Pray-reading the Word
Pray-reading the Word
Over a year ago I wrote this post on “pray-reading” the Word. I went back and re-read it and decided that it would be a good thing to write on again, because I absolutely love doing it!
One of my favorite passages to pray-read this past year has been Psalms 119. I find myself often spending 10 or 15 minutes on one verse alone, because I really feel the Lord as I do it. If you don’t pray-read the scriptures, let me just say that you’re really missing out! The Word was meant to be our “conversational material” with God. More than just bringing Him our personal, external needs, I’ve found that simply engaging Him in conversation over the Word has transformed my heart tremendously.
He knows all of our needs before we even ask Him (Matthew 6:8). He invites us into prayer not for the sake of telling Him our needs, but simply for us to interact and dialogue with Him in conversation. What would it be like if an earthly father only heard his son or daughter’s voice when they needed to eat or borrow the car? There wouldn’t be any relational, heart-to-heart connect in that. Our heavenly Father is longing for a heart-to-heart connection with us. He’s not just the “big guy” that answers our laundry list of prayers after we pray them in dry repetition again and again.
Practically, here’s how I pray-read the Word. Try it for yourself, and if something else works better for you, than by all means, go for it! This just works really well for me in helping to keep me focused and actually talking to Jesus. Taking Psalms 119:1, I’ll say:
“Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk according to the law of the Lord!”
“Oh Jesus, I love you. I want to be undefiled in the way. I want to be blameless. Help me.”
* pause - I’ll focus on the throne of Revelation 4, with the words that I’m speaking going directly into the ears and heart of God on the throne *
“You said I would be blessed as I walk in full obedience to you. Oh help me. I want to do it. You said happy, fully of joy, and full of peace are the ones who let you fill every desire. Fill my desires, Jesus. Let me see you for who you really are.”
* pause - spend a minute or two praying in the Spirit or just telling Him softly or slowly that you love Him *
“I want to walk according to your law. I want to know the treasure that I am holding in my hands. I want to walk in your light and your truth. I’m so weak Jesus, so help me! Fill me with joy as I see your commands and as you empower me to walk them out.”
See what I mean? It’s so easy to take a verse like that and pray it back to God. Go slow, use your own heart language, and you’ll find that scriptures begin to pop into your head. Resist the urge to even go look them up and figure them out – just turn them into prayer to God. The Holy Spirit is a great teacher and He’ll bring them back to mind so you can study them or look at them later. Don't worry if you get off topic either. It's not about perfectly following an outline. It's all about actually talking to God!
Now for a little on verse 2:
“Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart.”
“Oh Jesus, I want to be fully yours. Give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name. I want my words, my thoughts, my time, my money, my eating habits and my relationships to come under your leadership. Lead me. I want to seek You with my whole heart. I don’t want any darkness in me.”
See how easy it is? If you spend time doing this daily, I can guarantee you will feel more of His presence and have power on your heart to live in righteousness as time progresses. It’s like taking a multivitamin – you never feel the effects the same day, but over the months and years its benefits become evident.
You can really do this with almost any part of the Word! Are there any particular passages you love to pray-read?