Praying the very words of Scripture is an amazing way to bring depth to your prayer life. Read the word of God, think about it, meditate on it, soak in it, then pray…read some more…lather, rinse, repeat. (I guess that’s a reference that only those with a head full of hair may get…)
Don Whitney has written well about this in his book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, in his chapter on prayer.
“…there should be a smooth, almost unnoticeable transition between Scripture input and prayer output so that we move even closer to God at those moments.”
This morning, even though it wasn’t on my daily reading play (I strayed from routine! Ah!) I found my mind thinking of Ephesians 1:15-20 as I was praying:
For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 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, 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, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,
(Ephesians 1:15-20 ESV)
What is Paul praying for here? And what can we meditate on and pray for as well? That the eyes of our hearts, in other words that we would know and sincerely understand in the core of who we are – we would know with certainty:
– the HOPE to which God has called us, as believers and followers and worshipers of Jesus. Jesus brings hope beyond what is going on today. Hope of real lasting heart change to glorify him and hope for tomorrow to be with him forever free from sin and death.
– the RICHES of this glorious INHERITANCE of the saints – what we have now as our assurance of God working in us to make us more like Jesus by his grace for his glory and our ultimate good…and also our eternal home with him in Heaven. Also there is the sense here of God enjoying us, how precious his children are to him.
– the immeasurable greatness of His POWER toward us who believe. Christ has done the work perfectly, it is completed on our behalf. The Holy Spirit now resides within us giving us power to live God-pleasing lives.
Why is all this possible – because of Jesus – what God “worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at the right hand in the heavenly places.”