Book Summary – VERBAL BEAN ~ PRAYER (Part 1)

Verbal Bean ~ Prayer

Verbal Bean ~ Prayer

I read this book for the first time many years ago.  In fact, this was one of the first books that I read after I got in church in New Orleans, LA.  There are few books on prayer that have impacted my soul as much as this book.  The only other writer than comes close is E.M. Bounds but I still find the lessons in this book to be more practical.  A few years ago I was asked to give a series of lectures on prayer and I used this book as my text.  I developed two lessons using the concepts and material found in this book.  As a little background, this book was not written by Verbal Bean but was a transcription of lessons taught by Verbal Bean to a class of ministers.  I highly recommend this book to any aspiring minister.  In fact, I have read this book completely through on multiple occasions.  With the introduction over, on with the summary.

Current & Memorial Prayers

When we think of the different types of prayer it’s best if we find a common way to describe the differences. The best example that I know of is how we use credit. Some credit cards require that the balance be made in full every month. When I was in the Marine Corps I had a government Credit Card with a $10,000 limit on it. That sounds like a lot but I couldn’t carry a balance over from month to month. I had to pay it in full every month. There were times that I would spend close to the limit each month but as soon as I got a reimbursement from the government I had to pay that bill in full. Another example of this would be a power or a water bill. You can’t carry a balance over from month to month with these bills. If they are not “paid in full” then you are going to have problems.

Current Prayers

There are some prayers that we pray when God does do an instant work. To see scripture about current prayers lets take a look at James 5: 14-15 “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” This is a current prayer and God can chose to answer or to not answer this prayer. I have prayed many times for things only once and God answered.

Notice the verse before the ones I just quoted. James 5:13 “Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray.” We want the affliction to move overnight but if it doesn’t then keep praying that prayer not as a current prayer but recognize that you may be praying a memorial prayer.

Memorial Prayers

Most of the prayers we pray are not current prayers but memorial prayers. It’s like buying a car or a house. I pay a certain amount every month on my mortgage but they still haven’t sent me a piece of paper saying, “paid in full”. But if I keep paying my note over the next 20 years one day I’ll get that “paid in full” note from the mortgage company. To relate this to prayer, a lot of times we have to pray for something over a period of time before the answer comes. I do believe God can answer a prayer the first time we pray it but don’t get discouraged if God doesn’t.

Let’s look at this in the Scripture. In Acts 10 Cornelius prayed this type of prayer. The Bible says of him that “thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God” (Acts 10:4) He was a Gentile praying a prayer that many would say could never be answered. But, he keep praying, he kept giving alms, he didn’t stop. Finally God realized that this guy isn’t going to stop. Cornelius had made so many payments that God had to do something. The payments just kept coming and coming. I’m not sure long he prayed but what I do know was that his prayer was not answered with just one prayer. It was a memorial prayer.

I’ve seen this work in churches. There is a lady in our home church who has been praying for her family for a long long time. For years, she has been making payments. Her mom wouldn’t come to church because of some habits that she had.   In fact she had a 42 year smoking habit. But during a revival last year God finally said, sister, you’ve made enough payments. When you pay something off there is a great feeling that goes along with it. On a Tue night revival service this dear saint’s mother came to church and received the Holy Ghost. You know what, she’s still coming to church. What if this saint would have quit praying for her momma after the first year? She realized that her prayer was a memorial prayer and finally she made the last payment. Since then, her nephew and his wife along with his family have come and prayed through. Her brother and his wife have come and prayed through. Don’t get discouraged when you don’t see the results you desire at first but keep on praying. Keep on making payments.

Channels of Approach

I exhort therefore, that first of all supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;” (1 Timothy 2:1)

These are the four channels of approach. To illustrate what a channel is think about how a CB radio or a walkie-talkie works. There are many channels that are “on line” but for two parties to communicate with each other they have to be on the same channel. God works the same way. The channels of approach in pray are various ways that God will communicate with us. To use the CB radio example, if God is on channel 13 then don’t you turn to channel 9 and expect to get the results tat you want. When and if we learn to approach God the way that he desires we will see the results that we want. I know if can be frustrating to pray and not see anything happen. It’s frustrating whether you are a new convert or a seasoned saint. The point of this class is to offer us some key insights into prayer so that we can see results in our prayer life.

