Help with prayer and bible study(21 Posts)
Hi, I have recently started to go to church with my fiancé, as we have two children together and we want them growing up with strong faith. My fiancé is from Nigeria, and is Pentecostal Christian, he is very spiritual and prays a lot.
I've always had a big interest but my family aren't religious so I never attended church. So I'm unsure of how to study the bible or pray correctly. My fiancé keeps trying to advise me but I get embarrassed because I don't understand sometimes and he gets frustrated. I would love some advise on these things. If someone could help me I would really appreciate it.
I want to be able to become more spiritual so I can eventually guide my sons too (they are 16months and 6 weeks old atm). TIA xxxx
I would ask somebody from the church to advise you. If it is a very big church there will be people looking after young families, if it is a small church the pastor or pastor's wife will have experience in advising young Christians. They will know best what fits in to the thinking of the church.
As far as praying is concerned, practise spending quiet time with God. A useful guide often given to children to help them in prayer time is the acronym :
A - adoration - tell God what you like about him
C - confession - raise any bad behaviour or lack of good behaviour
T - thanks - what you want to show gratitude for
S - supplication - prayer requests, what you want to ask God (for)
It's basic, but it will get you going.
If your church doesn't have small group Bible Study sessions, there's an online resource called Bible in One Year. Each day there's a theme, 3 Bible passages related to the theme and commentaries on each.
I would highly recommend "search the scriptures" which is a three year read through the whole bible. It is a bit less reading in each go (obviously!) which makes it more manageable. Lots of New Testament to start with as well which is less hard going (mainly) and the questions about each passage are really good.
Is there someone at your church you could meet with to study the bible together, either one one one or in a group? I always find it really encouraging, either because someone else has the answer when I don't or because it reassures me that the bible is difficult to understand and I'm not a bad Christian for not getting it.
There are lots of lovely ideas on the Faith in Homes site - ideas for praying with your children, ideas for sharing the Bible with them. I think DutchOma's idea of asking at church is also a great one.
Have you thought about doing an online Bible study? You can join a group and ask questions there. I'd recommend Hello Mornings, search online for it - they have another study about to start.
Thank you all for you're help and advice. I will be trying all books and apps you have suggested. I would really rather try and get some knowledge on my own until I get confidence go ask someone at church to help me. I'm so shy and I don't like looking silly, so that puts me off asking for help in person. I know that sounds stupid. XxX
DDoesn't sound stupid at all Bee. See how far you can get on your own, but keep your eyes (and ears) open for someone at church who is reaching out to you. People are kind and may be trying to help you. Real life help is always better than t'internet. But of course there is help on this and other threads.
My partner proved this sunday why I can't ask him for help and guidance with this...the pastor asked everyone what we discussed last weekend in Sunday school, and I couldn't think of the word I needed, and my partner asked me the same thing in a whisper, and then the pastors wife answered "meditation", and I said "yeah that's it" and my partner huffed like I had forgotten. But I didn't forget, I just couldn't reach the word. I feel like he doesn't believe it in me at all and seems to think that I should know everything about prayer and the bible already. I've only been going 4 weeks feel so lost with this xxx
He seems to expect a lot of you Bee. Do remember that being a Christian has nothing to do with being 'clever' in prayer or Bible reading. It is about having a relationship with the Person Who created the universe and yet has time to care for you and love you. Nobody should make you feel that you are somehow 'lacking' in anything. God loves you the way you are. Try to remember that Jesus died for you so that you could have a relationship with God. He had to die for your fiancé as well, because, even though you think he is 'very religious' he is no better than you are as he is also a sinner in need of forgiveness. For God there is no 'little sin' or 'big sin' all sin is abhorrent to Him. Try to think about how much Jesus loves you, how much He cares for us all and be happy.
I feel like he does expect a lot really. I don't know what to say to him to make him see that it's all new and will take time. And like you say even though he's been brought up within the faith, he's still learning and making mistakes. I just feel a lot of pressure, and in my life anyway I always have a fear of making an idiot of myself so praying aloud or even saying "amen" and "hallelujah" aloud makes me feel awkward.
I will try and approach the pastors wife for advice. I honestly don't know where to start.
Is there anything in the bible I should start with when reading it?? My partner says I don't need to start right from the beginning, like a book, so I'm just wondering where to begin. XxX
Is there any way you can get some Bible reading notes? CWR do one specially for women. They give you a Bible reading a small explanation and how you can apply that bit of the Bible to your own life and a prayer at the end. They come out every two months.
If you want to read a bit of the Bible it is a good idea to start with Mark's gospel. Have you got the YouVersion Bible app on your computer? That gives you the advantage that you can read several versions of the same text. Some read more easily than others. The Good News Bible is very easy to read. What version of the Bible does your fiancé read? He is right that you don't have to start at the beginning, although the first book in the Bible (Genesis) is full of lovely stories. Maybe after that read the book that comes after the gospels, (Acts of the Apostles). Let us know how you get on.
Ask the Bible Geek: Fascinating Answers to Intriguing Questions by Mark Hart
Know Your Bible: All 66 Books Explained and Applied by Paul Kent
Are two great, 'easy' reads that really make the Bible fun, interesting, and easy to grasp. I tend to give these as gifts to the teens I sponsor (Confirmation).
OP if it's of any comfort at all, I was Baptised at birth, I go to church every Sunday, I have raised my children with a strong faith, I've got all the t-shirts and I struggle! Goodness, I still get nervous when I take Communion! I don't dare touch the wine in case I dribble or choke. I don't know what it is... perhaps it's the formality of it all but indeed, faith can be intimidating at times. I think there are moments when even the most devout believer feels they're winging it a bit. But it doesn't have to be an intimidating process in the least.
Another lovely book for mothers is one called The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian (she's written loads of books on praying and I find them quite lovely and very current).
All of these books are available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback form.
The pastor's wife is a great person to approach OP.
In your heart of hearts, you will find your own voice and your own path.
Thank you so much for your advice. I will try and get the books and take a look at the websites you have both recommended. I really hope I can get to grips with all this and make some headway.
I'm really glad I posted this query and got great advice from you. I really appreciate it. I would love to be able to keep you in mind for any other questions I have. If that's ok?? XxX
Any time Bee. No question is stupid. We are all born totally ignorant and will stay that way unless we ask questions. I very much hope that you will stay in touch so we can give you all the encouragement you need.
I will for sure stay in touch. I will let you know how Sunday goes and if I manage to get any further forward xxx
Very interesting articles on prayer www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/wp20151001/#?insight[search_id]=8221e5f0-b689-4d0f-8f66-b6376b047fb7&insight[search_result_index]=8
As you have a small baby can I recommend two books that really helped my faith at that point. They are very easy to read and relevant to your stage in life and will really develop your faith.
Soul food for mums www.amazon.co.uk/Soul-Food-Mums-Lucinda-France-Williams/dp/184474521X
Barefoot in the kitchen
Good luck and don't let your husband put you off asking for help we all have to start somewhere and it doesn't sound like he is helping.
Thank you so much for your book suggestions. I will have a look and order some. I like the look of the one for new mums xxx
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