Which is more important Scripture or prayer?

“Never thought I’d have to choose.”

You don’t, of course, but there comes a time when the issue is raised.

“Tell me about it.”

Well, for one thing, prayer is man talking to God, while Scripture is God talking to man.

“Oh, I think I see what you mean—what we have to say can’t be as important as what He has to say.”

Good thinking. Only, don’t forget, what makes our prayer important is that God deigns to pay attention to it. Miserable as it is, and needing the Spirit to shape it properly for us, our prayer becomes important because of the One Who listens.

“I can see that too.”

Now listen to Proverbs 28:9:

If one turns aside his ear from the hearing of the law, even his prayer is detestable.

Now what do you think of that?

“God’s saying, ‘If you won’t listen to Me, don’t expect Me to listen to you”

Correct. Only there’s more to it. It’s not just a quid pro quo, so little of this, then so little of that. God calls this kind of prayer not merely something he won’t hear—it is “detestable” to Him. He uses the strongest word for a combination of anger and loathing that He could have used in Hebrew.

“Right. I can see that too.”

But there’s still more. You can’t make up for a lack of Bible study by “piously” praying all of the time. A lot of the monks had that all wrong.

And, there are Bible-believing Protestants who have it wrong too. Prayer can never be a substitute for Bible study. How could it be when one is ignoring what God has to say while spouting off himself?

“Wow! I never thought of such a thing. I guess I ought to make more time for Bible study, then.”

Are you going to?

“I’ll pray about it.”


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