Praying the Scriptures

I have a copy of The Voice bible at home. It is an enhanced approach to scripture like the Amplified version. My personal trust is in the more literal approach, hence my ongoing use of the New King James (other solid translations are the NASB or ESV). I want to know what the writer said not someone’s opinion. At the same time, as long as we are grounded in the more literal translations bibles like the Voice or Amplified can be useful in drawing out different aspects of a passage and aid in turning scripture into prayer. Some benefits of using scripture to create a prayer language is that we know when we pray scripture we are praying His will. Another aspect is that there are a number of apostolic prayers in the New Testament that help us to focus on His heart as we engage in prayer.

Here is one simple apostolic prayer from three translations followed by an example of how to turn it into prayer.  

17  that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18  the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19  and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power Ephesians 1:17-19 (NKJV)

17 God of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, Father of Glory: I call out to You on behalf of Your people. Give them minds ready to receive wisdom and revelation so they will truly know You. 18 Open the eyes of their hearts, and let the light of Your truth flood in. Shine Your light on the hope You are calling them to embrace. Reveal to them the glorious riches You are preparing as their inheritance. 19 Let them see the full extent of Your power that is at work in those of us who believe, and may it be done according to Your might and power. Ephesians 1:17-19 The Voice (VOICE)

17  [For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him, 18  By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones), 19  And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength, Ephesians 1:17-19 (AMP)

As noted, praying the scriptures can be much more dynamic than simply repeating the verse and drawing on various translations can provide a richer language. Here are examples of turning these three verses into prayer either for ourselves or others.

Father, this is part of Your word, a revelation of Your will. Because I know that You desire to give me wisdom and revelation, insight into Your purposes, I call on You. Draw me into a deep encounter with Your heart. Flood my heart and mind with the light of Your presence so that I can see from Your perspective. You have prepared a glorious rich inheritance for me. Help me to see that and to encounter Your power and see it released more fully in my life. Thank You Father, I agree with Your heart and say Amen, So be it!      

Father, this is part of Your word, a revelation of Your will. Because I know that You desire to give XX wisdom and revelation, insight into Your purposes, I call on You. Draw XX into a deep encounter with Your heart. Flood XX’s heart and mind with the light of Your presence so that XX can see from Your perspective. You have prepared a glorious rich inheritance for XX. Help XX to see that and to encounter Your power and see it released more fully in their life. Thank You Father, I agree with Your heart and say Amen, So be it!      

After praying in this way reflect on the reality and implications. Tune your heart to hear to hear His response. After all, He said, I am with you always.

Heaven’s Perspective

The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 is one of the most well known in the world. Recited over and over by millions of people. A better description is The Disciples Prayer since it is something Jesus gave us to pray. He wasn’t praying for His sins to be forgiven since He never committed any. Be that as it may the prayer begins as follows.

9  In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10  Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:9-10 (NKJV)

In teaching us to pray Jesus tells us to begin with worship and acknowledgement. He then tells us to pray, Your kingdom come, Your will be done. Jesus is here urging from us a heart cry, a longing to see His kingdom come and His will be done on earth, an agreement with heaven’s purpose!

Some implications flow from these two short statements. One obvious one is that if this is something we are praying then it is a desire we hold. We want to see His rule and reign operating on earth as in heaven. A second one is that we need to understand something of the perspective of heaven. That we have this opportunity is clear in scripture. We have been made to sit with Jesus in the heavenly realm (Eph. 2:6) even while we live our life here on earth. In Colossians Paul is more explicit than in Ephesians 2.

1  If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2  Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3  For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4  When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4 (NKJV)

The language in Colossians is Paul’s challenge to us. He challenges us to recognize what happened at our conversion, being seated with Jesus at the Father’s right hand and from there seeking the perspective of heaven, setting our mind on things above. We are not being encouraged to become as the saying suggests, ‘so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good’ but the exact opposite. We are called to be heavenly minded so that we can be of greater earthly good. That we can look at situations on earth, seek heaven’s perspective then bring it to bear in prayer. Seeking to see His kingdom and will established in whatever we are facing.

So whatever situation we are facing, whether relational, physical, moral let’s seek His heart in the matter and in prayer agree with His desire to manifest His kingdom and will in these situations.

Pursuing His Presence

There is an interesting verse in Luke.

15  However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. 16  So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed. Luke 5:15-16 (NKJV)

While many of us are ‘busy’ I doubt we have the demands Jesus had on His time. Look at popular figures in our culture and how they try to avoid being hounded by the media and fans. I know I have had the experience of teaching a course or seminar and on a break I want to gather my thoughts and refresh myself. However, that is generally when those who want to talk take the opportunity to ask you questions. This isn’t a bad thing, it just means we need to get away at another time to be refreshed.

Far beyond what we experience Jesus was constantly in demand. Yet as the text says, “So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” While physically He withdrew to the wilderness, I think practically He was in the throne room interacting with His Father.

In recent weeks my heart has been drawn to the reality and significance of the throne room. It isn’t a place of accolades or recognition. It is a place of hiddenness but more importantly, it is a place of life, intimacy, wisdom, direction.

I believe we need to learn to physically withdraw and get away from noise and distractions. At the same time I also believe we need to learn to inwardly withdraw. We need to learn to deeply encounter Jesus. While others around us may be ‘busy’ in this season we need to develop a familiarity with the throne room and let our relationships and any ministry flow from that place. 

Here is a regular part of my prayer life for many of you. In recent weeks I have felt the weight of the Holy Spirit on it.

  • Awaken our hearts, stir up and release the gifts You have placed within us. Awaken within us a passion to fulfill the purposes You have called us to through Your word. Col. 4:17, 1 Tim. 1:18, 4:14-16, 2 Tim. 1:6, 2:1, 4:5

Let’s pursue His presence and purpose.

Kim Walker-Smith Throne Room https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1Ljl32SqRc