Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Prayer, Part 2

I believe most people would acknowledge that the Word of God is essential to our whole Christian growth experience. It is also crucial in the area of prayer. I have heard it stated that "the degree to which we believe in God's Word and apply it to prayer is the degree to which God will pour out His power during our prayer." For myself, I do not expect anyone to grow in spiritual confidence if there is little or no time in getting to know God through His Word.

"Prayer," said E. M. Bounds, "projects faith on God, and God on the world. Only God can move mountains, but faith and prayer move God." So where does faith come from? According to Paul, "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). Really there isn't any other way for our faith to be strengthened as it is when we are being immersed in the Word of God. In society today there is a lot of book reading going on. One doesn't really need to look very far to find another new book out on how to live the Christian life, how to develop your Christian walk, how to know God in a deeper way, etc. Reading books does stir our hearts in a deep passion for faith, but it does not build faith. The Word alone is the source of faith.

Andrew Murray explained, "Little of the Word with little prayer is death to the spiritual life. Much of the Word with little prayer gives a sickly life. Much prayer with little of the Word gives more life, but without steadfastness. A full measure of the Word and prayer each day gives a healthy and powerful life."

No matter how intense one's prayer life is, it isn't complete without it being fed nourishment which is only available from God's Word. Just look through the Bible...it IS our prayer book. It is our foundation and our guide for any praying that will be effective. Delve into the prayers of Paul or read David's outpourings to God. When we block the lifeline to God's throne of grace when we neglect our daily, quiet, reading of His Word. Our being able to 'abide in Christ' is sustained through the Word and must never stop.

I cannot fathom going out to 'meet' my day being spiritually empty. I am opening myself up to all sorts of attacks by my enemy. However, if I am well fed by His Word, I am much more capable of overcoming in the hour of temptation.

Paul states, "And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe" (1 Thessalonians 2:13; emphasis added). So if God's Word is effectually working in those who believe, it should carry the same impact within our prayers. When we bring His Word directly into our praying aren't we bringing His power directly into our praying? I believe so. Look at some other verses where this is confirmed. "I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life" (Psalm 119:93). Also, '"Is not my word life fire," declares the Lord, "and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?"' (Jeremiah 23:29).

So how might this be applied? As you are reading a passage of Scripture a verse or two might impress a truth upon you. Stop reading and quietly meditate what that verse is saying to you. Ponder every aspect. Evaluate how this passage may become a specific petition. Does this verse prompt you to pray for something specific? How can it be directly applied to your petition? Is it possible to use some of the words of this scripture, verbatim, as you pray? Granted some passages are not as conducive to use. However, Psalms, Proverbs, the Gospels or the Epistles are great to use.

A word of caution; do not neglect intercession, listening, praise, etc. All elements are essential and our goal is to be complete and well balanced. Just give His Word its rightful place.

8 comments:

Dave said...

Couldn't agree more Claire. Your sentiments are amongst the reasons why our fellowship has been led to centre our cell church groups on the Word. And the Andrew Murray quote is spot on - what a man of God! And I've often heard said: "Everything in balance".

Corry said...

Good post, Claire.

Many times I would open the Bible randomly and start reading. It always turned out to be what I needed at that time. Like someone said: The Bible is a living book:-)

God's Grace.

HeyJules said...

A"s you are reading a passage of Scripture a verse or two might impress a truth upon you. Stop reading and quietly meditate what that verse is saying to you. Ponder every aspect. Evaluate how this passage may become a specific petition. Does this verse prompt you to pray for something specific? How can it be directly applied to your petition? Is it possible to use some of the words of this scripture, verbatim, as you pray?"

We were just talking about this last night at my "Heart of the Artist" class. One woman said this exact same thing. She also said that if she couldn't find why it was moving her so much, she'd just wait and a day or two later, there would be her answer.

Amazing. I've really enjoyed these last prayer posts. Thank you so much!

Gina Burgess said...

Great post, Claire. I have Beth Moore's book, Praying the Bible and it is so on the mark with you post -- maybe vice versa :). I love praying the Bible because I know without doubt that I am praying precisely within God's will.

Pilot Mom said...

Exactly, Dave! One wouldn't enjoy the ride on a wheel that was lopsided, now would he?! :)

Corry, it IS living, isn't it Corry?! How glad I am that it is.

Jules, isn't it neat how God works? I never believe in 'coincidence', just God-incidents! :)

Gina, I too have her book. She has certainly been gifted by God in her ability to share His Truth. I think I have almost all of her books...except maybe a new one she may have out.

Lorna said...

This is a beautiful post Claire. It's my first time here, followed Gayla's idio....ies link and found this . wow! God is good.

I especially liked this bit "Is it possible to use some of the words of this scripture, verbatim, as you pray?" I call this praying scripture and it's one of the most wonderful things God has ever gifted me with

be blessed :)

Pilot Mom said...

Thank you, Lorna. I'm glad you dropped in for a visit. Like you, I love to pray Scripture! Kindred spirits! :) Please come back often.

sparrow said...

Thanks Claire, You always have such good truth to share. I appreciate you.