All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.2 Timothy 3:16-17 NRSV
Teaching. Showing of faults. Correcting of errors. Training in Right Living.
In order to be prepared for the work ahead is the goal.
Just as reading, writing and arithmetic prepare us to be productive citizens, scripture is our preparedness document for life: Both this life and the one to come.
But did you notice that for scripture to fulfill the promises above there must be one thing they have in common? Belonging to God. Which means faith in Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit that does the work through the scripture. Without the Spirit the scripture is simply words on a page of an old book that can be confusing. Only with the Spirit’s help do the words given come alive.
That’s why prayer is a non-negotiable part of studying scripture.
“I do not believe in theologians who do not pray” said the Catholic activist Carlo Carretto. The Apostle Paul would agree. Study and prayer cannot be separated if we hope to be prepared.