the Word is good for prayer

wordandprayer

Often in a Sunday School class, I’ve asked the group what are five things that we’re to do with the Word of God. The five answers that I’m looking for is 1. read it 2. study it 3. meditate on it 4. memorize it  5. hear it preached.

I will often get a couple other ones thrown out like ‘sing it’ or ‘pray it.’ I will often say those aren’t the ones we’re looking for but those are good. We should sing it and pray it.

We all have people that taught us to pray. I had a prof that would pray with us before tests and I will sometimes pray a similar prayer when I’ve driven the girls to school and they had a test that day. Bonita’s dad would pray before a meal. It always ended ‘and may we ever be thankful for the goodness we enjoy.’ Some have been influenced by books on prayer and from saints of the past.

A guy who has made my prayer life richer is George Muller. He lived from 1805-1898. He is known for a lot of his work in orphanages but had a remarkable prayer life if you ever get to read one of his bios.

I read about him a number of years ago and he connected the Word and prayer. There was a time in his life when prayer wasn’t very effective. There was a disconnect between the Word and prayer, but after he put the two together his prayers soared. I believe he must have put them together from Jesus’ words:

[7] If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15:7 ESV)

Jesus is saying that we should let the Word fuel our prayers. We should let the Word govern what we pray. We should let the Word birth our prayers…and we’ll get good results. If we’re abiding in the Word, we will ask things of God according to the Word, and He will respond.

This week I was reading 1 John 2 and I stopped and prayed from time to time before I was done. The Word was so foundational for the prayers I prayed that day. I have said from time to time that we are to pray the Word and some aren’t exactly sure what that means. I want to show you what that looks like using 1 John 2 as an example. I share these things not as a prayer expert, but as a fellow prayer-struggler. I haven’t arrived. I’m a novice, but I hope that if prayer has been Struggleville for you, as of late or for a long time, that the following Word influenced prayer will be an encouragement to your soul and that it may catapult you into great heights in prayer. So, what you’ll find below is simply the verses and the prayers that they birthed.

[4] Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, (1 John 2:4 ESV)

Father, remind me how obedience needs to flow from knowing You. Help me treasure You so I treasure your commandments more.

[9] Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. [10] Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.
(1 John 2:9-10 ESV)

Father, praying Scripture like this can be really tough. Help me love my brothers and sisters. I need extra grace..the ones that hurt me…the ones that misunderstand me. Help me forgive. Help me confront. Help me be humble where I’ve been wrong. Help me not settle for being nice to them but help me genuinely love them…sometimes comforting, sometimes confronting and sometimes letting things go. Empower me to love them well, because it’s impossible to love the way You love, on my own.

[15] Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 John 2:15 ESV)

Father, there are a lot of cheap substitutes for You that are very attractive, these days. They invade my thoughts. They steal my time. They cost me money. Help me see that You are so much more glorious and satisfying and stunning than the trinkets and treasures of this life. Help me see that You truly are the pearl of great price.

[19] They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. (1 John 2:19 ESV)

Father, I think of that gal who seemed so on fire for you, but then left your church many months ago. She was concerned for her family who didn’t know you. I know that she is not really living for You these days…she’s living for self. She’s acting like an unbeliever. Please, I pray that the message I sent her, some time ago, will be received well and responded to. May other ladies come in contact with her. Maybe I need to send her another message soon. Father, I don’t think I would have thought of contacting her or praying for her, if I hadn’t read Your Word.

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