Tree of Life Church, London

Praying the Word

Praying God’s Word

“The degree to which you know and believe God’s Word and apply it to prayer is the degree to which you will experience God’s power in prayer.” – Dick Eastman

If you spend no time in the Word, you will have no confidence in your prayers.  If you spend a little time in the Word, you will have a little confidence in your prayers.  If you spend a great deal of time in the Word, you will have a great deal of confidence in your prayers.  You must make the Word of God part of your daily life.

As much as it is important to study the Word of God and meditate on the Word of God, you must also bring the Word of God into your prayer life.  If you systematically use the Word of God in your prayer life, you will grow in your ability to pray.

“One of these days, some simple soul will pick up the Word of God and read it and believe it.  The rest of us will be embarrassed.  We have picked up the convenient theory that the Bible is a book to be explained, whereas first and foremost it is a book to be believed and obeyed.” -  Leonard Ravenhill

The Word is our source of faith – you will never have strong faith in prayer without a strong familiarity with the Word. 

“Little of the Word with little prayer is death to your heart.  Much Word with little prayer is a sickly life.  Much prayer with little Word is life without consistency.  A full measure of Word and prayer every day gives a healthy and powerful life” – Andrew Murray

It does not matter how intense and passionate your prayer life is – and don’t misunderstand, I am on the side of intensity and passion and I wish that the church was more intense and more passionate – it matters that you pray with the Word of God.   Prayer is incomplete without the Word.  The Bible is your greatest prayer book – the prayers of the people of God are your prayers, the promises of God are the foundation to your prayers and the praises of God’s people are the perspective of your prayers.  To neglect the Word in prayer is to neglect power in prayer.

“My brethren, see to it that when morning breaks you go to God for food for your spiritual life.  That will make you strong against the allures of the devil.  So many people face the temptations of the day spiritually unfed, spiritually hungry, and therefore they are attacked by all kings of enticements of the enemy.  It is the man fed by God who will overcome.” – G. Campbell Morgan

The Word of God is a promise book.  One of the people who proved this in a dramatic way was a man called George Mueller.  At the age of 90, he stated “I have never had an unanswered prayer.”  The religious world tells us sometimes God says yes, sometimes God says no, and sometimes God says wait or maybe.  This is clearly people who have not read their Bible because the Bible says that all the promises of God are yes and amen in Christ Jesus.  Mueller was a man of the Word of God – he never prayed without an open Bible in front of him.

His friends said that he never asked God for one thing without using the Scripture to back his petitions.

“The first thing I did, after having asking the Lord to bless my food (saying grace over His Bible reading) was to begin to meditate on the Word of the Lord, searching as it were to get into every verse to get a blessing out of it.  Not for the sake of public ministry, nor for the sake of preaching, but for the sake of feeding my own soul.  The result I have found is invariably this: that after a few minutes, my soul has been led to confession, or to thanksgiving, or to intercession, or to supplication; so that though I did not give myself to prayer but to the Word, yet it turned into prayer.” – George Mueller

George Mueller transformed God’s Word into faith-filled petitions and prayers.  He prayed the Word of God.

“Every Scripture is a writing of God which may be pleaded before Him with this reasonable request: ‘Do as Thou has said!’  The Creator will not cheat the creature who depends on his truth; and furthermore, the heavenly Father will not break His Word to His child.” – C. H. Spurgeon

The Word is actually more than the foundation of your prayers; it is the substance of them.  By praying the Word of God you know that you are praying the will of God, and that your prayers will have power.  The Word brings the life into your prayer life; it makes your prayers dynamic.

Is not my Word like as a fire? Says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?  Jeremiah 23.29

E. M. Bounds prayed for four hours a day in the middle of the American Civil War.  He said this:

The Word of God is the support on which the level of prayer is placed, and by which things are mightily moved.  God has committed Himself and His purpose to our prayers.  His Word is the basis and inspiration of all our praying.

So when you come to pray, you must integrate the Word into your prayers.

Practically the first thing you need to do is read a passage from the Bible.  Keep reading until a verse impresses itself into your heart.  When this happens think about the verse, evaluate how you can turn that passage, that verse, into a prayer.  Can you just pray it word for word or do you need to use the passage in a prayer?

Once you have considered this, then pray it as a personal prayer.  This will be an enriched prayer – enriched by the living Word of God.  Praying like this will transform your prayer life.

When you are just starting to pray the Word it is often most helpful to start in Psalms or Proverbs, or the Gospels and Epistles.  Sanders tells us that the Scriptures are “rich in material to feed and stimulate worship, adoration and petition”.  He is right – the Word of God has enough material to keep feeding and enriching your prayer life for decades.

Here are some encouraging tips to help you pray the Word:

1.       Say grace before you read the Word: treat it like spiritual food.  Thank God for what you are about to read, and ask God to reveal it to you spiritually as you read.

2.       Find your passage by reading through the Bible until a passage impresses itself into your heart.  Then re-read that passage and think about it.

3.       Ask yourself what prayer this passage prompts you to make: or what promise is in the passage that you can use to pray in faith with.

4.       Pray using the very words of Scripture.  Offer your prayers with full confidence that God will keep His promises and answer your prayers.

 

If you have had answers to prayer when praying the Word and wish to let us know about them, or if there is something affecting your life and you want someone to pray with you, please feel free to email us on info@treeoflifechurch.org.uk and someone will help you and pray with you and rejoice with you when and as the answer arrives.


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