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The Word of God and Prayer

January 15, 2015

Bibe and prayerThe Bible is peppered with marvelous promises of answered prayer. Jesus promises, “And whatsoever ye ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13) This and other similar promises give the Christian abundant assurance that God is ready to answer prayer. A full study of the New Testament teaching on prayer reveals that requests must be in the will of God, must be in submission to Jesus as Lord, must not be selfish and must not be fueled by worldly lusts. That is not summation of God’s guidance of His children in the matter of prayer. God has given His Holy Spirit who intercedes for the believer each time he prays (Romans 8:26-27). God the Son is the believer’s mediator and intercessor (1 Timoth 2:5; Hebrews 7:25). He has given His Word to teach, guide and illustrate prayer for the child of God.

It is my conviction that the Word teaches the believer how to pray according to the will of God in every request. One can always be certain his requests are the will of God when he is rightly praying God’s Word. All who are serious about praying to receive God’s favor will consider how to know if a request is in the will of God. A wise Christian will consider the character of God, the promises of God, the commands of God and the principles of Scripture when making request. A Christian seeking to pray in submission to Jesus and according to the will of God will pray the Word of God. Praying the Word is praying the prayers found in the Bible, such as the Psalms, the Lord’s Prayer or the examples of prayers in the epistles. Praying the Word is praying the specific requests made by Christians in the Word, like Paul’s request for an open door for the gospel (C0lossians 4:3). Praying the Word is praying the promises of God in regards to a specific situation, for instance, praying for God to comfort those in a time of intense suffering (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Praying the Word is applying Biblical principles of behavior, attitude and thought to the requests made, for example, praying one will remain filled with joy during a season of illness. Praying the Word is finding the will of God revealed in the Word of God and molding the requests to match His will. Praying the Word is letting the Bible explicitly guide the requests being made.

Praying the Word does not necessarily mean word perfect quotation of Biblical text during prayer. The mere repetition of Biblical phrases thoughtlessly spoken is not praying the Word. Instead, praying the Word is the understanding and assimilation of Scripture. Once understood, the Biblical truths are summarized, personalized and applied to the requests being made. Praying the Word is making the substance of the request equivalent with the teaching of the Bible. When a Christian prays in this fashion, properly applying the Bible to the need of the moment, he can be certain his requests are in agreement with the will of God and will be answered.

I realize this leaves some things unaddressed that many would like to address. Praying for healing, for provision, for job opportunities, safe travels and such like leaves the believer in a position of making requests for things that cannot be certainly known to be in the will of God. Despite some legitimate uncertainty, the believer has full privilege to make these kinds of requests. The Bible provides examples of such requests, but in all things the Christian must joyfully submit his will to the will of God. The Christian who prays the Word for the glory of God can be confident his prayers will always be answered.

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