Prayer

This lesson is about prayer and as it is, prayer is one of the channels of approach. The simplest definition of prayer is “Talking to God”. It is you talking to God.   The earth does not have to shake, you do not have to be talking in tongues, there does not have to be tears flowing. Just talking. You may not feel anything but God is hearing you. I’m like most everyone else in that I like to get in the prayer room and shout and make noise and scream Hallelujah. But, more and more I’ll sit on the altar bench at our church and simply talk. I use a conversational tone much like I’m talking to a friend. I may close my eyes and sometimes I even imagine Jesus sitting there beside me like a good friend and listening to me.

Some people think they are not praying unless they feel vibrations and that’s simply not true. Just plain prayer, like what I just described, is one of the channels of approach that God has. What I don’t want you to do it to become so comfortable with this type of prayer that you never seek going any deeper. I think that we should always start with prayer and open ourselves up to the other channels of supplication and intercession. We should desire to intercede but if those channels don’t open then we first need to make sure our spirit it right. If we have repented and nothing is hindering us spiritually and those the other channels still do not open then be content with just prayer. Talk to Jesus like one friend talking to another. Have confidence that God is hearing you. One thing to note about this type of prayer is that it takes faith to pray like this but God will just as readily answer a prayer prayed like this as He would a prayer that was prayed when to Holy Ghost is moving in a Church service.

Supplication

This is the next step after prayer. It’s a little more intense than praying. When we pray and begin to feel some emotions supplication is usually where we are. Supplication is usually what takes place in most prayer rooms before service. There is a Spirit of supplication that comes and it makes praying easier. Many times I can go from prayer (which I talked about previously) to supplication in a matter minutes. Most Christian will get to supplication and mistakenly believer that it is the climax of prayer and never make an attempt to go beyond supplication to the next level. I’m not going to spend much time here because I think that most people are familiar with this type of praying although you may not have called it supplication. Once here we should make an earnest effort to enter into intercession.

Intercession

This is the deepest prayer. It’s where we should want to go and I’m going to spend considerable time talking about this subject. Some people will never make the effort to go here because of the intensity that it requires. I can pray and I can enter into supplication without much trouble or effort but if you enter into intercession it takes physical strength. After being in intercessory prayer my body literally feels like I have been doing manual labor. That is the intensity that this type of praying requires. Intercessory prayer is what brings revival. I was in a great revival one time with 200 people receiving the Holy Ghost but during every service there were intercessors in the prayer room praying while the preacher was preaching. A spirit of intercession can fall on someone at any given time. Recently, I was preaching in a church and I was preaching about revival. There was a lot of excitement like what you’d expect in a Pentecostal church. As the altar call drew near you could see that the service was about to explode but I as I was ending the sermon God stepped in and I felt led of the Holy Ghost to speak for just a moment on revival praying. A Spirit of Intercession fell in that service and many of the people in that church found a place to pray with some of them laying down prostrate on the group seeking and praying for Revival. Prayer went on 2 or 3 times longer than the actual sermon. There was deep intercession there that night. Now there were people never got from their pew and prayed. They stayed but they didn’t participate in the prayer because this type of prayer was foreign to them. They were not use to responding to God when he called for intercession. I’ve been preaching at that church for a few weeks now and last night we had a huge breakthrough. We’ve seen people receive the Holy Ghost and that night I witnessed a young lady that was that had been coming finally broke at the altar call. I’ve been watching her for weeks and she showed no sign of making an attempt at living for God but last night she had her hands raised and tears were flowing. Why and how did that happen? I believe it was a result of that intercession that took place last week.

Something we need to understand about intercession is that intercession is usually a particular prayer for a particular need. Intercession usually produces quicker results that other types of prayers because intercession is NOT praying for what You want to pray for but intercession is praying for what GOD wants you to pray for.

Intercession is allowing your soul to be directed in prayer. To be an intercessor is to be available to be used of God at a moment’s notice. Intercessors are people that are known as being men or women of prayer.

