The Lord awakened me this morning with you and this week’s lesson on my mind. I prayed fervently for God to be at work in and through our next lesson as we learn to take His Word and pray it back to Him.
Prayer is one of my passions because praying God’s Word has completely transformed my prayer life. Through this transformation, I have witnessed specific and powerful answers to prayer. Why? Because when we pray God’s Word back to Him, He must honor it. True to His character, He cannot go back on His Word.
Think about these two questions:
Mom, can I have a piece of candy?
Mom, remember yesterday you promised me a piece of candy? May I have it now, please?
Which statement resonates more strongly in your heart…the one in which your child simply asks for a piece of candy, or the one in which your child reminds you of your promise? The latter, of course. When we pray God’ s Word back to Him, we are reminding Him of His promises.
It is important to realize that God’s honoring His Word does not always result in a “yes” to our prayers, but be assured that His answer will be in line with His Word and true to His character. This is why KNOWING the Word is so important in prayer.
So, after a few housekeeping details, let’s begin today’s lesson.
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Now back to the lesson. Below please find this week’s lesson and homework.
Homework Questions: Please do as many questions as time allows. Your time reading and studying is when God will do His greatest work!
Lord, this week we dig into Your living and active Word. We invite You to speak in very personal and powerful ways as we seek hard after You. Listening is hard for us. Quieting our hearts, being still seems impossible in this busy world. We are driven to do and to go…to accomplish and to achieve. This week enable us through the power of Your Holy Spirit to REST…to BE STILL…to hear Your still small voice. Help us to be and not to do. We want to sit in the Light of Your Presence and soak up all that You have for us. Make us comfortable as we sit at Your feet. Teach us to pray, Lord. Teach us to pray!! We ask this in Jesus’ name. AMEN.
1. Praying powerful and effective prayers begins with incorporating God’s Word into your prayers. This week we read John 15:7, “If you remain in me and my Words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” The key to answered prayer is knowing God’s Word. Take some time to find these verses and note what each says about God’s Word.
a. Deuteronomy 8:3
b. Deuteronomy 6:6-9
c. Deuteronomy 11:18-19
d. Psalm 119:9
e. Pslam 119:105, 130
f. 2 Samuel 22:31; Proverbs 30:5
g. Isaiah 55:11
h. Hebrews 4:12
i. James 1:22
j 2 Peter 1:19-21
k. Matthew 24:35
l. Jeremiah 15:16
m. Colossians 3:16
2. Take some time to sit with God’s Word. Pray before you open your Bible, “Father, open the eyes of my heart so I can see the wonderful things in your Law.” Perhaps you will choose a familiar book…. a gospel, the Psalms, or a book whose name you don’t even recognize. Whatever book you choose, as you gaze into God’s Word, ask for ears to hear and a heart to receive what He is speaking to you. Search the Scriptures. Listen for His voice. Seek His perspective on what you read. When you pinpoint the Scriptures that speak to your heart, write them down, and spend some time pondering and praying through them. Ask the Lord what He wants you to do with what you have read and learned.
3. For our final excercise this week, we will choose some verses of Scripture and pray them back to God. Let me share a personal example. Lamentations 2:19 says, “Rise during the night and cry out. Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord. Lift up your hands to Him in prayer, pleading for your children.” In this verse, God calls parents to pray for their children. In response to this, I felt led to pray for my children. I started with baby steps and selected a few verses and prayed them for my children. Here are a few examples of the short prayers I have written for Lauren and Bo.
Lord, please hide Your Word in Lauren’s heart so her desire is to please You and obey You in all she says and does. (Psalm 119:11)
Help Bo trust in You with all His heart and lean not on his own understanding and to acknowledge You in all his ways. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Remind Lauren when she feels discouraged and like she cannot accomplish what is set before her that she can do all things through You who strengthens her. (Philippians 4:13)
Clothe Bo in humility and teach him to put others first. (Ephesians 4:2, Luke 18:14)
Grow Lauren and Bo in wisdom, stature, and favor with You and with man. (Luke 2:52, Daniel 1)
Assignment: For the next few days, search God’s Word for verses that address concerns in your life (marriage, fear, anger, anxiety/worry, depression/hopelessness, lonliness, doubt, unforgiveness, bitterness).
For example, if you struggle with worry, look up the word anxious or worry or peace in the concordance in the back of your Bible and find verses that include those words. Write them down, personalize them, and pray them back to God. When I searched, I found Philippians 4:6-7: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. The you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (NLT)
Your prayer could read like this:
Father, I have so much on my mind right now. I cannot even sleep at night. I feel so anxious. Your Word asks me to pray about everything. So right now, Father, I am coming to You with my worries, especially___________. Father, I thank You for Your faithfulness. I thank You that You are in control of all things. I want to experience Your peace. So right now I am giving all of my worries to You, Lord, and claiming Your promise that in doing this, Your peace, the peace that passes all understanding, will guard my heart and mind. I thank You that I will be filled with Your peace from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. I trust You for this.
[The prayers in Question 3 are taken from Chapter 9 in my book, Hidden Joy in A Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God’s Story. You can find it at Proverbs 31 as well as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and many Christian bookstores]
Please share bits and pieces of your prayers on the blog this week. Reading each other’s prayers will not only be a great encouragement but also a wonderful way to see practical application of this lesson.