In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish the darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints…Ephesians 6:16-18
When we learn to pray with the Word of God close by, opened before us, we will receive the most comfort, encouragement, courage, assurance, peace and joy anyone could ever have in prayer. As we pray with God’s Word as our guide and prayer companion, many times healing or answers will jump right off the pages and apply themselves to our lives and situations immediately. There depressed find hope. The sorrowful: joy. The confused: clarity, the timid and fearful: bold courage. The hardened heart: tender forgiveness for even the worst offenses. God’s Word is our mightiest weapon against the ills of our soul, against the temptations of the devil and the lures of this world.
Praying God’s Word is not difficult to do and should not be a practice left to religious or the most holy saints—but can be embraced as a prayer practice as early as childhood. Praying the Bible can be likened to taking a cross country trip via ground transportation as opposed to an airplane. Both means will get you to your destination but only one way will allow you to take in all the sights and wonders along the journey. One way is faster, but the other far more enriching!
The Spirit of God loves to take this journey with us! He is always eager to show someone the hidden treasure in Scripture and serves as our guide throughout. Under His direction some days we will cover entire chapters, others only verses, and still others mere words or fragments of sentences. He will often say; “Let’s stop here and pray for a while… This is a powerful passage to pray…there is great healing in this passage, let’s pray it!, here is exactly what this or that situation needs…Look, you needed a prayer for the , here it is!”
On and on He will direct, guide, enlighten, and strengthen us in prayer. We will find confidence and joy like never before in prayer.
It will not come as a surprise then to discover that if you are praying for others as an intercessor being in God’s Word is also the best place to be and the Spirit of God rejoices whenever we take up the Word of God to pray for others. Just as He guides us in our personal prayers He will do the same as we pray for others. Saying; this passage is rich to pray for the (wounded, sorrowful, hurting, troubled, oppressed, sick, dying, etc). Through His counsel you will discover a strong word for the weak or timid. You will learn what it means to bind up the works of the devil or to bind God’s people to a loving God and His blessings. Your will learn how to bless others in prayer and release the blessing God has for them in heaven. Your confidence for praying for and with others will grow and the people you pray for will be saturated with Life-Giving Words, their lives transformed and healed through the power of God who works through prayer.
The ways of praying God’s Word as you pray for others is no different than when you pray the Scriptures for personal prayers. Begin by choosing a translation of the Bible that is easy for you to read and understand (you do not want to spend your time in prayer looking up every other word because you do not understand the meaning, etc)
1) Choose a time of day where your mind is fresh and you can spend some time in prayer (at least 10, 15 or 20 minutes)
2) Choose a place that is conducive to [this kind of praying]. Choosing to pray during your child’s soccer game may not be the best place or time! A favorite spot in your home or office, a comfortable chair by a window, on a porch or under a tree in the back yard may be a delightful place to pray.
3) You will need a Bible, notepad or journal to take notes and jot down the prayers and people God moves you to pray for, along with the list He has helped you compile beforehand.
4) Pause to pray before you begin: A simple prayer to ask the Holy Spirit to lead you into all truth as you pray God’s word. Asking for help and direction to pray for others effectively. Ask God to bless your prayer time and make the prayers you pray for others, fruitful.
At the conclusion of this blog I have included a prayer starter from my own time prayer this morning. Psalm 31, verse 1 became the place I was to pray from today: the good word given for those who are suffering through some pretty heavy situations.
For a good amount of time people and situations came very easily to mind as the Holy Spirit prompted. Their conditions and need were highlighted in my mind and put on my heart and it was easy to see how their need of God as a refuge would be helpful to them.
Once the word of God was planted on my heart it was a pacing day… Praying back and forth, up and down the floor as faces and names came before me…After some time of praying, the names came slower, causing me to pause and see if the Spirit was leading me to pray for him or her, this or that… for a time the prayer became quiet until it ceased altogether. However, even as I wrote this I was led to stop several times to pray for those brought to mind… And I will not be surprised that throughout the day I will hear the Spirit bring another to mind who will need prayer of this kind.
What will come at the end of your prayers will be a sense of peace or strength or knowing that all has been accomplished. You have prayed for others, not from your own thoughts, or desires, but from God’s will and promises, knowing they are surely helped and their situations have been taken into God’s loving care.
The best advice: Practice. Even if you only have a few moments to pray for someone or a list of people, use the Word of God as your foundation. Your strength in prayer will increase and you will become a formidable component for the enemy on the battlefield for there is nothing he can do to dispute the Word of God!
Example from Psalm 31:1
In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me!
Lord, you are our refuge. The place where we can come and find shelter: a solid rock in time of unsteadiness, where we can find clarity in confusion or strength of soul for trying times. Thank you for the timely truth that we can always take refuge in you and we will never be put to shame!
If the world is beating us up we can come to you. If situations in our life have us confused or torn we can come to you. If we are hurting or have been wounded by others we can come to you. If we are lonely or forced to fight battles alone, we can come to you. If we need a hiding place from the storms of life we can come to you. if we are just in need of restoration we can come to you and find peace and rest, assurance and strength or comfort; whatever our need you are the best place to be! You are not only our refuge but our deliverer! In any hour we can run to you and find the help we need. Today I am led by the Spirit to pray for…
The key to successful prayer using the Word of God is to
- Allow the Spirit to guide you through!
- Be willing to let go of former ways of praying.
- Be willing to pray boldly in the Spirit.
- Trust the Spirit’s voice and direction in prayer
- Don’t worry about who the Spirit did not cover in prayer (today or in this prayer time)
P.S. If you are new to praying Scripture for yourself or others I would suggest beginning with the Psalms. They are a rich book to pray because of the gamut of human emotions and need they lend themselves naturally to our prayers today.