Scripture Engagement/ Contemplate Practice Tips
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Contemplate Practice Tips

How to get started doing Contemplate:

  • Choose a place and time that are quiet and uninterrupted. You will need at least 15 minutes to really get the most out of this practice.
  • What passage to use:
    • Some like to meditate on lengthy passages such as a whole chapter or even an entire book. Others choose to reflect on only a few verses.
    • A smaller portion of Scripture obviously gives you a much more in-depth idea of the passage, which is what Contemplate is all about. But a longer passage can be used for a more general understanding of Scripture as a whole.
  • What options can you choose from to decide which Scripture to read?
    • Use a reading plan that lists what to read each day.
    • Work methodically through a book of the Bible. (This is a helpful method because you can keep in mind the author’s intended audience and purpose throughout the book as you read.)
    • Focus on a theme of the Bible (e.g., love, patience, or various attributes of God) that you find using a Keyword Search or in the Contemplate resources.
  • Contemplate is best practiced with passages that you have at least some familiarity with.
    • Contemplate is not intended to introduce you to something new in the Bible; its purpose is to allow you to experience and feed on what you know. There are an infinite number of ways to choose daily Scripture readings. Be creative and use your resources!
    • If you don’t know what Bible passage to read, choose a psalm—a great one to start with is Psalm 23.
  • Particularly the first few times through this process, choose a shorter passage as it will be easier to focus on and draw a main idea from.
  • Remind yourself that you are coming to God’s Word and that to engage the Bible is to engage God.
  • Before you start reading, pray for the Holy Spirit to quiet your mind and bless your time in Scripture.
  • If you get distracted or tired, don’t worry or criticize yourself. Simply bring your mind back to the Bible passage, re-read it, and be grateful for God’s Word.

Next: Contemplate for Small Groups ➤
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© Phil Collins, Ph.D., 2014. This material was created in partnership with the Taylor University Center for Scripture Engagement.