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Praying Scripture

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A look at the practice of praying Scripture

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Praying Scripture

Introduce myself: How I came to Christ, and then eventually to the ranch, and where I am now.
The joy of knowing the truth that no matter how much we seek after God and desire to know Him, and even if we pursue Him and the knowledge of Him with all the joy and passion with which our human capacity allows, we will never fully comprehend and understand the great God of the Universe. But I am excited to spend the rest of eternity worshipping and fellowshipping with HIM.

What is prayer?

A most basic definition of prayer is to speak to God, or communicating to God by thought and word.
“A tool that God uses to empower human endeavor with supernatural results.”
Prayer is a request- asking for something or requesting that a truth be recognized.
“A means of accessing the power of God, for the glorification of God.”
Richard Foster (Quaker) says, “Prayer catapults us onto the frontier of the spiritual life.”
A complete study and exposition of prayer would require a great deal more time, but I will likely refer back to this definition periodically throughout our time together.
Foster, “In prayer, real prayer, we begin to think God’s thoughts after him, to desire the things he desires, to love the things he loves, to will the things he wills.”
A professing believer recently told me that their attitude toward God has been one which says, “you are going to do what you do, the way you do it, when you want to do it, so just go ahead and get on with it.”

Justification: Union w/ Christ

Clothed in the righteousness of the perfect Lamb of God.

Sanctification: Communion w/ Christ

Positionally, we are sanctified (justified)
Practically, we are being sanctified (progressive sanctification) the process we are now in as sons of God, adopted into His family, but still in the flesh of our sinful bodies).
Ultimately, we will one day be glorified, and become like Him. In our new bodies in the New Heaven and New Earth. At this point we will no longer sin, but we will not be God. WE will simply agree with Him and be perfectly aligned with His will and His character (Holy, Holy, Holy).

Abiding in Christ and He in Us

this happens by the work of the Holy Spirit!
,
Romans 8:9–11 ESV
9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

Already and Not Yet!

We are already sanctified and we are not yet fully sanctified.

But it is a continual process in the life of a believer, of which we have a part in accomplishing. (Fight, Press On, Do, Don’t Do, buffett my bodyetc. . .)
1 Corinthians 9:27 ESV
27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
2 Corinthians 12:9–10 ESV
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Cor 12:9

The Promise

John 15:7 ESV
7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
John
James 1:5–7 ESV
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;
James 1:5
James 5:16 ESV
16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

Why should you or would you pray Scripture?

Praying Scripture: 12 Reasons You Should and 3 Strategies How by Andy Naselli

It Glorifies God the Father

It Glorifies God the Father
John 15:7–8 ESV
7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

Jesus did

Matthew 27:46 ESV
46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
, ,
A quote of David’s ,

The early church did

Acts 4:24–30 ESV
24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, “ ‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’— 27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
Quote of . . .
Psalm 2:1–2 ESV
1 Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
,
, ,

It helps you focus on what is most important

It helps you focus on praying

It helps you focus on praying
Matthew 26:41 ESV
41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

It is entirely truthful

(you can still go wrong here if you mishandle it.)
John 17:17 ESV
17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
(you can still go wrong here if you mishandle it.)

It kindles your affections

The first thing I did, after having asked in a few words the Lord’s blessing
upon His precious Word, was to begin to meditate on the Word of God; searching,
as it were, into every verse, to get blessing out of it; not for the sake of the public
ministry of the Word; not for the sake or preaching on what I had meditated upon;
but for the sake of obtaining food for my own soul. The result I have found to be
almost invariably this, that after a very few minutes my soul has been led to
confession, or to thanksgiving, or to intercession, or to supplication; so that
though I did not, as it were, give myself to prayer, but to meditation, yet it turned
almost immediately more or less into prayer.
George Mueller (as Quoted by John Piper in Desiring God)

It helps you pray confidently

1 John 5:14 ESV
14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
,

It helps you express yourself appropriately

Daniel 9:18 ESV
18 O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy.
Dan

It keeps your prayers fresh and specific

John Piper says,
If I try to pray for people or events without having the word in front of me
guiding my prayers, then several negative things happen. One is that I tend to be
very repetitive from day to day and hour to hour, and I just pray the same things
all the time. . . . But the Bible . . . . gives me biblical things to pray for so that I’m
not praying with empty and vague requests like “God bless them” and “God bless
that.” Rather, I’m asking for specific things that the Bible commends.

