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Praying According to Scripture

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4


A Roman Catholic priest in Belgium rebuked a young woman and her brother for reading that “bad book” pointing to the Bible. “Mr. Priest,” she replied, “a little while ago my brother was an idler, a gambler, a drunkard, and made such a noise in the house that no one could stay in it. Since he began to read the Bible, he works with industry, goes no longer to the tavern, no longer touches cards, brings home money to his poor old mother, and our life at home is quiet and delightful. How comes it, Mr. Priest, that a bad book produces such good fruits?” Source: Feathers for Arrows, Charles Spurgeon

At times, most people struggle to find the right words to say in prayer. Praying fervently does not come easy for most people despite their level of spiritual maturity. Depending on the circumstances, one may have to dig deeper to communicate with God. Unfortunately, some people stop trying to pray completely because they do not know what to say in prayer.

One of the many purposes of scripture is to give us the language to communicate with God in prayer. When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, the Lord gave them sound scriptural language to pray. A closer analysis of the most spirit-filled prayers in the Bible reveals they are all based on scripture.

In today’s text, the apostle Paul exhorts believers in Rome to live in harmony with one another. He admonishes them not to allow personal differences to cause division in their midst. Instead, he wants the strong to bear the failings of the weak in the spirit of love and harmony. Paul’s encouragement was centered on scripture as well as his prayers for believers in Rome.

When we pray according to scripture, we make our communication with God more spiritually intelligible and impactful because God will always honor His word. Praying with scripture removes the mystery about the prayer exercise and removes the stress of finding the right words to say. Scripture gives us the vocabulary to speak to God with confidence no matter our level of spiritual maturity or lack thereof.

In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Paul says, All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. We can learn to pray from scripture. When our words are inadequate, we can go to scripture to find the right words. If we spend time in scripture, it will correct our understanding of prayer, teach us to pray, and help us to become more fervent in prayer so we can be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

The best and quickest way to become fervent in prayer is by praying according to scripture. It’s very simple. Just find a biblical passage that speaks to the issue you want to bring before God and read it. Then use the language in the passage to express your need to the Lord with the faith that God is listening and will answer.

God has given us everything we need to communicate with Him without ceasing. We must take advantage of the tools the Almighty has provided for us so we can live victoriously through Christ and abide in a relationship of loving union with Him. One does not need to be a spiritual giant to pray fervently and effectually. We just need to read the Bible when we pray.

Questions for Personal Reflection?

What do you do when you cannot find the words to pray?

How can scripture help you to be more fervent in prayer?

Prayer- The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:1-4

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