How to pray for Oral Bible Storytelling

Storytelling appeals to people of all generations, societies and literate abilities. It is an ancient discipline and art form. In oral communities knowledge is passed on about land boundaries, tribal and clan norms and life in general from one generation to the next through storytelling. It builds relationships and community. A good storyteller can keep an audience captivated for many hours.

The Bible is full of stories. Much of the Bible was told as memorised stories passed down through generations long before it was written down. Over the years, a variety of approaches have been developed by Bible storytellers to convey the Bible stories. The Oral Bible Storytelling (OBS) approach was developed specifically to:

  • Help language communities make the most of their storytelling traditions, and to learn and tell Bible stories.
  • Give a means for language communities without the Bible to engage with the scriptures in their own language. Sometimes this leads to people desiring to read the scriptures for themselves.
  • Include a method of checking the storytelling performance for accuracy, naturalness and clarity.

Language communities engaged in the OBS approach are discovering its impact in their lives. The storytellers also find that the process of internalising the stories creates a hunger to dig deeper into the Scriptures. Their lives are being transformed.

  • One person said, “Listening to the Bible story is like the cool mountain breeze penetrating and touching our hearts.”
  • One woman said after hearing a Bible story, “Bibles are heavy to carry around, but to learn the Bible stories and commit them to memory makes God’s Word light and comes from your heart. You can go anywhere with it.”

Pray:

  • that Oral Bible storytellers will learn the Bible stories well and tell them in their vernaculars with accuracy, naturalness and clarity.
  • for increased capacity–for more Oral Bible storytellers and consultants to check the Bible stories. Pray for more OBS trainers to reach out to language communities still waiting for the scriptures in their languages.
  • for God’s Spirit to stir the interest of people through the OBS approach and that they will hunger and thirst for the scriptures. Pray that their hunger for the scriptures will draw them to use the vernacular scriptures that are already available to them in written form.
  • that by using the OBS approach, language communities and individuals will hunger deeply for the Word of God, search the scriptures like the people of Berea did in Acts 17:10-12, and allow them to bring transformation to their lives and communities.

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