Using Scripture to Transform Your Prayer Life

Today we are going to be talking about prayer, in general, and more specifically as it relates to the power of a praying mother. I’m sure we have a broad range of people listening today

  • Some who are absolutely diligent and intentional about praying to some who casually pray when they happen to think about it
  • We have some who use scripture to pray, prayer guides, prayer journals and some who pray in their minds as the spirit prompts
  • Some who without a shadow of a doubt believe prayer is impactful to those who wonder if prayer really works at all.

Well, no matter where you are at on this spectrum, rest assured this blog post is for you. In this blog, we are going to learn about some great men who had devoted, Godly, praying moms. You will be so encouraged to see the power of prayer. We will also re-ground ourselves as to why we pray and equip ourselves with some highly effective tips to making prayer a delight. Stay tuned.

You have heard it said before, “behind every great man there’s a great woman”. But sometimes, as I have learned recently, reading a book called “Devoted”, the great woman is not the wife, it’s his mother. We begin with a man whose mother proves that spiritual strength can abide even when there is physical frailty. She was his first and dearest teacher, the one who first taught him truth and the one who first modeled it in her life. Though his gentle early years would soon give way to the deepest depths of depravity he would eventually be rescued by God’s Amazing Grace and write “Amazing Grace”. Later he would say -quote- “my dear mother, besides the pains she took with me, often commended me with many prayers and tears to God; and I doubt not but I reap the fruits of these prayers to this hour.” John Newton would wander, he would run, he would pursue every manner of sin, but he could never escape the great strength of that weak, praying mother. She never gave up on her son John and fully believed and embraced the spiritual discipline of prayer.

Prayer is our lifeline to our creator that we have access to 24/7. Prayer is simply talking with God, having a conversation. I remember when I was new to the faith and in a small group, I was terrified of praying out loud in front of everyone. And one of my dear friends, simply said, Ellen, just have a conversation with your Father. And that was the start of my prayer life. In Philippians 4:6 the apostle Paul encourages us to pray about everything. Jesus himself was the role model of prayer as he often went by himself to pray in a quiet secluded place. He taught his disciples how to pray and gave us the Lord’s prayer which we use as a model for prayer even to this day.

Author Richard Burr, in his book called, “Praying Your Prodigal Home”, reflects on what he thinks his greatest surprise will be when he reaches heaven. “I believe my greatest surprise will be the full realization of the stupendous power of prayer to which I had access while on earth but how infrequently I used it!” This statement really convicted me and helped me realize just how much I might be missing out on if I am not fully engaged in prayer. If you think about it, God the creator of the universe is open to having a conversation with you and me thanks to what Jesus did on the cross. That great incredible difficult sacrifice that Jesus made was done in part so that we could come directly to the throne room. We should not take that lightly. In fact we should use that to our advantage every day of our lives as we have access to God almighty.

There is a very dear hymn that I grew up singing, called What a Friend We Have in Jesus. This hymn emphasizes that our peace is forfeited when we neglect to carry our burdens to God in prayer. It goes like this:

What a Friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry, Everything to God in prayer! Oh, what peace we often forfeit, Oh, what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged; Take it to the Lord in prayer. Can we find a friend so faithful, Who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness; Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, Cumbered with a load of care? Precious Savior, still our refuge! Take it to the Lord in prayer. Do Thy friends despise forsake Thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer. In His arms He’ll take and shield Thee; Thou wilt find a solace there.

