" With Bibles everywhere, we can lose the sense that Scripture readings are precious words dripped from God's mouth. Jewish rabbis used to put a drop of honey on the holy books held by young Jewish students to remind them of how sweet the word of God is, like honey on our lips. Muslim friends wash their hands before they touch the Koran. There is something to be said for remembering how precious the Story is. As you read the gospel aloud this year (in morning prayer, before a meal), consider standing on your feet and recognizing that this is not just someone reading a newspaper headline or a poem; this is God's word, speaking directly to us. Another practice might be to sing an Alleluia chorus before and after you read aloud a passage of the gospel. (Alleluia is the Latin version of the Greek word allelouia, an expression of praise and joy that, in turn, comes from the Hebrew Hallelujah for "praise the Lord".) Maybe even consider putting a drop of honey on your children's Bible as you read to them."
Common Prayer: A Liturgy For Ordinary Radicals, p. 68
How does your time reading scripture differ from your time reading other literature? I used to go about it very much the same, sitting in the same chair as I read my fiction novels and magazines, opening it up in the very same way and just plodding through, reading every word with interest, but not really recognizing it, in practice, as anything different than anything else I read.
I have personally made it a practice to light incense and or/a candle before reading Scripture. And many times (this is more frequent when my children are not home) I will start off in preparing my heart by practicing 15-20 minutes of meditation. It helps clear my thoughts and open my heart to God. Sometimes, especially if I don't have the time or the privacy for silent meditation I will say the Jesus prayer, " Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.", repeatedly. When I let my mind and heart dwell on these precious words, pregnant with truth, it really helps me open up to the Scriptures with a renewed sense of expectancy and eagerness. Sometimes I'll say the Lord's Prayer or sing a hymn (that's definitely something I do when nobody is around...nobody needs to hear me sing!).
I definitely have found that prayer, meditation, a hymn sung, are all great ways in helping one clear the mind from distractions and start to focus on the truths of God, opening oneself to experiencing God's presence in more and more ways, and opening the gate that leads the heart to more insights and truths in God through the whispers of the Spirit to the soul, an occurrence that is a blessing one receives from reading Scripture. God does not deny the seeking heart, He always answers when we call. But I've found that it is especially helpful to fine tune the ears of my heart to hear those answers, and I've learned to do it through the ways mentioned. Such ways also show a distinction between reading Scripture and reading other non-sacred texts.
Do you have any way that you've made your Scripture time different and unique from the time you read other things? Are there ways that help you define that time as sacred? As a time being alone with God and receiving the spiritual manna all of our souls hunger for? If so...please share!