Remember public reading from God’s Word is important. God even told us to do it. As with anything God tells us to do we should do it as skillfully as possible.
Be certain that you know what the passage is about. Understanding Scripture is key to reading it well.
Use the emotion called for in the context. If this is an angry narrative read it with anger in your voice. If the characters are sad and crying certainly that calls for a crying inflection.
You might even try changing your voice for the various speakers within the passage. We are not calling for a full readers theatre, but a change in voice, place on the stage etc. will certainly help the hearers see which character is speaking.
Observe punctuation. Use pauses for emphasis. These simple inflections give life to a reading.
Practice several times before you read in the assembly. A cold reading will lack the impact that a well rehearsed reading will have.
Pray about your role in the worship of God and the edification of the Church.
Here are several passages that will help you stretch your emotions as you read. Have fun. Try doing this as a family assignment or as a Bible class assignment.
John 11:38-44 Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead
John 11:38-44 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. (39) Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” (40) Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” (41) So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. (42) I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” (43) When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” (44) The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
1 Kings 18:41-46 Elijah Prays for Rain
1 Kings 18:41-46 And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of the rushing of rain.” (42) So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel. And he bowed himself down on the earth and put his face between his knees. (43) And he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” And he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go again,” seven times. (44) And at the seventh time he said, “Behold, a little cloud like a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you.'” (45) And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel. (46) And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah, and he gathered up his garment and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.
Exodus 3:1-10 Moses and the Burning Bush
Exodus 3:1-10 Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. (2) And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. (3) And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” (4) When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” (5) Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” (6) And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. (7) Then the LORD said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, (8) and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. (9) And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. (10) Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”
Psalm 121:1-8 My Help Comes from the Lord
Psalms 121:1-8 A Song of Ascents. I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? (2) My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. (3) He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. (4) Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. (5) The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. (6) The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. (7) The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. (8) The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 Love the Lord Your God
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. (5) You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (6) And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. (7) You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (8) You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. (9) You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
1 Samuel 17:41-51 David Kills Goliath
1 Samuel 17:41-51 And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. (42) And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. (43) And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. (44) The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.” (45) Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. (46) This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, (47) and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hand.” (48) When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. (49) And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground. (50) So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David. (51) Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.
Matthew 28:16-20 Jesus Gives the Great Commission
Matthew 28:16-20 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. (17) And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. (18) And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (19) Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Revelation 4:1-5 Worshiping God in Heaven
Revelation 4:1-5 After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” (2) At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. (3) And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. (4) Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. (5) From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God,
Revelation 22:12-21 Jesus Is Coming
Revelation 22:12-21 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. (13) I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (14) Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. (15) Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. (16) “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” (17) The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. (18) I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, (19) and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. (20) He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! (21) The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.