Let’s look at what the Bible teaches concerning intercession. Romans 8:26 “We know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Paul also wrote, 1 Corinthians 14:15 “I will pray with the spirit.” Paul writes about intercessory prayer making reference that when we enter this type of prayer we are usually praying in tongues. If we were praying in our native language then we would know what we are praying for, but a lot of times this type of prayer will cause us to pray in tongues and many times you may not know who or what you are praying for. Paul did also say that “I will pray with the understanding also”. Like the example of the church I gave earlier, the intercessory prayer was for a specific cause and the cause was that of revival. But unbeknown to anyone praying there that night I have to believe that someone’s Spirit was making intercession for that young family that came to the altar.

Psalm 65:4 “Blessed is the man whom thou chooses, and causest to approach unto thee.” We cannot choose to be intercessors. We can have the desire but ultimately God chooses us. Now, I do believe that if you are available then God will choose you to be an intercessor. I don’t want you leaving here saying that I can’t do intercessory prayer because God didn’t choose me for it. If God didn’t choose you then it’d be a good idea to examine yourself and your availability toward God. To be used in this way is to be completely surrendered to God, and here is the key, AT ALL TIMES. You can be carnal on the job and expect God to just say “alright, I need you to intercede tonight”.   The Bible speaks somewhere about God going into a village but there was no faith there so he departed and went to another village. It’s the same way with intercessors. If you aren’t available then He’ll find someone that is.

To intercede is to travail. It doesn’t come easy. It is not with cost or without emotion. Intercession is emotional. If you are too big to humble yourself to week then you’ll not be used in intercession. Throughout the Bible people that God used were people that knew how to weep. Intercession is so intense it will cause our hearts to feel such despair and hunger that it will melt. Jeremiah 9:1 “Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people.” Isaiah 22:4 “I will weep bitterly, labour not to comfort me, because of the spoiling of the daughter of my people.” Mary stayed at the feet of Jesus long enough until she had cried enough tears to wash both of his feet.

I really want to stress this point. Joel said, “Let the priest, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar” (Joel 2:17). I know it says ministers here but it applies to leaders in the church. The Psalmist said, “The Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping” (Psalm 6:8). Not only did the psalmist weep, but Jeremiah wept, Paul wept, Nehemiah wept. Jesus wept! Weeping goes hand in hand with intercession. If there isn’t enough compassion in you to weep then you’ll never be able to be used in intercession. Intercession requires humbleness and brokenness.

Thanksgiving

Well, there is one more channel that God uses. This channel seems out of place among the others. But thanksgiving is something that God desires. There are times when prayer falls flat just two inches out of your mouth. Supplication doesn’t happen and intercession isn’t there. There are times that God will only receive thanksgiving. We feel like we need to be praying, we feel like we should be on our face but none of that works. Those are time when we should try thanksgiving. We have this misconception that every time we pray we have to be asking God for something. When is the last time we have come to prayer and not made a request? There are times we need to come to prayer, not with request, but with praise. One of the fastest ways to get into God’s presence is to praise Him. When we are feeling weak we need to remember, “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

Review of The Four Channels

I’m writing this so that you can better understand what is happening when you pray. You need to know what channel you are in when you pray. Are you at channel one (which is prayer) or are you entering into channel two (supplication)? The object is to search and by that I meant to try and find what channel God is on. If you want results you have to get on the same channel as God. It may be prayer, it may be supplication, it may be intercession, or it may just be thanksgiving. Whatever it is, get on that channel and touch God.

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Schuyler Quentel NASB

Schuyler Quentel ESV in Firebrick Red

Schuyler Quentel ESV in Firebrick Red

FullSizeRender 10This is another Bible that falls into the “premium” category.  Schuyler Bibles are relatively new to the world of high-end Bibles but they have found a niche and they seem to be thriving in it.  A few years back they set out to improve their already seller line of Schuyler Bibles by creating what they call the Schuyler Quentel series.  They started by using the NASB translation first.  They did a few things to make these Bibles exceptional. First they used premium goatskin leather covers.  Next, they used paper that is must thicker than what is traditionally used in Bible publishing.  This makes for a thick Bible but there is almost zero bleed through.  FullSizeRender 11They also did something neat by adding color to every page.  The top and bottom of each page has red coloring and each chapter number is also colored in red.  The effect is fantastic and makes for an enjoyable reading experience.  You can click HERE to read the thoughts from the designer on what went into creating this Bible.  Besides the KJV and ESV, the NASB is the third translation I use when studying the Scriptures.  In early 2015 Schuyler is suppose to release the ESV version of this Bible.  After that I believe the KJV will be next.  If I didn’t already own premium Bibles in these translations I would strongly consider the Schuyler Quentel series.

