What is more Important: Bible Study or Prayer?

According to Donald Whitney in Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, “No Spiritual Discipline is more important than the intake of God’s Word.”

Put in context of his writing, Whitney asserts that reading the Bible is the most important spiritual discipline for Christians.  I have some other ideas–namely, that prayer is the most important discipline.  Its important to read about God in the Bible and to learn from God’s Word, but is that more important than talking to God directly?

What do you think?

Comment below!



Published by Joe LaGuardia

I am a pastor and author in Vero Beach, Florida, and write on issues related to spirituality, faith, politics, and culture.

7 thoughts on “What is more Important: Bible Study or Prayer?

  1. I believe both are essential in a Christian’s spiritual growth and health. That being said, what God has to say to us is more important than anything we could say to Him. Many verses of scripture can be examples, but David had this to say:
    “For Thou hast magnified Thy Word above all Thy name” (Psa. 138:2).
    Our prayers are as fraught with failure as we are, but the Word of God is infallible, immutable and eternal. We can fall for one of Satan’s “devices” of feeling quite spiritual about our prayer life, when in fact, we are like the talkative person to whom one listens and listens, occasionally nodding his head, but receiving little or no opportunity to “get a word in edgewise.” They do all the talking, but give little time listening to what God has to say to them.

  2. I’m afraid the above comment fails to understand the full meaning and experience to real prayer. Prayer is not just one person speaking to God; but two person; both God and the one praying and it is in listening to God in prayer that is the ultimate praying. You have many, in fact millions, of Christians in the world (China or other places where it is against the law to even own a Bible) where folk without Bibles have learned the primacy of prayer. Prayer is direct contact with God. I am not discounting the vital importance of Bible study; but if I had my choice of prayer or the Bible; I’d choose prayer and would most likely be praying that God would add His blessings by providing me a Bible to further enhance my fellowship with Him.

  3. As someone who has read the whole Bible, prayer is key. It is the most important. It is direct fellowship with God. However, there are different types of prayer. Prayer in the flesh and prayer in the Holy Ghost. When you pray in the flesh, it tends to be quite selfish (Ex. “God do this for me. God do that for me.”) and you can’t seem to pray for more than fifteen minutes (Trust me, I’ve been there). However, when you pray in the Holy Ghost (tongues) your Spirit is praying directly to God – who is spirit – and through that connection, you become much more intimate with God. You will enter into his direct presence, you will hear Him more often, and His will for your life will be prayed through your lips through praying in tongues. If you have not received this gift of tongues – repent and be baptized in THE NAME OF JESUS and will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38). Reading the Bible without spending time praying in the Spirit is what cause people to interpret the Bible in their own way and not God’s way. I suggest you pray in tongues for at least an hour a day, more would be better. Hallejuah! Praise Jesus! Amen AMEN!! God bless.

  4. Praying and Reading the Word are equally important. To exalt one above the other would be like saying Inhaling is more important than Exhaling. Try doing one without the other!! We must do both to survive spiritually. Prayer is talking to God; Reading the Word is God talking to us. I pray with the Bible open before me and while praying, I look for God’s response in His Word.

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