So how do we do this prayer life on our own? We don’t! It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit. Richard Burr says not only is the Holy Spirit the spirit of power but also he is the spirit of prayer. We are instructed by the prophet Zechariah that God will pour out on the House of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. Since man is incapable of praying effectively when left to himself, the Holy Spirit comes to the believers aid, by helping him in his feebleness. The apostle Paul expresses this quite succinctly in his letter to the Romans where he says “the spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the spirit himself intercedes for the Saints in accordance with God’s will.” In other words, there is no true prayer without the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. The spirit desires to join his strength with our weakness in order that we may be the recipients of his promise. In James 5:16 it says the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. So don’t believe your prayers for your prodigals are weak and worthless. No – they are powered by nothing less than the Holy Spirit! It is actually a privilege to join with God through prayer and his Word. It is foundational and essential in praying for our prodigals and seeing the transformation of sinners. If this is truly our conviction, then we will persevere in prayer by God’s grace. We should be encouraged and remind ourselves of the apostle Paul’s teaching in first Timothy. It says that God our savior wants all men to be saved. That is the purpose of Christ coming into this world.

So how should we go about doing this? We need to learn to pray the scriptures. This is the most powerful and awesome way to commune with God. A great place to start is in the book of psalms. Remember that God speaks to you through his Word. As you read verse by verse allow the Holy Spirit, who lives in your heart, to minister to your mind by formulating your prayers. Then respond to God from what he has just said to you through his Word. There is, actually, a phenomenal book called Praying the Bible by Donald Whitney. He alludes to the fact that we don’t pray as much as we should because we end up praying the same old things over and over again. Unfortunately, this can be boring, resulting in our minds coming to the wrong conclusion. We think that something is wrong with us, when the problem is not really us but rather our method.

Here is an example of how Donald Whitney encourages us to pray the Psalms. Take Psalm 23 for example. When you read the first verse “The Lord is my shepherd” you can pray something like this: Lord, I thank you that you are my shepherd. You’re a Good Shepherd. You have shepherded me all my life. And, great shepherd, please shepherd my family today: guard them from the ways of the world; guide them into the ways of God. Lead them not into temptation; deliver them from evil. Oh great shepherd, I pray for my children; Cause them to be your sheep. May they love you as their shepherd, as I do. And, Lord, please shepherd me in the decisions that are before me about my future. Now don’t you see the difference? We get into this pattern of praying the same things over and over again. But when we take a passage of scripture and pray it back to God, you can see how much depth and expanse your prayers can take you.

As I wrap up these tips on praying, I want to remind you of one more that’s essential from Richard Burr’s book. Paul the apostle implores us to integrate prayer with evangelistic endeavors. He says quote “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and Thanksgiving be made for everyone” Notice carefully the priority that Paul places on praying for others. He says “first of all”. Why such urgency? Because it deals with their eternal destiny! He desires to join with the church in bringing sinners to himself. Such activity is never wasted time, as Hebrews 11:6 says, for he rewards those who earnestly seek him. And Psalm 102:17 says that God “will respond to the prayer of the destitute. He will not despise their plea.” Before we approach an unbeliever with the gospel, we must go to the highest court of appeal. It is here that we have a heavenly advocate who speaks in their defense to the judge of all the earth. It is in this court that sinners are set free, as 1 John 2:2 says, for our Advocate himself has become “the atoning sacrifice not only for our sins but also for the sins of the world.” And we believers have the God given privilege of appealing to this ultimate judge, through our Lord Jesus Christ, on behalf of lost souls! What an amazing privilege indeed!

For those of you that are praying mothers who feel weak and like a complete failure, it’s important to remember we have the gift of prayer. Remember how God has proven himself faithful in your own life. Take time to thank him for his kindness and grace in your prayer life. When you struggle with anxiety and concerns for your kids, spend more time praying than worrying. Study God’s Word regularly and use it as a foundation for your prayer life. Trust that God is working in your unbelieving Childs life, even when you don’t see it. Make praying for your family members a regular part of today, tomorrow, and every day. Our Prayer Journal and Prayer Binder at Coffee and Bible Time are designed to help you just that! Head over to our website today to check them out.

I will put links in our show notes for the three books that I referenced in this blog. Please share in our YouTube podcast video comments your tips on praying so that we can all learn from one another.

Thank you for joining us on our blog today! We love you all. Have a blessed day.

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