I love reading and writing. I have benefited from practicing these disciplines and can attest to their powers. However, it would be naive of me to think reading or writing is an end in itself. We read (and, or write) to gain knowledge, we do it to expand our horizons, we do it to understand one another. We can also use it to incite hatred or spread malice. The point is: the act of reading or writing is a tool and its usefulness depends on the person wielding it, among other things.
I take a similar view with spiritual disciplines like fasting,
It's bad enough using prayers, fasting, and bible study for selfish reasons, but it is worse when doctrines like holiness, faith, and
Of course, no one ever comes out to say spiritual activities are more important or powerful than God. As a matter of fact, everyone says the opposite. But when someone starts prescribing prayers like Ibuprofen for you to use and vanquish your "problems", then that is a sign of misuse.
What is the lesson here? The lesson is God first, then His gifts or disciplines afterwards. Anything else is a subtle diversion down dark paths.
** Photo used is "Holy Spirit Dove Window" by Hickory Hardscrabble and made available under a CC BY-ND 2.0 license