What if you were given a road map and instructions for an adventure you were planning in the near future. Imagine what all that might include. The map would most certainly have details like the distance to be traveled and the topography of the area you would be passing through, along with instructions for your journey. And you would pay attention to these things. You would study the map. You would review the topography. You would make sure you understood the instructions given.
Have you ever thought about the idea that the Lord has given us these things in His word for our daily life? Instructions, wisdom, words of life for our soul, and even words to pray. Words to pray for our children, for our spouse, for our own life.
One of the most powerful ways we can pray for the people in our lives is to pray the scriptures for them. Insert their name in the scriptures as we pray those words back to the Lord. His words. His words that He has given us in scripture. Insert the names of your people, insert your own name, insert issues you are struggling with, insert difficulties your family is facing, insert, insert, and you get the idea.
What more powerful words are there on the planet, no in the entire universe, than the words God has breathed into His scriptures. His word is complete. It’s all we need. It speaks life into our souls, words of life that can only come from our heavenly Father. Words of love, words of grace, words of forgiveness (any one else as thankful for these as I am?), words of redemption, words of encouragement, words of strength.
I wonder if we really recognize the power that is in His word. We read it, we study it, we sing it, we hang it on the walls of our homes. Sometimes when we come across something we’re not particularly fond of we might even employ the “read real fast” technique so we can just move on as if that part isn’t even there. But do we really, and I mean REALLY, believe there is true power in those words. We probably would agree that the truths in scripture are real. But I wonder if we realize the power in those words when we put them in our heart, when we quote them back to ourselves, and even when we pray them back to the Lord. Yes, that’s right. Pray His words of life, healing, redemption, restoration back to Him as we pray fervently for our people and for ourselves.
We are living in an age where darkness and evil is no longer hidden in the back alley or veiled in the darkness of night. Evil doesn’t even try to hide. It’s right up in our faces everyday when we step out of our home, and right at our fingertips while we are in our home if we aren’t super diligent with filters, parental controls, etc. The click of a mouse, the opening of an app, the flip of a channel can all invite evil into our lives and the lives of our family if we aren’t so very careful. And even then, it makes it’s way in…
But what are we to do? We are here, in this world. We live surrounded by hard things, broken hearts, broken relationships, disappointments, hard marriages, health challenges, and the list goes on. We live in the world, but as Jesus says of believers in John 17:16: “They are not of this world, just as I am not of this world.” So we are in the world, but not of the world.
Jesus knew His followers and the believers to come would live in this world, and He knew we would struggle. He knew we would hurt. He knew we would live with temptation. He knew we would give in to temptation. He knew we would walk through the valley of the shadow of death. He knew we would fail. He knew we would live at times in the dark night of the soul. But He also knew that with his Holy Spirit living in us, we would be equipped to walk in His ways. We would be equipped to overcome temptation through faith in Him. We would be equipped to live a victorious life, even in the dark night of the soul. We would be able to walk in joy if we walk in faith, because He would fill us with His joy. But still, we are here in this world.
In John 17, Jesus prayed for His believers in a very specific way. In verse 15, He prays “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you protect them from the evil one.” He is asking our heavenly Father to protect us, His children, from the evil one. What a powerful request to make of our heavenly Father, and from Jesus, our Redeemer, who intercedes to the Father on our behalf! Do we pray that same prayer for our families? We should. Jesus gives us several examples in scripture of how we should pray.
Many years ago, when my older children were young, I began the practice of praying the scriptures for them. For their life, for their choices, for their friends, for their future spouses, for their walk with the Lord. It would take a written book to share with you all that I learned and all that God has done in the lives of my people through fasting and praying, and I don’t have that much space right here, so I’ll just begin by sharing with you some of the verses I have prayed for my people over the years, inserting names, struggles, and so much more as I prayed God’s words back to Him. I encourage you to begin today praying in this way if you don’t already. You’ll be blessed beyond measure to see how God works through the prayers of His children.
As I look back through my Bible, I come to tear stained pages, highlighted and underlined and often dated, and I am able to recount the work that God has done in my life and the lives of my family.
Soli Deo Gloria…to God Alone Be the Glory!
For my family individually:
Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.”
For my children specifically, but for my family also:
Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
For my family during some very difficult days:
Psalm 30:11-12 “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing, you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness; that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord, my God, I will give thanks to you forever.”
Psalm 140: 12-13 “I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and will execute justice for the needy. Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name; the upright shall dwell in your presence.”
Psalm 30:1-2 “I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up and have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried to you for help and you have healed me.”
Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight for you and you have only to be silent.”
For myself personally:
Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”
For my children as they grow up in the age of technology:
Psalm 119: 37 “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.”
If you are not in the practice of praying fervently for your children, your spouse, your marriage, and your family, sweet friend please begin today. We walk daily in a battleground and the lives of our loved ones are on the front lines. But God…He hears our prayers and He answers.
For more encouragement and insight in living a prayer filled life, visit the links below. You’ll be glad you did!
Blessings, sweet friend ~