes, you may find yourself resonating with a particular verse. Your heart may stir in agreement to a praise or to an outcry against an evil situation. Instead of stopping the audio to pray, simply say something like, “Yes, Father,” or “Praise Your Name!” or “This is so and so’s situation, too!” His Word will guide your thoughts in responsive prayer rather than you thinking of the correct words to use.  In fact, you are transmitting the prayers that He Himself is praying.

Because the Psalms are quite lengthy, you will not be able to finish in one sitting. Consider beginning in a location of the Psalms that most describes your need:

Protection from wickedness — Psalm 1 and following

Deliverance and a need to slow your pace — Psalm 61 and following

Praise and a need for security — Psalm 90 and following

Hunger for His Truth and understanding — Psalm 119 and following

I’m praying for you because the “Lord has set apart the godly one (that’s you!) for Himself. The Lord hears when (you) call to Him” (Psalm 4:3). Aren’t you glad?