Every once in a while you stumble across something that is simultaneously simple and extremely impactful; something that alters the way you do things beyond what you would ever expect. 

Several years ago I had just such an occurrence. I had recently started a new Bible reading plan which had me reading through each book of the New Testament 5 times in a row while also reading 5 chapters each day. This provided me with an excellent opportunity to dive deep into the New Testament and grasp the structure of each book. However, it also meant that I was reading each book for several days, or weeks, in a row. By the time I was on my 4th or 5th reading of a book, I began to feel like I had made any immediate observations as well as been confronted by the mirror that is Scripture. 

It was after one of these read-throughs of a book that I began to do something else. I had recently finished reading Donald Whitney’s book Praying The Bible and so I decided to apply the practice he commends to my reading. I began to pray what I was reading. 

But I didn’t simply pray what I read, I also began to compile these observations since I find it helpful to write things down as I read as it helps keep my mind focused. 

As I continued this practice I began to wonder if these observations would also be helpful to others. I have often found devotionals with prayer prompts to be extremely beneficial, yet these are often short-lived. Maybe you’ve read a 30 or 40-day devotional with prompts in the past but you likely do not repeat them month after month—I know I don’t. But I suspect it is highly likely that you return to your Bible day after day with a commitment to reading it, even if it is just a few verses or a chapter. When it comes to my personal devotional habits, there is nothing I am more committed to than my daily Bible reading. Devotionals come and go but Scripture is the one constant. 

If we are committed to reading the Bible every day and committed to praying every day, what would it look like to have something that helps us marry the two?

So I began to consider what it would be like to compile these prompts to help others pray based on their Bible reading. If we are committed to reading the Bible every day and committed to praying every day, what would it look like to have something that helps us marry the two? 

It was that idea that brought about this recent effort, Prayer Sparks: The Gospel of Mark. It is a simple concept, to pray in light of what you read in your Bible, but the book seeks to help you in that process. It is not a how-to book on praying Scripture, Praying The Bible is excellent for that. Rather Prayer Sparks provides you with prompts to pray based on your readings, in a similar way to how a study Bible gives you notes to help you study. It has the one simple goal of “sparking” you to more prayer.

If you would like to give it a try you can download a PDF preview below of the first two chapters of the Gospel of Mark, otherwise the full version can be found on Amazon in digital and physical formats. This one simple acted has helped me to pray more. After you try it, and I hope you do, I believe that you will have found that it has sparked you to pray more. If it helps you to do just that I have succeeded in my endeavor because that is the entire goal.

When God Works Before Your Very Eyes

Gateway student Natalie Hernandez reflects on following the leading of the Holy Spirit during a recent Beyond Trip to Southeast Asia.

Natalie Hernandez
Gateway Student
Natalie Hernandez is a current MDiv student at Gateway, and has served in various volunteer roles at her church, Cosecha, in Riverside, CA, over the past 10 years.

Choosing Worship This Christmas

Gateway alum Kelly Womack finds what prepares her heart for the Christmas season the most, is the music.

Kelly Womack
Trustee at Gateway Seminary
Kelly Womack lives in Fort Smith, Arkansas with her husband and sons. She earned a MDiv from Gateway Seminary in 2003.

Missional Living is Obedient Living

Missional living begins with faith and obedience. The call to follow Jesus gives every believer the privilege of participating in the Great Commission.

Rebecca Lee
Cross-Cultural Worker
Rebecca earned her MAIS at Gateway Seminary in 2021. She has been preparing to move overseas and will begin cross-cultural work with the IMB.