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Sunday, March 26, 2023
Bible Meditation: 
Jeremiah 29: 8-14

Then you will call upon Me and go up and PRAY to Me, and I will listen to You” –  Jeremiah 29:12

God listens and answers when we seek Him by PRAYING SCRIPTURES: Then you will call upon Me and go up and PRAY to Me, and I will listen to You” (Jer.29:12). God had cautioned His people against listening to false prophets (vv. 8-9). He had also spoken through Prophet Jeremiah, that He would perform His good Word by causing them to return from captivity to their own land (v. 10). Then, He instructed them on the basis of His Word, to pray to Him; that is, to PRAY HIS WORD back to Him! He assured them: “And you will seek me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (v.13). Praying scriptures is a practical way of getting God's attention!

There are various approaches to praying what’s already written in God’s Word – using a passage, verse, or scripture concept that may relate to personal, family, church, organisational, national, or global affairs. The How of Praying Scriptures may involve the following:

Using a Prayer Journal: Using a notebook or journal, we can note passages of Scripture on one column and our conversation with God on the other. Someone described this as having “a dialogue with Scripture”! The Psalms and Proverbs seem suited with this type of prayer. For examples: “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psa.73:26). Prayer: Dear Father, my child is passing through a difficult adolescence. His heart seems to be failing, and mine too, not knowing how to help. May we know You as our Strength and our Portion. Draw us to Yourself and help us to see that Your love is better than life (Psa.63:3). You are near to those whose hearts are broken (Psa.34:18). Stay close to us, enliven us, and help us to be enlightened in Your Light (Psa.36:9).

Praying through Long Passages of Scripture: We can extract a single verse or “talk” with the Scripture using the long passage. The latter can be effective because working through surrounding verses often takes our focus off the problem and onto God. For example, in praying for a Believer whose faith is becoming feeble, we might turn to Psalm 37: “Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity” (Psa.37:1). The verses that follow give a specific list of how we can pray for healing and restoration of the individual’s heart in the situation: “Trust in the Lord… Delight in the Lord… Commit your way to the Lord… Rest in the Lord….” (Psa.37: 3-7). Each of these is like a ready content for petition, confession, declaration, or thanksgiving.

Praying the Lord’s Prayer: Much of this Model Prayer is about God Himself – adoring Him; asking for His will, Kingdom, and Glory, rather than our own. Besides simply repeating this Prayer routinely, we can take it phrase by phrase, meditating on each one, slowly. First, we thank Him for being such a good Father, meeting all our needs, protecting us, and guiding us through our day. We may reflect thankfully and specifically on the ways He is fathering our family, and ask Him to open our eyes to more ways. We tell the Lord that we want to be a family that hallows Him. We reflect on Who He is, what He has done for us in Christ Jesus; His kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. We can go on and on: Our longing for His Kingdom; our petitions, forgiveness; protection from temptation; and declaration of His Glory!

Searching Scripture for Texts about Particular concerns: We can pray these back to God, inserting the names of those we are praying for. It helps to have a Prayer Book, each page focusing on a topic we want to pray for: salvation, deliverance, healing, provisions, spiritual development, career, ministry, or whatever comes up in our lives. We can write Bible-based prayers relating to various family members, friends and acquaintances. Our intent is never to add to or distort what God has said, but to apply His truth to our prayers.

Adetokunbo O. Ilesanmi (Meditations)

Lord, train us in the ‘How’ of PRAYING SCRIPTURES, that we may always seek You with all our heart and find You, in Jesus’ name.
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