RAP: The Simplest Way to Pray with Scripture

The simplest way – or at least one of the simplest ways – to pray with Scripture is by using the acronym “RAP” – Read, Apply, Pray.

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If we want to hear God in our prayer, the first step is reading well.

“Read as if it is your 1st time, last time, and only time.”

Read with wonder, with care, with attention.

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“Apply” is a way to describe meditation.

“Meditation is a prayerful quest engaging thought, imagination, emotion, and desire” (CCC 2723).

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Pray is the time when we start to talk through our questions, puzzlement, wonder, fear, complaints, and happiness regarding the things we discover on the sacred page. Grounded on the full teaching of the Church, pray is a time to wrestle with God in prayer (see Gn 32:24-32).

“Apply the text wholly to yourself; apply yourself wholly to the text.” – Johannes Bengel, 1687-1752

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Here’s an example that I used for a passage from Philippians 4:4, in which I give a brief example of how I tried to “apply” what I read and then “pray” with it.

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