The Holy Fathers recommend serious preparation before reading and studying the Bible; but of what does this preparation consist?
First of all in prayer. Pray to the Lord to illuminate your mind–so that you may understand the words of the Bible–and to fill your heart with His grace–so that you may feel the truth and life of those words.
Be aware that these are God’s words, which He is speaking and saying to you personally. Prayer, together with the other virtues found in the Gospel, is the best preparation a person can have for understanding the Bible.
How should we read the Bible? Prayerfully and reverently, for in each word there is another drop of eternal truth, and all the words together make up the boundless ocean of the Eternal Truth.
The Bible is not a book but life; because its words are “spirit and life” (John 6:63). Therefore its words can be comprehended if we study them with the spirit of its spirit, and with the life of its life.
It is a book that must be read with life–by putting it into practice. One should first live it, and then understand it.
Here the words of the Saviour apply: “Whoever is willing to do it–will understand that this teaching is from God” (John 7:17). Do it, so that you may understand it. This is the fundamental rule of Orthodox exegesis. (How to Read the Bible and Why)