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Prayer partners, Bible studies can ‘prop up’ prayer life

by Sharon K. Perkins 

I was raised a Catholic and, like many Catholic homes in the 1960s, we had a family Bible — the huge coffee-table size, with the red cover, gold- edged pages and photos of the popes and cardinals in the front.

It was not very portable, and I think we only read from it at Christmas- time. Fortunately for me, we also owned a children’s illustrated Bible, through which my imagination became absorbed with all the colorful stories of salvation history.

It wasn’t until I met friends in high school who read the Bible regularly that I discovered what I had been missing. The words on the page came alive as the Holy Spirit helped me find comfort, insight and direction through the text — and the more I read, the more I encountered Jesus, the living Word.

After more than 30 years of reading, studying and praying with the Bible, I still discover treasures in the words of Scripture. Even so, I admit that I’m not as persistent or consistent as I could be.

When I find prayer wearisome or my devotional life drying up, I, like Moses in Sunday’s first reading, require some help and support.

That’s when a good prayer partner, spiritual director or Bible study group “props up” the arms of my resolve so that I can again turn to the Scriptures and become “equipped for every good work.”

By allowing the inspired truths, promises and even challenges of the Bible to permeate my prayer, I am also better able to “proclaim the word” to others.

These days, I own several different versions of the Bible, and all of them are quite a bit smaller and more portable than that coffee-table volume from my childhood. The most portable version, however, is the one that I carry around in my head and my heart, ever reminding me to be faithful to what I have learned and believed.

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The Leaven

The Leaven is the official newspaper for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.

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