R.L. Allan Limited Edition ESV

ESV 150th  Commemorative Edition

ESV 150th Commemorative Edition

FullSizeRender 8R.L. Allan have offered several “Limited Edition” Bibles over the past few years.  For R.L. Allan’s 150 anniversary they created two commemorative editions.  They published a Longprimer KVJ and the ESV New Classic Readers edition as part of their anniversary.  Each translation was limited to 150 copies that were numbered.  The Bibles were bound in a unique natural grain antique mahogany goatskin leather.  While the leather is not as flexible as highland goatskin, the leather is still very soft and has a marbled look.  Overall, I’m very happy with this purchase and am still on the lookout for the KJV counterpart.  I primarily use this Bible when I’m studying and want to cross reference  KJV passage with the ESV version.  IMG_3922The font is very easy to read and makes for a perfect reading Bible. I’m still a little old fashioned in that I prefer to look Scriptures up when I’m studying and I typically juggle three translations (KJV, ESV, & NASB)

R. L. Allan KJV Bibles

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From Bottom to Top: Longprimers in Black and Blue, Brevier Clarendon in Brown, and Ruby in Black.

Previously, I reviewed one of the R.L. Allan ESV Bibles and now I want to take a look at some of the KJV offerings.  I currently have five Allan KJV Bibles and each one fills a unique gap.  You may ask, do you use all of these?  The answer is “no”.  But, I do use most of them.  My first Allan KJV was the Longprimer.

Open Longprimer

Open Longprimer

You may be like me when I started looking at these Bibles and not know what the Longprimer is but I’m here to help.  The Longprimer is a version of the KJV Bible published by Oxford University Press.  It’s a reference Bible and the ones bound by Allan that I have are bound in Highland Goatskin.  They consists of a very supple cover that offers maximum flexibility.

Bible Yoga

Bible Yoga

I liked the Longprimers so much that I purchased a second one in Blue Highland Goatskin.

Black and Blue Longprimers

Black and Blue Longprimers

Now I must admit that this second Blue Longprimer is one that I rarely use.  I use the Black version as my KJV reading Bible but the Blue one just hasn’t found a place yet.  I really purchased it because it is unique and no longer in production.  This is probably one of the last Blue KJV Longprimers with Red under Gold gilt pages that R.L. Allan produced.

R.L. Allan Ruby Edition

R.L. Allan Ruby Edition

The R.L. Allan Ruby edition is Bible that gets a lot of use.  This is the Bible that I carry with me when I go to conferences and special services.  I like this Bible because it is very small and will fit into my wife’s purse.  It’s a great little travel Bible and is made out of the same Highland Goatskin that is used on it’s bigger brothers.

R.L. Allan Wide Margin

R.L. Allan Wide Margin

Page out of a Wide Margin

Page out of a Wide Margin

The most recent R.L. Allan Bible that I have purchased is the Oxford Clarendon Wide Margin in Black Calfskin.  I’ve recently been using this Bible as my main preaching Bible and I have started putting my notes into this Bible.  Since I am evangelizing it makes it easier to have my notes on the pages than to worry about carrying around a separate folder of preaching notes.  This way, as longs I have my Bible then I have my notes with me.  I’ve also been trying to not rely on notes as much for my preaching so this method also really limits the amount of notes that I can use on a message.

