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Prayer Part 4: Praying Scripture

Biblical Teaching on Prayer  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  41:32
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Introduction: Who knows how to pray the best?

Prayer Problems:

We don’t feel like praying.
We don’t know what to pray.
We can’t think of the right words to pray.
We are in a rut and praying the same way and want to change.
We want a deeper experience of prayer.

Bottom Line: Praying scripture broadens and enriches our prayers.

1. Pray before you pray

to be attentive
to hear God
to understand
to draw near to God

2. Pray a prayer that’s in the Bible.

Choose a complete passage. Philippians 4:13; 4:10-13
Be careful if you choose one verse. We grow in our prayer as we are led to pray things we wouldn’t normally pray. When we pick verses those are things we want. Other things in a prayer passage may not be what we choose but what we should pray.
Philippians 4:13 NIV
13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:10–13 NIV
10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
This verse is all about being content, and preservering through times of need, rather than simply being granted the strength to do anything. Looking back a few verses, we can see that Paul is actually saying “I can be content through Him who gives me strength.” In the previous verse, Philippians 4:12, Paul says that “I know what it is to be in need…I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry…” Paul makes no boast, to the church at Philippi, that he can achieve or endure anything through God who strengthens him. He tells them, instead, that God grants him the strength to be content, no matter the circumstance.
So if you ever find yourself imprisoned or persecuted for your faith, it's appropriate to remember and quote Paul’s example, and his words in this verse. Shouting it at the church baseball game so that you can Samson-strength the ball over the tree line, or grunting it out at the gym in an effort to bench 300? Not so much. Read more at https://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/5-bible-verses-youre-probably-using-out-of-context.aspx?p=3#6GClUcrqjYTGzYrK.99
2. Consider the context. Jeremiah 33:3; Psalm 55:15; Matthew 5:44-48
Some prayers are for us, some are not. We can still pray prayers that are not for us, but we have to modify the way we pray them.
Jeremiah 33:3 is not a promise for us but we can still pray it.
Psalm 55:15 Imprecatory were against literal enemies. These prayers aren’t consistent with Jesus’s teaching in Matthew 5:44-48. Pray this against spiritual enemies.
Change the names.
3. Change the prayer to fit your life. Psalm 3, Psalm 119.
Psalm 3 NIV
A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom. 1 Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2 Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” 3 But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. 4 I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. 5 I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. 6 I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. 7 Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. 8 From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.

3. Personalize a passage in prayer.

1. Personalize it for yourself and for others. Psalm 119:36
Psalm 119:36 “I incline my heart to your testimonies.”
2. React to it.
If it’s something about God - worship, praise or thank Him.
3. Meditate on the passage as you pray it.
What is there in this passage that makes me love God more?
What does God expects of me? Ask Him for help to do it. What does this passage lead me to do?
Is there something in the passage we’ve done for God as we’ve obeyed Him? Rejoice.
Does this passage show us something we’ve done wrong, confess our sin
Is there something in this passage about God that we can believe Him for? Ask Him to help us grow in faith. What does this passage lead me to ask of the Lord?

4. Scriptures to Pray for various issues

Health - Exodus 15:26; Deuteronomy 32:39; Psalm 6:1-3; Psalm 147:3; Jeremiah 17:14;
Exodus 15:26 NIV
26 He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.”
Deuteronomy 32:39 NIV
39 “See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand.
Psalm 6:1–3 NIV
1 Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. 2 Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint; heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony. 3 My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long?
Psalm 147:3 NIV
3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Jeremiah 17:14 NIV
14 Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.
Help - Psalm 9:9-10; Psalm 86
Psalm 9:9–10 NIV
9 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. 10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Needs - Philippians 4:19; Psalm 23:1; Romans 8:32
Philippians 4:19 NIV
19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 23:1 NIV
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
Romans 8:32 NIV
32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Protection - Psalm 71
Government leaders 1 Timothy 2:1-2.
Our nation 2 Chronicles 7:14
The church. Ephesians 4:1-6; Ephesians 6:19-20
Ephesians 4:1-6 (unity and maturity) Ephesians 6:19-20 (to have the right words to share the Gospel) Ephesians 6:19-20
Ephesians 6:19–20 NIV
19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
The lost - open hearts Acts 16:14; to see the light of the Gospel 2 Corinthians 4:4; for repentance 2 Timothy 2:25-26
Acts 16:14 NIV
14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.
2 Corinthians 4:4 NIV
4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
2 Timothy 2:25–26 NIV
25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
The persecuted church Ephesians 1:18; Ephesians 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 1:7-9
for hope Ephesians 1:18; inner strength Ephesians 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 1:7-9
Ephesians 1:18 NIV
18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,
Ephesians 3:16–17 NIV
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
2 Corinthians 1:7–9 NIV
7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. 8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.
Those far from God. 2 Corinthians 4:4; John 16:8-11
Carnal Christians 1 John 5:16-17

Discussion questions:

Is praying Scripture something you have done or that you do regularly?
If you pray Scripture you’re in the habit of praying, which one or ones do you pray?
Is praying Scripture something you will incorporate into your prayer time (if you don’t already do it)? Why or why not?
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