Teach Your Family To Pray The Word Of God
By Kim Butts
Years ago, I was taught how to pray the Word of God and it revolutionized my prayer life. I learned that the most important book in my life is the ultimate prayer manual, because it was written by God Himself.
Following are some reasons why praying Scripture can empower your prayer lives individually and corporately as a family. As you gain understanding and begin to incorporate the Word into your prayers, you will pray with greater boldness and effectiveness than you could ever have thought or imagined, because you will be interceding in God’s good, pleasing and perfect will. Praying Scripture is powerful because:
It is the example of Jesus. Jesus was tempted, just as each of us has been and will continue to be. If Jesus used the Word of God as a weapon against the devil, it is a good indication that we should do so as well. In Matthew 4:1-11, we see three times that Jesus fought His tempter with the Word: “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ …It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ …Away from Me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’”
His Word is His will. Learning to pray Scripture teaches us to pray according to His will. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15). Prayer: Gracious Father, teach me Your way so that I can walk in Your truth (Psa. 86:11). May Your Word be a lamp to my feet and a light for my path (Psa. 119:105). Help me not to conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but please transform me by the renewing of my mind so that I will be able to test and approve Your good, pleasing and perfect will for my life (Rom. 12:2).
The Word gives us confidence and power in our prayer. “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you” (John 15:7). When you pray Scripture, you can be confident and know that it is powerful! It is much easier for me to believe in God’s Word as I pray than to depend solely upon what is in my own heart, which can sometimes be selfish and not focused upon the plans and purposes of God.
The Word of God gives us a beautiful, full, rich vocabulary of prayer. Pray Psalm 145 to the Lord. As you do, focus all of the words on Him as a prayer of praise. Then, as you pray through this psalm and others, write down words and phrases that speak of God and His character to help you to have ways to describe Him so that your prayers don’t wither from repetition. Now that you have this example from the Psalms, go to other books of the Bible and do the same.
The Word of God helps us to keep our prayer lives fresh and exciting. “For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). Have you experienced dry seasons in your prayer life? Have you struggled for ways to teach your children to pray? Applying the vocabulary of Scripture to your prayer life will enliven it! Praying God’s Word will capture your heart and the hearts of your children so that they will always stay connected to the Vine that is Jesus Christ.
The Word of God helps us to develop an intimate relationship with Him and a desire to know Him better. Read Psalm 63:1-8. When was the last time you longed for God this way? Doesn’t it develop a hunger and a thirst for Him in your spirit? As you pray through God’s Word, He will increase your desire to know Him more deeply and intensely than ever before. If your children are passionate about worldly things, praying Scripture will help them to begin yearning after what is spiritual instead, as the Holy Spirit works upon their hearts. When we become families who are passionate for Jesus, things of the world become less important.
The Word of God reminds us to stay focused upon Him in prayer. “But my eyes are fixed on You, O Sovereign Lord…” (Psa. 141:8). Jehoshaphat said, “...We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You” (2 Chr. 20:12). In good times or bad, we need to have our eyes fixed and focused upon the Lord. Sometimes we try to take care of things that don’t go the way we think they should. When we do, we are functioning in our own flesh, and can often make the situation worse, or fail in our attempts to turn things around. Learn as a family to take everything to the Lord prayerfully, asking Him to take charge and work His will in the midst of whatever situation you find yourselves. Be sure that prayer is always your first response, and not your last resort.
The Word of God allows us to pray the blessings and the purposes of God for ourselves and others. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13). “May our Lord...encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word” (2 Thes. 2:16-17). Can you see how Scriptures can be applied to people and situations as you intercede?
The Word of God allows the Holy Spirit to work in and through us. “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Eph. 6:17). “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26). Train your family to know that the Holy Spirit is our divine Teacher. He knows everything about the mind and heart of God, and wants to teach these things to us, if we are willing to take the time to listen.
The Word of God protects us from sin. “I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You” (Psa. 119:11). This shows us the importance of memorization – we can utilize Scripture in our prayer lives no matter where we are if the Word is hidden in our hearts. Train your children in this vital discipline so that they will be better prepared to stand against sinful behavior.
The Word of God helps us to stand on a firm foundation. “I will show you what he is like who comes to Me and hears My words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built” (Luke 6:47-48). Are your children’s feet standing firm upon the Rock? Praying the Word of God will help to build that foundation!
The Word of God will always accomplish what He desires. “So is My word that goes out from My mouth: it will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isa. 55:11). It is important to train our families to understand that we should always pray for the Lord’s will to be done on earth rather than for our own selfish will to be done in heaven.
It is TRUTH! Jesus prayed for all believers in John 17:17, “Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth.” “...If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32). There are generations of believers alive today who do not embrace absolute truth. Praying Scripture will help your children to know this truth: Lord, You are right and true and You are faithful in all that You do.