A Prayer for Reading Difficult Bible Passages

A Prayer for Reading Difficult Bible Passages

Reading the Bible can be a deeply emotional experience. It would be hard, for example, not to be deeply moved as we read Jesus’s invitation to come to Him and find rest (Matthew 11:28). And it is comforting to read Psalm 23 and dwell on God being our Shepherd. 


But reading the Bible will inevitably bring us to passages that stir up other emotions. We might come to a genealogy and feel bored. Or we read a passage and get confused, wondering what on earth it means. At times, we might be uncomfortable or even disturbed by what we’re reading. 


Below is a prayer for times when we come across difficult passages. While certain tools like study Bibles and commentaries are helpful for appreciating such passages, this prayer is written to help remind you that these passages are there for a reason, and that since God wants to say something to you through it, investigating it further is worth your time. 

 God can speak to us through difficult passages | TDGC



With the psalmist, I say “How I love your instruction! It is my meditation all day long” (Psalm 119:97). You reveal yourself through Scripture, and the time I have spent in your Word has shown me who You are, instructed me, and comforted me in innumerable ways. 


Lord, You say that all Scripture is inspired by You and is meant to equip me for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16–17). But I am having trouble seeing how this passage is supposed to have that kind of effect on me. It is difficult, and I would rather move quickly past it to easier or more familiar verses.

 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for us | TDGC

But I trust you. God, I trust that even this passage will shape me in some way, that there is something here you want me to see: a command to be obeyed, a promise to be believed, a sin to be confessed, something about Yourself I need to learn or be reminded of.


And so with the psalmist I pray, “Open my eyes so that I may contemplate wondrous things from your instruction” (Psalm 119:18). Help me to see what this passage reveals about You. Help me to come to this passage with a sense of expectancy. Give me patience to not move too quickly past this portion of your Word. And surround me with wise counselors and resources that can help me to discover what is wondrous in these verses. 


Lord, help me to grow in my knowledge of Scripture. But may this increase in knowledge come with an increased love for You. 

May this increase in knowledge come with an increased love for You.


Additional Resources for Studying the Bible:

Five Ways to Study Difficult Passages in Scripture


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