Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 063 - Praying Scripture - Part 1
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast
Episode #063 – Praying Scripture – Part 1
Thank you for entrusting and investing your precious time with me to grow in Jesus together. I am blessed to be back with you to discuss more ways to live with eternal perspective.
On a recent Sunday evening, I asked my family to sit with me for a special prayer time. Are you this way? Do you need to share your heart with your family to get their support through prayer? That is exactly how I was feeling. I knew I could pray on my own, but I had ideas to ponder, emotions to share, and needed input from the people who know and love me the best and who would agree to pray with me because they also believe in the power of lifting requests to our Heavenly Father.
At our house, my youngest receives electronic privileges before bedtime. When we all sat down to talk, it was less than an hour before her scheduled time to play, but I felt fairly certain we would be finished before she would see the clock ticking into her special time.
As I began sharing all that I was experiencing and the needs I wanted my family to pray about, the clock chimed eight o’clock and we were still talking. After sharing all the feelings and thoughts that were heavy on my heart, Brooklyn asked if we could pray. Assuming she was antsy to get finished, I agreed that we could go ahead and pray at that time. We decided who would pray first and who would end, and began. Several minutes later, we finished, and I told our girl she could be excused to play. Wanting to stay with us, she looked a little surprised. I was blessed to hear her say that she wanted to stay and finish the discussion with us.
So often, we assume we know what others are thinking or what their motives are. How wrong we can be. Brooklyn had wanted to get our prayer started because she knew I needed it. My heart was emotionally needy for what only God could provide, and recognizing this, she jumped ahead to get guidance and assistance from God started immediately.
If you also pray regularly with your family, I bet you will agree that it is difficult to imagine life without this simple act of obedience and faith. Praying together has grown each of us individually and collectively in ways only God can explain. He goes before us, paving ground that we need later and providing for us in intimate ways only the Lord can know.
James 5:13-16 says, “Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
Praying together opens our hearts to God in ways that invites His intervention. We also create deeper intimacy with our loved ones as we pray together. Whether we are suffering hardships, living in fullness of joy, praising, in need of healing, or forgiveness, God desires our heartfelt and faithful pleas to intercede with His will. The Lord honors a parent raising their children for Him and delights when we teach them to rely on Him for all of their needs and are living examples as to how to do so.
Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three gather together in My name, there am I with them.”
God delights in blessing families who invite Him into their midst to pray together.
Praying together is essential.
Do you know what makes prayer time more effective and meaningful?
Using scripture to pray.
Although my family is good about praying together, I want us to become stronger at praying God’s word daily. Praying scripture enables us to become stronger at knowing God’s word and allows us to release His power into our life. Specifically seeking His word and utilizing it in our prayers is a faithful and trusting act of obedience as we rely on God’s powerful words and truths. To pray His word, we must know it, study it, and claim it. By purposely connecting our heart to God’s and intentionally praying His words, we are beseeching our Heavenly Father to use His will, just as Jesus modeled for us.
In order to prepare ourselves or our family to deepen prayer time individually and collectively by drawing nearer to God and using His word as ours, we may need to examine and adjust the way we pray.
Prepare your heart and mind to connect with intimate devotion to God by crafting your language to align with scripture.
Here are a few examples of how to enter the presence of the Lord and initiate your prayer. Ephesians 3:12 says, “Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.”
When praying scripture, we simply craft God’s words and truths into the prayer we speak to Him.
When entering God’s presence through prayer, we may use this verse from Ephesians to say, “Father, because of your gift to us through Christ, and the faith I have in Him, I thank you that I can now boldly and confidently enter into Your presence.”
Hebrews 10:19-23 says, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.”
Using this passage, our prayer could be, Gracious Heavenly Father, because of the blood of Jesus, I know I can enter Your Most Holy Place. By His death Jesus has given me intimate and holy access to You. I enter Your presence with a sincere heart of trust knowing my guilt has been covered through the sacrifice of the blood of Jesus. I know that because He has washed me with pure water, I can hold tightly and without waver to the hope You have affirmed and that I can trust You to keep Your promises to me.
Romans 8:26-28 says, “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
Our prayer through this passage might be, Holy Spirit, I trust that You help me in my weakness. Draw near to me. My emotions are too complex; I cannot utter what I need to pray. Please intercede and express my needs in groanings that cannot be expressed by mere words. My Heavenly Father, Who knows all hearts, will understand as You plead for me in harmony with His will. I believe that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Thank you for Your goodness and faithfulness to me.
Psalm 18:30 says, “As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.”
This beautiful verse can be spoken as we enter into prayer or call upon His truths from this verse when we need protection, reassurance, or comfort. Father God, Your way is perfect; Your word is flawless. You are my shield when I take refuge in You.
Do you see the beauty and inspiration God’s word brings?
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
Praying God’s living, active word releases His profound power as we believe, trust, and call upon it to judge our intentions and do the work God wills.
Why don’t most of us utilize this method of prayer more often? Probably because our lives are so fast-paced that we tend to believe we can come to God with requests when we need to. We do not stop to consider that we possess privilege and strength in God’s holy word. By relying on self, even though we do not consciously realize we are doing it, we lose the strength, peace, joy, and relief we could access at any moment, as well as the power released when we pray God’s word. We also miss the blessing of a more personal and intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father, who created us to enjoy fellowship with Him.
2 Samuel 22:31 says, “As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.”
Let’s examine several Bible verses and how we can accept God’s invitation to seek refuge in Him through His perfect word and ways.
Most mothers pray not only for themselves, but seek God through prayer for their spouse, children, and family. We also offer intercessory pray for friends, co-workers, strangers, and elected officials. Possibilities for prayer are vast. So is God’s omnipotence. Imagine the authority and blessings we miss when we consider ourselves too busy to delve into His word and claim His truths as our provision in every area.
