From Our Fathers’ Bible:
There isn’t any great chasm fixed between “Bible Times” and today. Lovers of God have been singing and studying and wrestling with these same passages since the very earliest scriptural passages were recorded.
In your daily reading from Psalms or the Pentateuch you are studying the same textbooks that the prophets and the Lord Himself studied in their turn.
So it makes sense that the Orthodox prayer before reading scripture is plural. We are not alone as we open the Bible; the saints of God who were formed by reading, singing, and meditating on these words are with us, “a great cloud of witnesses,” praying that we will be filled with light as we read the words that shaped who they are:
Illumine our hearts, O Master who lovest mankind, with the pure light of thy divine knowledge. Open the eyes of our mind to the understanding of thy gospel teachings. Implant also in us the fear of thy blessed commandments, so that trampling down all carnal desires, we may enter upon a spiritual manner of living, both thinking and doing such things as are well-pleasing unto thee. For thou art the illumination of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God, and unto thee we ascribe glory, together with thy Father who is from everlasting, and thine all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.