One of the most common struggles I hear from other believers is over their prayer life, and it has been one of my greatest as well. Through the years, God has been growing me in both the joy and discipline necessary to be faithful in prayer. It’s not always pretty or comfortable, but it always leads to greater peace in my life.
God tells us in Scripture to pray always, pray fervently, and pray in truth. (See 1 Thess. 5:17, Col. 4:2, Psalm 145:18, James 5:16)
How do we pray in truth unless we know the truth – the truth that is found about Jesus in the pages of Scripture.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 14:6 ESV
As humans, our minds are prone to wander and it’s easy to become distracted by our own thoughts when we seek to pray. The thought of talking to God without ceasing overwhelms us. We often have a hard time listing something for prayer in our communities – maybe because we don’t think much of what we face in the mundane moments of life are worthy of talking to God about? Nothing is too small or big for God. We are to cast every anxiety and care upon the Lord; prayer shows our humility in acknowledging dependence and trust in Him.
We have most likely heard about how Jesus prayed often, so if He desired and needed to be with the Father for comfort, strength, and guidance, how much more do we? I know I do!
One of the ways I have been increasing my time spent talking with God from a sincere heart is by conversing with Him about what I am reading and studying in Scripture. The Bible is God’s words to us, pointing us to the Word, His Son. He says it is profitable for teaching, correcting, guiding our steps, and discerning what is in our hearts that we aren’t even aware of. To me, this meant that if I wanted to be free from seeds of sin I’m harboring, I needed to be filled with the light of Scripture to illuminate the dark places. Confession comes more naturally to me when I am confronted with the truth of the written Word.
Just like Jesus fought temptation in the wilderness by quoting Scripture to Satan, so we can use our Bible reading time to actively fight sin through reading and reflecting truth. Ask Him to show you how to put on the armor and wage war against your flesh by hiding truth in your heart and mind. Even when you go about your day, you can remember these truths and claim them in moments of struggle and pray biblically.
Here are some verses on prayer and how Scripture plays a huge role in our communication with God:
“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them.”
Praying in truth leads to greater intimacy and fulfillment. He hears. He is our rescue
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”
Ever wonder why you don’t know what to pray? God says we don’t know how to intercede fully on our behalf. When we are at a loss for words, the Spirit helps and intercedes. Scripture reveals what a Spirit-led person should look like. We can begin by praying for that.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
1 John 5:14
How do we know how to pray “according to His will”? God reveals His general will for all of us in the Bible. We will see it if we are faithful to read through Scripture (to live by faith). Ask God to align your way with His. Use specific passages to guide your prayers.
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Ever felt insecure about talking to God? Scripture teaches us to come boldly with confidence that God will hear and act according to His will. How could you talk to God about this truth if you are struggling to feel worthy or faith-filled in your time with Him? He desires to encourage you and build you up in Him.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
Friends, God’s words are so powerful. It is a grace from our Father that we don’t value enough at times. It is meant to equip us to know and please God through abiding in His presence. When we slow down to speak it back to Him with a desire to be shaped and transformed by it, the Spirit moves us from one glory to another. Amazing!
I would like to invite you to check out my prayer guide that came out in January 2022. If you want to read the story behind the book, visit this page. This 114 page, full-color book-a-zine is a collection of how I prayed through Scripture in 2020. It looks at the passage of focus and then leads you through a prayer based on the truths in its biblical context. It is also designed with beautiful, one-of-a-kind photos (taken by my husband) that create a beautiful coffee table book or gift for a friend. It would be a great Easter gift! And from now until Easter Sunday 2022, it has been marked down a few dollars! (Was $21.99/ Now $18.99 paperback or Was $14.99/Now $9.99 Kindle)
I’d love to encourage you to grow in the spiritual practice of praying through Scripture through my new resource.
What are some of your favorite passages and how could you talk to God about the truths found there?