How to Pray: Praying God's Word

Prayer  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
0 ratings
Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →
John 15:7 ESV
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.


Your Pastor’s Invitation to Prayer

My desire for heartfelt, Christ-centered, Spirit-filled prayer among the congregation. That’s a lot. It may seem intimidating, and, if honest, out of reach.
We think of great people of faith, and think, those are the people who can really pray - that’s just not something meant for me There are no first class Christians - we share in One Lord, have One Father, and are given of One Spirit
Prayer is a gift God has given, which must be exercised for us to grow in it
This series is just that - a prescription of exercises, meant to stretch and strengthen you in prayer

Christ’s Invitation in Prayer

If You Abide in Me: This is the gospel

Apart from Christ we are powerless

We are dead, spiritually in our sins, cut off from God
John 15:6 “If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.”
“To abide in Christ is the joyful recognition of the value of his perfect sacrifice and the efficacy of His precious blood; a dependency upon Him because of my utter helplessness; to turn from myself and to turn to Christ.” - A.W. Pink
Before anything else, before we can even consider what it means to grow in prayer, we must be established in this - We need Christ, we are dead apart from Him, and the living are those who abide in Him.
Prayer, as with everything else, must flow out of fellowship and communion with Christ

By Faith Our lives are hidden in Christ (Colossians 3:3)

His righteousness covers us - Isa 61:10 “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
Gal 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
This is our justification, our abiding in, dwelling in Christ

And My Words Abide in You

What Jesus means by this
Abiding in the Word
“To have His words abiding in us, is to keep His sayings and precepts continually before our memories and minds, and to make them the guide of our actions, and the rule of our daily conduct and behavior.” J.C. Ryle
Luke 4:4 Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
Daily reading, listening to, and obedience to the Word
Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ - 2 Cor 10:15
Being renewed in the mind - Rom 12:2
This is our Sanctification

Ask Whatever You Will

Not an invitation for whatever you want
How this is abused - The popular interpretation is that if the Christian will plead of this promise before the throne of grace, he may then ask God for what he pleases, and the Almighty will not, cannot, deny him. We are told that Christ has here given us a blank check, signed it, and left us to fill it in for what we will.
If you are abiding in Christ, and His Word abides in you, your will, your desires, will be shaped by his, transformed. You will want what Christ wants, and ask for it.
Look to what Jesus prayed for
That God’s name would be glorified
That we would be united as on in Him
Do we pray for grace to believe, for compassion on the lost world so that we will witness the gospel, or for courage to stand against the pressures of the world and of sin?

It Will Be Done For You

Promises through Scripture that when we abide in Christ, our prayers are answered
Ps 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Matt 7:7 ““Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
1 John 5:14-15 “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”

The problem with our prayers -

We abide in Christ, but think that praying is our thing
Our prayers become repetitive, cold, distracted, selfish
We don’t even know what to say in prayer
What if there was a better way to pray?

Abiding in the Word in Prayer - Praying the Word of God

About Praying the Word

Prayer is a two-way conversation. We need to listen to God, not just to talk to Him. We do not listen to God by emptying our minds and waiting for a thought to spontaneously come to mind. That’s non-Christian mysticism. We listen to God by filling our minds with the Bible because the Bible is God speaking in written form.
Nothing is surer or more helpful as a rule or guide in prayer than the whole Word of God.
Praying God’s word can train us to feel what it expresses, to think God’s thoughts after him, and thus to tune our hearts to hear God’s voice in other ways.

Why Pray the Word of God

Christ Prayed the Word of God

Psalm 22 - “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
That’s all he prayed, but the imagery of the rest of Psalm 22, the prophecy of his suffering and death, are clearly connected to the Psalm. Though he just uttered the first verse, the entirety of the Psalm would have come to mind.
The Disciples’ prayer in Acts 4:25-26 - directly taken from Psalm 2
Other Reasons to Pray God’s Word
Matthew Henry - “Hear [God] speaking to you, and have an eye to that in every thing you say to him; as when you write an answer to a letter of business, you lay it before you. God’s word must be the guide of your desires and the ground of your expectations in prayer.”
Joni Eareckson Tada - “To season my prayers with the word of God. It’s a way of talking to God in his language, speaking in his dialect, using his vernacular, employing his idioms… When we bring God’s word directly into our praying, we are bringing God’s power into our praying… God’s word is living, and so it infuses our prayers with life and vitality.”
Ray Ortlund writes, “I have learned to see the Bible as kindling for a holy fire. Scripture is meant to inform us, and thus to inflame us. It is meant to illuminate our thoughts of God, and thus to ignite our affections for God.”
Piper - 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.

What This Looks Like

Matthew Henry - Employing the vocabulary of Scripture in prayer:
Ligon Duncan notes of Henry, “He ransacks the Scriptures for references to God’s attributes and turns them into matters of adoration.” In every respect, Henry sought to fill the mouth of God’s people with God’s own words.
Read some examples from “A Way to Pray”
Donald Whitney - Praying in this way is simply taking the words of Scripture and using them as my own words or as prompters for what I say to God.

Some Practical Examples

Psalm 23 - walk through and pray
Matthew 15:29-31 - praying for the sick, and for compassion for the sick
Romans 6:1-4 - a prayer of repentance, a prayer for new life

A Call to Pray God’s Word

First - know that you abide in Christ, and His word abides in you
Pray with your Bibles open, allowing God’s word to guide, shape, and speak to you and for you in prayer.
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more