The Word of God. Along with his Spirit and prayer, it is one of the Father’s most precious gifts that allow us to know him in a deeply personal way. In his Word we learn that he desires not only to communicate with us but also to abide and dwell with us and in us. Does that cause you to stand in awe and wonder?
God wants us to talk with him about everything in life. In fact, we are called to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17), keeping up a constant dialogue with the Father throughout each day. He desires our prayers to be simple, honest conversation with him.
And one of the most effective ways to pray is to use God’s Word. When we pray the Scriptures, we are echoing what God has said, declaring that we believe it to be true and asking God to fulfill his Word. The Scriptures are powerful and effective and will do what God intends. He assures us, “It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isa. 55:10-11). And when we pray the Scriptures back to God, it strengthens our faith and affirms the truth of what God has said about himself, us and the world.
If we had a written transcript of the prayers that we pray to God day after day, we would see patterns emerging, the same themes repeated, the same words and phrases mouthed again and again. We can pray only based on what we know and drawing from our own experiences. When we praise and worship God, our finite minds often dwell on the characteristics of God with which we are most familiar, and we thank him for those. Yet our individual experience in prayer is limited.
But as we read the Scriptures and pray them back to God, we come across beautiful truths about him that we may not have pondered or experienced on our own. Throughout the Bible there are jewels that describe God in ways that touch our souls anew. We can take these truths and proclaim them in prayer; we can use the very promises God speaks in the Scripture and stand on them as we pray them back to him. The whole of Scripture can become our prayer book.
Here is just a sampling of how we can pray his Word:
Worship – “You are worthy, Father, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created me. I bow in worship and submit my life to you as my Lord.” (Rev. 4:11)
Salvation – “I bring my loved ones to you, Lord. Open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to yourself, so they can be forgiven and become your children.” (Acts 26:18)
Intercession – “Thank you that I can come to your throne of grace with confidence, Father. I need your mercy and grace to help me right now” (Heb. 4:16). “Lord, I need your counsel! Instruct me and show me the way I should go” (Ps. 32:8).
Confession – “I humbly confess my sin to you, Lord. Thank you that you are faithful to forgive me. Make me clean!” (1 John 1:9). “Search me, God, and reveal any sins of which I am not aware” (Ps. 139:23-24). “Lord, help me to see your way of escape in this time of temptation. Strengthen me to be obedient to what you show me!” (1 Cor. 10:13).