When my children were very young, I learned how to pray using the Word of God. I saw an example of this in my Bible study this week. We were studying Ephesians and there in my handwriting by Ephesians 3:16 were written my family’s names. The earliest were my husband’s and mine, then our sons’ and their wives’ names followed by our first grandchild in a different color of ink two more grandchildren. Finally in blue were the twins, the last two.
In a Bible study, I learned how to apply Scripture’s perfect and beautiful prayers, promises and verses that fit my heart’s desire for each situation. I also learned how encouraging it was to put my name and my family’s names right there in the Bible by the verse. It has been such a joy. As I wrote in my new book coming soon, A Relationship of Intimacy and Knowledge, ” The prayers of the Bible and the Word of God are an excellent guide for your own prayer life. Every time you find a prayer or a verse that could guide your prayer time, underline the verse or write the verse in your journal. These verses will lead you to pray more specifically with the Holy Spirit guiding your thoughts.”
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you ______________ with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. In addition, I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3: 16-21)
As you may guess, the names were added over time as the grandchildren were born. This beautiful prayer states God’s will for all of us. What a joy it is to pray these words back to God. As explained in the pamphlet, Let’s Pray, Talking to God with the Words of the Bible, “When we use the prayers from God’s Word humbly and expectantly to encourage us in our own prayers, we open our hearts and lives to deeper faith, renewed strength, fresh blessings, and God’s power.” Yes, what a beautiful blessing it is to pray the beautiful words of the Bible to express my heart’s desire, that my family and I would truly grasp the depths of God’s love.
I recommend a book by Mark Batterson, Praying Circles Around Your Children. In this book he explains, “When you pray the word of God, it’s like downloading updates to your operating system. You continually upgrade your conscience so it is fine-tuned to the Holy Spirit and the Holy Scriptures”.
Remember God wants us to go to him in prayer. He wants a close relationship, one in which you freely talk to him. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
Dear Holy Father, I praise you that you desire a relationship with us. I love you, Lord, because you hear my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because you bend down to listen. I will pray as long as I have breath! (Psalms 116 1-2)
In Jesus’ holy Name, Amen.