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Prayer: Finding the Words

The Bible is fuel for prayer because it doesn’t sugar-coat life. It’s raw and real. The psalms, for example, are completely honest. We can find prayers there for our souls. Angry? Check Psalm 4. Grief/feeling overwhelmed? Psalm 6. Trials? Psalm 20. It also meets us in our joy: Psalm 126. Grateful? Psalm 100. And on and on.

Scripture meets us where we are and ministers to us as the living word of God. God doesn’t want to hear from us only when we’ve got it all together or figured out (good luck with that). It’s a beautiful thing to take the words of Scripture and pray them back to God. When we don’t have words to pray; God does. He knows.

For example: “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.” These words of Psalm 23:1-3 could be prayed this way: Lord, be my shepherd today. With you, I want for nothing. Make me lie down in green pastures and lead me beside quiet waters, where You restore my soul. I need to be restored, Lord. Lead me in paths of righteousness – show me the way to go -- for Your name’s sake. I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Father, teach us to pray.

Posted by Joan S. with 0 Comments
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Prayer: The Bible as Fuel

I grew up saying rote, memorized prayers, with little thought of what I was saying or what it meant. Even the Our Father – the prayer that Jesus Himself taught His disciples (Luke 11:1) – was nothing more than a parroting of words. Sadly, my prayer life could have been defined as “Open mouth, disengage brain.”

After I was born again by God’s great grace (Eph. 2), I distinctly remember the first time I prayed with a group of Moms with Moms in Touch (now called Moms in Prayer). It’s remarkable that I even set foot in that conference room because I remember thinking “How in the world will we pray for our kids for an entire hour?”

It was there that I learned what it means to pray Scripture. I saw and heard firsthand what it means to “Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord! Lift your hands to him for the lives of your children…” (Lam. 2:19). These women were praying to God like He was REAL. Like He was LISTENING. And they were using the words of Scripture to do it.

Again, by God’s great grace, I learned how the God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16) Bible, as pure truth (John 17:17), could be living and active (Heb. 4:12) in me, in prayer. In the hands of the Holy Spirit in us, God’s word is fuel for our prayers.

Posted by Joan S. with 0 Comments