Praying Scripture Reveals God and His Will

February 10, 2008

In a sermon titled “Devote Yourself To Prayer” on Colossians 4:2-4, John Piper gives the following counsel about praying Scripture:

“The prayer time and the Bible meditation time don’t have to be separate times. It would be best if they were not separate.

If you ask, What do I pray for myself and my family and my church and the missionaries and the city and the nations, the answer is pray Scripture. God’s Word reveals God and his will. What you want for yourself and those you pray for is more of God and more of his will. As you see him in his Word, pray that God would make this seen and known and loved in the lives of the people you pray for. And as you see his will, pray that God would cause it to be done in the lives of those you pray for. “Thy will be done on earth as in heaven.”

Be intentional about this, but don’t be too self-conscious. Contrived prayers seem inauthentic. If we are so self-conscious that we try to craft our prayers with interesting turns of phrase, we will lose the power and reality of prayer. But do try to pray specific Biblical values for people, not worn out cliches and trite generalities that have no spiritual depth.

For example, if you want to pray for somebody, pray the beatitudes: Father, grant that John would recognize his poverty of spirit. Let him mourn for his sins and not be indifferent or unconcerned for his own soul. Work a meekness into his heart. Grant him to be hungry and thirsty for righteousness. Give him the heart of a peacemaker and a reconciler. Make him pure and keep him pure, O Lord. And if you will for him to be persecuted, give him grace to count it all joy and to remember that his reward is great in heaven.

Praying like this will be mighty in the Spirit, because it is the Spirit’s own Word and the Spirit’s own will that you are praying.”

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