PRAYER AND THE WORD OF GOD

 

From the Book - Let Us Pray: Praying the Word. A Handbook of Prayer by Dr. Brenda F. Graham

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. (Ephes. 6:17-18)


While a topic of dispute and discussion for centuries as to its intent, we see that “praying without ceasing” simply means that Christians should make prayer an ongoing act in their lives. It is as simple as that. We should consciously or subconsciously be situated in the presence of God at all times. To be precise, the spirit of the child of God should always be in alignment with God’s Spirit. In order for this to happen the child of God must be positioned in prayer; and more importantly - the Word of God.

The challenge for many Christians is not just knowing how to pray, but also how to make unceasing prayer the most important part of their lives – on a daily basis - and certainly at all times. Significantly, fellowship with God develops from knowledge of and conformity to, the will of God. That is submission. Submission comes from studying, reading, and meditating on the Word of God.

John says it this way:

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life…..That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1:1, 3).

You can’t have true fellowship with anyone unless you get to know him/her by establishing some type of relationship. If continued, the relationship will form a bond between the two of you. The bond will link you together and forge an intimate connection between you. Intimacy forms because reciprocal information has been directly transferred from one to the other. This bonding will grow and increases with time, knowledge, and mutual contact.

Clearly this means that true fellowship with God comes through prayer that is built over time and is established with mutual sharing or reciprocity.

Let’s look at another passage of scripture.

“And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:27, 28).”

Fellowship is therefore an inward unity produced by the Holy Spirit to lead one to the Father. To pray without ceasing simply means to pray continuously. This suggests that the heart should be opened to the presence and leading of God on an on-going basis. When the heart is opened to God, a direct line of communication to God is open.

The line of communication is mutual and shared. You speak with God – He speaks with you. The approach can be both; audible - when you speak with God through words and phrases; and reflective- when you commune with Him meditatively. The indication is that prayer is reciprocal. The Holy Spirit is constantly present to lead and guide Christians into “all truth” (John 16:13).

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

Keep in mind that the line of communication is there for fellowship, instruction, and guidance. It allows the promises of God to become evident in the lives of Christians and opens up a channel of contact to and from God.

We have established that prayer is both, communication and fellowship with God. We have also established that prayer comes from spending time with the Holy Sprit and allowing Him to commune with us. After a few minutes of prayer, the dialogue may become monotonous or at best, something that has been committed to memory over time.

The challenge is finding words to say to God while praying. Clearly, God has given us the answer to this challenge through His Word. The Scriptures contain everything that is needed to offer God in prayer. The more constantly we feed on the Word, the richer and deeper our prayer lives will become. That is because the Word is the food that gives us the strength and ability to pray effectively.

God uses explicit statements in Psalms 19 to describe the Word.

The Word is described as being able to: convert the soul, make wise the simple, rejoice the heart, enlighten the eyes, endure eternally, and being true and righteous altogether.

But the Word is also living.

Hebrews 4:12, and 13 (NLT) says: “For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are. Nothing in all creation can hide from him. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes. This is the God to whom we must explain all that we have done.”

God gave us His Word, not only in written form, but also in living form; so that we could know Him, have a personal relationship with Him, and feed on his love. It is our living voice showing us the way to God. That relationship must be reciprocated through our acknowledgment of Him in our daily living – both, in word and in action - as well as our communicating with through prayer and worship.