“For the Word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 Amplified Bible
Prayer is a powerful tool in the arsenal of a believer but sometimes we forget just how mighty it can be. In fact, at times when life is going along just fine we can neglect our prayer life, and when the heat turns up then, we are quick to realize that we have a source to Whom we can turn. Hopefully, that’s not true in our case, but it sometimes happens when our life is rocking along pretty well.
God’s Word is chocked full of sound advice, effective principals for life, and great promises. We just have to be open to searching them out. You just might be surprised at how relevant it can be to life even in the 21st century. Now I have prayed the Word for some years, but recently I am realizing that even so, I am underutilizing it in my prayer life. For example, I was praying for a friend this morning who is seeking the Lord about some decisions. I ran across a scripture that I found to be very helpful. I know when I am asking the Lord for something; sometimes I find it hard to know the difference between Him answering, my thoughts and other thoughts and ideas that ‘pop’ into my head. I ran across this scripture this morning and felt prompted to pray it over my friend.
““I assure you and most solemnly say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up from some other place [on the stone wall], that one is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep [the protector and provider]. The doorkeeper opens [the gate] for this man, and the sheep hear his voice and pay attention to it. And [knowing that they listen] he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out [to pasture]. When he has brought all his own sheep outside, he walks on ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice and recognize his call. They will never follow a stranger, but will run away from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”” JOHN 10:1-5 AMP
““The sheep that are My own hear My voice and listen to Me; I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they will never, ever [by any means] perish; and no one will ever snatch them out of My hand.” JOHN 10:27-28 AMP
The focus scripture was My sheep, (my followers) hear My voice and they follow me. The voice of a stranger, they will not follow. Based on these words, I felt compelled to petition the Father that this is His child I am praying for and that they are diligently seeking His wisdom. So my prayer went something like this: Lord, I pray (their name) will clearly hear Your answers for he/she is Your child and Your children (sheep) hear your voice and Your Word says that the voice of a stranger they will not follow. I pray that Your voice will be clear to (name) and that all others will be silenced so that he/she clearly hears what You alone have to say to them. From there, I went on to look up appropriate scriptures to pray over my friend’s current needs. What is an excellent way to pray for others or yourself!
You might ask why? Why is praying the Word of God relevant? Isaiah 55 tells us in verse 11, “My word, which comes from my mouth, is like the rain and snow. It will not return to me without results. It will accomplish whatever I want and achieve whatever I send it to do.” Now that sounds like another promise we can count on; we just have to remember it says that it accomplishes what He wants and achieves what He sends it to do. That means we must pray the promise within the context it is written and with the right motives.
“What is the source of wars and fights among you? Don’t they come from the cravings that are at war within you? You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war.
You do not have because you do not ask.
You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your evil desires.” James 4:1-3
As you can see, as we seek to pray our motives are important. Proverbs 21:2 tells us that “Every way of a man is right in is own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.” (English Standard Version) Because of this, we need to search our own heart as we make request and petition for ourselves or others. Another good example is Galatians 1:10 Paul asks: “for am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? OR AM I TRYING TO PLEASE MAN? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ?” 1 Thessalonians 2:4, “But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.” ESV And lastly, 1 Timothy 1:5: ‘The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” ESV. So let’s make sure to examine our hearts and motives and “Let us, therefore, come boldly before the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in the time of need”! Hebrews 4:16 NKJV
May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ grant you grace and peace!