It keeps your prayers in Scriptural proportion

Praying various genres and intentions within the divinely inspired Word helps us not get stuck in a theological rut or consumed with spiritual tunnel vision.

It helps you understand Scripture better

Strategies for Praying Scripture

Just do it! Which sounds good but some added insights might help.

Rejoice

Repent

Request

Also offer copies of Piper’s “Tips for Praying the Word” article.

Practice:

We have learned to pray by imitation. Example of Old English prayer vs. Coffee shop, storefront church today.
Old English- The Valley of Vision page 56
Coffee Shop Prayer- Jesus, I just feel like I need to tell you how much I love you. You have been such a good friend to me. Sometimes I get bogged down with stuff, but you are always there to help me get back on track. You are the best! I can’t think of anyone I would rather have as my tour guide through life than you. Thank you for being the sunlight that brightens my day.

Praying Scripture Illustrated:

Ephesians 1:
Ephesians 1:15–23 ESV
15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Rejoice:

Did you hear what we just prayed? What in this passage can we rejoice in? AND YOU BETTER BE ABLE TO FIND SOMETHING IN THIS PASSAGE TO REJOICE IN!

Repent:

What ways does this passage cause me to repent? Where have I failed to recognize this truth in my own life? Where have we as a body, failed to recognize and believe the truths of this passage?

Request:

What requests can we make from such a passage? We can certainly ask the same requests Paul has asked in this passage. What are other requests that come to mind beyond those that Paul specifically asks?
Psalm 27 ESV
Of David. 1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. 3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. 4 One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. 5 For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. 6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord. 7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! 8 You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.” 9 Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation! 10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in. 11 Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies. 12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence. 13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
Rejoice: Did you hear what we just prayed? What in this passage can we rejoice in? AND YOU BETTER BE ABLE TO FIND SOMETHING IN THIS PASSAGE TO REJOICE IN!
Repent: What ways does this passage cause me to repent? Where have I failed to recognize this truth in my own life? Where have we as a body, failed to recognize and believe the truths of this passage?
Request: What requests can we make from such a passage? We can certainly ask the same requests Paul has asked in this passage. What are other requests that come to mind beyond those that Paul specifically asks?
1 Peter 1:8–9 ESV
8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1
1 Peter 1:3–9 ESV
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Personal Application

Now take time to go and do this yourself for 15 minutes. You can pray through your meditation/interpretation project.

Testimonies:

Share what GOD is at work doing in NY State, despite what you are seeing or hearing from the major news media outlets.
Legislative Day- Gianna Jessen- Abortion Survivor
Legislators/Assembly Members coming to know Christ.
Abortion Rates are down
93% of Gen Z believes abortion is wrong!
Walk to the Capitol! - Several hundred people took a few extra hours to go deliver a message to the governor (who called a bluff press conference).
Bible study for young adults at New Hope Methodist Church in Rochester.
Let’s talk about what you have observed.

Questions:

What questions do you have concerning praying Scripture?

Piper’s 10 Reasons to Pray Scripture

1. Biblical truth saves.
Take heed to yourself and to your doctrine; hold to that, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. ()
2. Biblical truth frees from Satan.
You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. ()
3. Biblical truth imparts grace and peace.
May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. ()
4. Biblical truth sanctifies.
Sanctify them in the truth; Your Word is truth. ()
5. Biblical truth serves love.
It is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment. ()
6. Biblical truth protects from error.
Attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God...so that we may no longer be...carried to and fro by every wind of doctrine. ()
7. Biblical truth is the hope of heaven.
Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. ()
8. Biblical truth will be resisted by some.
The time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings. ()
9. Biblical truth, rightly handled, is approved by God.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. ()
10. Biblical truth: Continue to grow in it!
Grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. ()
Caution in Praying Scripture:

Caution: Imprecatory Psalms

We can have such a thing as righteous anger, but vengeance is the Lord’s.
David prays , and Paul later quotes it in Romans.
https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/pour-out-your-indignation-upon-them

Caution: Prayerful proof-texting

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