R. L. Allan ESV1

photo 2I really don’t know where to start with R.L. Allan and Sons Bibles.  I guess I should start by saying that these are the absolute finest Bibles available on the planet.  R.L. Allan and Sons have been producing quality Bible Bindings since 1863.  The interior text blocks are identical to other publishers but the R.L. Allan adds a leather binding that is absolutely stunning.  Let me warn you here that for the sake of your wallet to be very careful before you venture into the world of quality Bibles.  I’ve seen men that would try to negotiate on prices at LOWES drop $200 on one of these Bibles before.  There really is absolutely no other publisher that can compare to the quality and feel of one of these Bibles.  Their top of the line Bibles are bound in what is called Highland Goatskin.  photo 4I’m not sure how long ago it was now that I discovered R.L. Allan Bibles.  That discovery came from me searching for a leather bound copy of a Cruden’s Concordance which R.L. Allan produces.  From there I found many beautiful editions produced by R.L. Allan.  photo 3This Bible is very flexible and opens completely flat at any Scripture (including Genesis 1:1).  The Bible, like all of R.L. Allan Bibles feature Art Gilt page edges.  This means that the page edges are gold gilded but then appear to be covered in red dye.  Depending on the way you look at the page edges they can appear either red or gold.  The quality and craftsmanship that goes into these Bibles far exceed anything that can be purchased at your Christian Book Store.  I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that this Bible (along with my other R.L. Allan Bibles) will last me my entire life. photo 5The Bible shown here is the English Standard Version (ESV1) in Tan Highland Goatskin.  For quite a while now this Bible has been my daily reader.  I plan to do a post very soon about why I like the ESV Bible but for now I’ll simply say that the ESV is a very good literal translation that is easy to read.  I will say one thing about this text that may be a little different.  R.L. Allan is located in Glasgow, which is the largest city in Scotland.  For this reason R.L. Allan uses the Anglicized text of the ESV which means that some of the words use British English spellings instead of the more common American spellings that we (Americans) are use to.  With that said I have had zero issues with the differences.  In fact, you may read through the entire Bible and not even notice them.  So there you have it.  The R.L. Allan and Sons ESV1.  I promise that there will be other R.L. Allan Bibles reviewed soon! photo

This is what will happen if you delve into the world of R.L. Allen Bibles.  There will also be another edition that you just have to have.  The ESV1 reviewed above is pictured 2nd from the bottom.  These others editions will be reviewed shortly.

Nelson Signature Series in Calfskin

photo 1 I moved in Pineville, LA in March of 2007.  I was privileged to work under the ministry of Pastor J. T. Merritt for the next five years.  When I moved to Pineville, I noticed the Bible that Pastor Merritt preached from.  I had never seen anything like that before.  It was a black slimline Bible with the softest cover I have ever felt.  I had to have one. The problem was that a lot of people felt the same way and they were hard to find and often out of stock. Eventually, I did find a place that had them in stock and quickly purchased this Bible.  It was the first “expensive” Bible that I ever purchased and it listed for $129.  photo 2I think I paid slightly less than that for mine.  Since that time this Bible has become one of my favorites.  I don’t read from it often but since settling and being stationary I do preach from it quite a bit.  It has such a great feel when it’s in my hands.  Unfortunately these are now out of print and can only be purchased as used or as “new old stock”.  The prices are extremely high.  When Nelson was producing these they made three versions of the KJV.  The slimline that I have is black, and a pocket edition which I have is  also black.  As soon as these were going out of stock, I ended up buying one of  the last pocket editions made.  photo 8I bought it for my wife to carry to church.  It’s a good deal smaller than mine and the text is super tiny.  However, having to watch a one and two year old is not conducive to carrying it, so she has since ceased to carry it for fear the kids may tear it up.  She will use it again once they are older.  Nelson also made a version in brown calfskin.  I’ve actually seen several of these and passed them by while waiting to purchase a black one. photo 3 If I could go back I would purchase the brown one as well as they also are no longer in print and impossible to find.  I haven’t even seen a used one on eBay in many years.  Another thing that I really like about my black version is that calfskin grain really shows through.  I’ve handled a dozen or so of these Bible and they are all different.  In addition to Pastor Merritt, many of my friends have them and each one is unique.

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This shows the flexibility of the calfskin cover.  I read that someone else refers to this as “Bible Yoga”.

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The Bible can lay flat at Genesis 1:1  Try that with your bonded leather Bible.

