Praying the scripture applied as a spiritual discipline offers God the daily opportunity to bring us into a “more effective cooperation with Christ and His kingdom.” As a result, “scripture praying” bears lasting implications for the lives of believers.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon once remarked: “I would rather lay my soul asoak in half a dozen verses [of the Bible] all day than rinse my hand in several chapters.” The German Pietist, Jacob Philip Spener (1635-1705) also believed that it was not enough to pray outwardly with one’s mouth but that true prayer, and the “best prayer” occurred in the inner man. It was his aim for the word of God and prayer to penetrate to this level of a believer’s life. He likewise advocated a holistic spiritual and devotional life where both the Word of God and prayer commingled in the inner person and was reflected in spiritual fruit in daily living. Spener’s example reminds us to take care to seek an accurate understanding of God’s Word in order to know clearly His voice in our lives.
Father, so often I try to discern what You are trying to say to me without devoting the time in prayer that is needed to hear Your voice. Until I know You well in the pages of Your Word, I will not be able to hear You speak to me in everyday situations. Draw me into the Scriptures in fresh ways, and reveal Yourself to me clearly so that I might be more in tune to the voice of Your Spirit!
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 27, The Use of Scripture in Personal Prayer by Larry Ashlock). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise God that he wants you to have the full measure of his joy in you as he prayed to his Father in Jn. 17:13. Thank God for filling your heart with joy (Ps. 4:7). Confess any inability to feel “the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Neh. 8:10) due to some situation that may trouble you right now. Commit yourself to reading Paul’s letter to the Philippians to inspire you toward greater joy. Ask God to help you be joyful in every situation and to do everything without complaining or arguing (Phil. 2:14).
Pray that your family and friends may see your joy in the Lord in all situations and likewise be joyful.