Praying scripture strengthens our bonds with God as we trust His word and rely on Him for every need as our mind and heart align with His.
Ecclesiastes 5:2 says, “Do not be quick to speak, and do not be hasty in your heart to utter a word before God. After all, God is in heaven and you are on earth. So let your words be few.”
When we begin praying with God’s word, our mind and heart are directed toward His desires and will for us and others. We should not hastily come before Him with our own agenda. God’s word allows us to see with His eyes and submit to His heart and sovereignty.
Isaiah 55:6-9 says, “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked man forsake his own way and the unrighteous man his own thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that He may have compassion, and to our God, for He will freely pardon. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Studying, then using God’s word as the groundwork for our prayers allows us to absorb His truths and righteousness in ways we may have never experienced. As we use the verses from Isaiah 55, our prayer could be something like this: Father, I seek You while You may be found, I call on You while You are near. Help me forsake my own way, will, and thoughts and return to You while You have compassion and will freely pardon. My thoughts are certainly not Yours, as my ways are not Yours. As the heavens are higher than the earth, Your ways and thoughts are higher than mine. I submit to You and Your ways for me.
Approaching God, our Father, the Creator of heaven and earth with a sincere and humble heart ready to accept His will for us and genuinely craving to please and follow Him changes the way we pray. It alters our desires. It cleanses our heart and mind and prepares our spirit for His cleansing and higher growth in and for Him.
Prayer exposes our core belief system.
Kneeling before our Lord in supplication, whether literally or through our heart, mindset, and actions, is a natural extension of our personal relationship with and our trust, faith, and belief in Him.
Our reliance on God through the act of prayer exhibits our dependence on our Heavenly Father, humbling our position with Him, and improving the level of our reliance on Him. How do we establish this lifestyle of prayer? The important word to ponder shouldn’t be how, but rather, Who.
Jesus is our life and prayer model. When God sent His son to earth as a sacrifice for our sins and to form a way to Him, it was the most extravagant gift He could give us. Our sovereign God stepped into this world through flesh to exist and walk among us. He came to show us exactly how to live, suffer, love, rejoice, and how to pray. Each day should bring us closer to the Father’s heart in numerous ways, prayer included. As we depend on the Father through the act of prayer, we humbly seek Him in new and deeper ways by using His sacred, living word as a guide for submission, conversation, and conversion with Him.
Prepare to connect with God in intimate devotion by shifting your heart to align with scripture, our Father’s will.
1. Jesus’s prayers were an example for us to follow. Jesus is God in human form. Jesus did not need to pray, yet He lived and suffered as a human, relinquishing everything for us, even to the point of death, modeling the ways we are to live as we trust in and rely on Him.
2. Jesus prayers were the perfect instruction in communication. Every prayer He uttered is a holy framework for us to follow.
3. Jesus’s prayers modeled submission in the purest form. Jesus genuinely shared all: His heart, fears, pain, sorrows, hopes, anything. Yet, He did not expect to get His way. Jesus trusted God’s sovereign will and ways and yielded His desires to the Father.
4. Jesus’s prayers proved reliance on God. Rather than complaining or protesting, Jesus accepted the will of God and honored what He was called to do, despite great suffering and personal cost.
Prayer instructs us in holiness.
Just as Jesus modeled for us, we must pray in specific ways. As we offer God’s holy words back to Him through prayer we accomplish the ability to do the following:
1. Pray with sincerity.
2. Pray with submission to holy preeminence.
3. Pray with faith.
4. Pray with trust in God’s timing.
5. Pray with heart, but yield to God’s will.
6. Pray consistently.
7. Pray with focus.
Isaiah 55:11 says, “So My word that proceeds from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please, and it will prosper where I send it.”
May the prayer we offer be something like this: Father, I know that every word that proceeds from Your mouth will not return to You empty. Your words will prosper as they accomplish what You please. Help my thoughts and attitude be as Yours are and my words be Yours as I speak my heart and requests.
Now that we realize the importance of praying not only the words of our soul, but of aligning our heart, mind, and words to match God’s through study of the Bible and growth of our relationship with Him through Jesus, may we deepen our walk even more through scriptural prayers.
Join me next week as I share several verses, scripture passages, and craft prayers from each that will help us study, learn, and use God’s words as the backbone of prayer time with our Heavenly Father.
Heavenly Father, Hallelujah! How good it is to sing praises to You, our God. How pleasant and lovely our words are to You as we lift praise and submission to Your will through Your holy words to us. Thank you for allowing us Jesus as our perfect sacrifice and mentor to bring us to You. Your words are faithful and true. Help our hearts be the same as we draw nearer to You. Help us hear and lift Your words as a sacrifice and offering to know and follow You more deeply. Thank you for sending us truth, love, and hope. In Your precious and holy name we pray. Amen
Thank you for listening to this podcast. If prayer is a topic you would like to learn more about, you may enjoy listening to episode 18, “Prayer.” Please visit terrihitt.com to access podcast episodes housed in one convenient location, read blog posts, transcripts, and access additional resources designed to mature your walk with Jesus through an eternal perspective and encourage you to raise or influence children to choose Christ over culture.
I’m thrilled to share that my latest free resource, “Scattering Seeds: Planting Character and Faith in Your Child” has released! This eBook is an excellent encouragement and support for mothers or grandmothers of young children. I encourage you to visit my website to access and download it soon.
I pray this podcast draws you nearer to God and helps you cling to Him, despite any circumstances in your life. Until next week, keep looking Up while focusing on ways to Live With Eternal Perspective.