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Here is the other thing I really like about this Bible.  I also have an iPad case from Vaja Leather that matches this Bible almost perfectly.  Vaja Leather makes the absolute best cases in the world for iPhones, iPads, ect…  Be warned, if you buy direct they are expensive, but you can usually purchase them on eBay for cheaper or at U.S. retailers.

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This is typically what I carry to the pulpit when I preach.  My Nelson Bible on top of my iPad.

Bible Study Marking Kit

photo 13Okay, every serious student of the Bible needs a way to take notes on the Scriptures.  I know that we are not to add to the Scriptures (actually the Bible says this in Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 30:6; Revelation 22:19).  In reality the Bible is talking about changing the Word of God into something that it isn’t.  Not preaching the whole Word, or preaching things that are not in the Word is wrong on many different levels.  But the Scriptures are not saying that we can’t write in our Bibles.  However, if you have a conviction about writing in your Bible then please skip this post.  For me, I like to have notes in the pages of my Bibles.  To do this effectively takes the right tools.  Grabbing a Sharpie and going to town in your Bible would not be a good idea.  In fact just grabbing an ink pen could be a bad idea.  Most Bible are printed with a lightweight offset paper with a thickness of 25-40 g/m squared. But enough technical talk.  What that means for you and I is that the paper is so thin that there is a high probability that if you write on one side you will get what is called “bleed through” on the other side.  photo 14While it is impossible to completely do away with bleed through there are some steps you can take to minimize the effects of writing in your Bible.  For me I have have a Bible marking kit that I use.  I keep everything in a little box near my desk so when I study I have everythingI need close by.  Within the box I have several different items that I use when marking in my Bibles.  The first thing I discovered is that highlighters are terrible to mark passages with.  They almost always bleed through the pages.  Even the “dry highlighters” you can purchase at Bible book stores bleed through on some level.  When I first got into Bible study I had a gentleman give me some of the best advice I’ve ever had.  He suggested that I use color pencils when doing my highlighting.  Yes, it’s more time consuming but it makes a much nicer looking final product than messy highlighters.  So, in my Bible marking kit you will see a pack of colored pencils.  photo 10Each color usually represents something different, and I typically make a legend in the front of my Bibles.  Since I’ve been doing this a while I’ve adopted a system that I use all the time, so I even keep a legend in my Bible Marking Kit on an index card.  In my kit I also keep a Dictionary because I hate have misspelled words in my margin notes and I realize that I’m not the greatest speller in the world.  I also keep a ruler for when I need to underline something or when I box scriptures in for highlighting.  I also realize that as easy as it looks making a straight line is difficult.  Especially when writing in your Bible because often times you cannot plant your hand on a firm surface while you write.  The final items that I use are Pigma Micron Pens.  These can be purchased at craft stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby, but the best price is for the ones I have are at Amazon.  These pens use acid-free archival ink.  photo 15What this means for you and me is that bleed through on thin paper is kept at a minimum.  These pens do come in a variety of tip sizes and I like the 005 (0.20mm) and 01 (0.25mm) sizes the best.  I’ve found that these have the least amount of bleed through.  With a black pen, which I use a lot, I have found that you have to have the 005 size.  The last thing you need to go along with your Bible Marking Kit is a good deal of patience.  If you are going to go through all the trouble of spending time marking in your Bible then I’ll warn you that this takes a lot of time.  One question I get a lot is “how do I study?” and “what do I write in my Bible?”  Well, these are tough to answer, but I’ll start by asking, “what stands out to you?”  If something stands out then mark it and write down why it stands out.  You can also write down questions in your margins.  If you find the answers to the questions then go back and write those down as well.  All of that is for another post.  I do plan on taking some time in the future and writing about How to Study the Bible.  This is something I’ve taught at the college level and to ministers in the local church.  There is a very systematic approach that I take to studying.  It’s very inductive and very time consuming, but it is well worth the effort it takes to learn the Word of God.  Until then, maybe the above suggestions will keep you busy.

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This is an example of what highlighting with color pencils looks like.

photo 2Here are some annotations made for John Chapter 1 using the Micron pens.

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The two above images show two annotations made on the same page.  One is made on each side.  With the Micron pens bleed through is minimal so that you can write annotations on the opposite page with little to no problems.