Mike & Peigi share their experience of praying through God's Word in the run-up to the National Day of Prayer, Friday 30th November.
Praying through God’s Word in general, and especially through the Psalms, is a great help in the Christian life. Sometimes we are guilty of reading the Bible too quickly and of rushing through certain passages, especially the more familiar ones. Pausing to pray the Word grounds us and helps us to focus.
Prayer, according to the Shorter Catechism, is an ‘offering up of our desires to God, for things agreeable to His will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgement of His mercies’. We have confidence, when we pray the Word, that the praise we offer, and the petitions we utter, have been given to by the Holy Spirit in the first place, and will be acceptable to our Father in heaven. In an uncertain world, it is a great privilege to offer our prayers to a God who does not change.
To pray through the Word is a great stimulus for praise, even in the most challenging situations. We are brought face to face with God’s glorious attributes and our hearts are stirred to give praise and thanks to Him. We are reminded of our smallness and of His greatness, of His grace and of His mercy, of our need to persevere in the faith and of our utter dependence on Him. He is indeed the Rock of our Salvation.
The Bible does not hide people’s flaws and faults, and therefore praying the Word provides us with a springboard for repentance and confession. There is a way back to God from whatever snare we have fallen into, knowing that he understands our weakness and our frailty, and that He invites us to return to Him, with a teachable and penitent spirit, for cleansing and for renewal.
Praying the Word also prompts us to give thanks. We are richly blessed in so many ways, but we are prone to forget that. In the Bible, we have many expressions of gratitude, and a moving recognition that even words fail when we come to give thanks to God for the best gift of all, His Son.
Finally, praying through the Word reaffirms that we do so in the name of Jesus, our only advocate with the Father. We can pray with freedom and with confidence in His name. As we approach the National Day of Prayer, we are privileged to have prayers such Ephesians 3 v 14-21 in our own languages. As we pray in private and in public, we ask, like Paul, that God may have all the glory.