John OrtbergIt is important to be familiar with all of the Bible. In times of study we will need to read broadly and cover a great deal of material. But in reading for transformation we have to go slowly.

Madame Guyon wrote,

If you read quickly, it will benefit you little. You will be like a bee that merely skims the surface of a flower. Instead, in this new way of reading with prayer, you must become as the bee who penetrates into the depths of the flower. You plunge deeply within to remove its deepest nectar.

So immerse yourself in a short passage of Scripture—perhaps a few verses. Read it slowly. Read it the way you would read a love letter at the height of romance. Certain words may stand out to you; allow them to sink into your heart. Ask if perhaps God wants to speak to you through these words. The question that always lies behind such reading is, “God, what do you want to say to mein this moment?”

If you are reading a story in Scripture, you may want to use your imagination to try to recapture the setting and what was happening in the text. What do the arms of the aging father feel like as they wrap around his prodigal son? How do the fish and bread taste that Jesus multiplied to feed the five thousand?
Ortberg, J. (2009). The life you’ve always wanted: spiritual disciplines for ordinary people. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.