Using God's Word to Pray

Dear Friends,

I'm changing the way I pray when I have my morning quiet times with God.  In the past I've found that sometimes my prayers can become similar to a shopping list, asking God for one thing after another. Sometimes they've been very repetitive,  and I've found myself just going through the motions, rather than really thinking about what I'm praying.

So, I've begun to use God's word more in my prayers with him. One of the things I've done is look up some of the prayers that have been spoken and recorded in the bible. 

I am choosing to pray God's word for specific people in my life as I feel led by God.  For example, for my husband, my children, other relatives, and friends.  The following verse is a prayer I can pray for a friend when they are facing a difficult time.  "Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all." 2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NLT)   It could be prayed in the following way: "Lord of peace would you please give (insert friend's name) your peace at all times and in every situation.  Lord be with him/her.  Amen."  The prayer in Philippians 1:9-11 may be one that I would pray for one of my children or another young relation: "I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God." (NLT) For example, I can pray:  "Lord, I ask that (insert name) love for you will overflow more and more, and that they will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.  May he/she understand what really matters, so that they will live pure and blameless lives until Christ's return.  May they always be filled with the fruit of their salvation - the righteous character produced in their life by Jesus Christ - for this will bring much glory and praise to God.  Amen."  Again, I will be led by God as to how regularly and how long I continue a particular prayer for someone, it may be for a week, a season, a year, or more.

God recently brought back to my memory a devotional I had read in which the writer spoke about praying with God as she read his word.  She explained that before and during her reading she would ask God to bring to her attention someone or something to pray for, then instead of waiting till she had finished reading, she would stop and pray as she felt God leading, and then she would continue reading.  At the time I read this devotional I thought this was such a good idea, but did nothing about it.  Now, however, as I mentioned, God reminded me of it and I am learning to put into practice this method of praying God's word.  For example, I am reading the book of Acts and in Acts 4 I read how Peter and John had to stand before the religious leaders and had the courage to withstand opposition and speak the truth.  In 4:31 I read "After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness." (NLT)  During these verses God reminded me of how fellow Christian brothers and sisters today are suffering persecution because they have chosen to follow God, and I felt led to stop and pray for them that God would fill them with his Holy Spirit and give them the courage they need in the midst of such extreme pain and suffering.

Our quiet times and prayers are not supposed to be one-way communications, they are not to be all about me, and what I have to say, expecting God to listen, giving no thought to the fact that God actually has something to communicate to me. It is God's intention that our conversations with him are two-way as we pray and read and meditate on his word.   He wants you and I to enjoy the blessing of sharing with him.  For it to be a time in which both God and I both have the space to speak and listen to each other.  I'm really looking forward to seeing how God will develop my prayer life as he teaches more about how to pray using his word.

Our prayer life will be so much more powerful and effective if we focus on God and hear what he would have us pray about.  When we pray using his Word we can trust and believe that our prayers are in line with his will, and it is these kinds of prayer that God answers.  It says in 1 John 5:14 "And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him." (NLT)

To Think About:
Search out some of the written prayers in the bible.  Here are a few to get you started: Numbers 6:24-26; Ephesians 3:16-19; 2 Corinthians 13:14.  When you have had time to read some are there any particular prayers which you would like to pray for certain people in your life? Why not write them out and keep them in a place where you will be reminded to pray.

Consider other ways you can pray using God's word.

Has this changed your view of prayer?



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