1 John 5:14-15: “This is the confidence which we have before 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 which we have asked from Him.”
This week Thrasher helps us to understand what it means to learn to “pray scripture.” For many this is an idea not often used when we pray. We just come with our laundry list of needs and people, and we pray through the list of “I want…” or “please bless these people.” Thrasher tells us regarding the practice of prayer that “the greatest help did not come from these excellent books [on prayer] but rather from the Scriptures themselves. The most significant aid came from going through the Bible and praying the prayers of Scripture” (95). That is a powerful statement!
The prayers that Thrasher lays out are the beginning examples of what he learned. He writes, “there is a difference in knowing a truth of God’s will or desire and being controlled by this truth” (102).
He shows us in Ephesians 1:3-14 that this prayer is praying for spiritual enlightenment through praying for hope in “one’s own life and the lives of others.” This prayer also brings about the understanding of the “inheritance among the saints”—how God considers us and communicates to us about being His treasure and that we also would know His power. This power is shown through the resurrection power, which gives “victory over sin and death,” and the power of His authority over all creation and that all things are under Him.
The prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21 is a prayer for us who have the Spirit living within us, to lay hold of God’s power and to embrace the depth of the riches of His love for us.
Philippians 1:9-11 is another way in which we can know and understand God’s great love for us and how “God would help us put our stamp of approval or choice on the most excellent ways to express our love” (101). Thrasher goes on to say that “we will never be able to make these correct choices apart from the help of God” (and His love).
The last prayer that Thrasher shows us is Colossians 1:9-12. In this Scripture we see that God’s desire for us is to know Him. In knowing Him we will bear fruit for others with whom we are in contact. This becomes abiding in God, which is our ultimate goal as we glorify God through our walk with Him.
I think for many as well as for myself we do not think to pray, either silently or out loud, the prayers that God has given us in Scripture. As we look, read, and then fully give ourselves to embracing and internalizing the prayers that God has given us, we will begin to sense more of what God wants for us in and through His will, and not so much what we may think we need to bring before the Lord. There is nothing wrong with bringing our needs before the Lord. Scripture tells us that in many places. I think, though, that as Thrasher has shown us in this chapter and the prayers that he lays out, there is great depth that comes in our walk with God when we pray through the prayers He has given us through Scripture. We come to know His will in a defining way as opposed to wanting our will to be brought to God and have our way accomplished.
The quote at the beginning of chapter fourteen I think is an excellent thought to bring all of this to a focused conclusion.
“The key is to pray according to God’s will. To know His will we must know His thoughts. To know His thoughts we must saturate our minds with His word. Then we will begin to experience the authority of God in our prayers.”—Charles Henley
I do not know about you, but for me this has been enlightening and encouraging to make the effort, take the time, go back, focus and pray through these prayers in Ephesians I:15-23, 3:14-21, Philippians 1:9-11 and Colossians 1:9-12. This week take some quiet time and pick one of these prayers. Read, embrace, digest and pray through these scriptures so that your spiritual eyes may be opened to the depth of God’s love for us and the understanding of HIS will in our lives! There are many more prayers in the Scriptures that continue to teach us more of who God is and His will for us—search them out! Let us know your thoughts. And don’t forget to journal.