Pastor Ron Swanson
Sept. 24, 2018
There are a lot of methods of praying, but none is more powerful than praying the Scriptures. That’s what the apostles did when the authorities commanded them to stop preaching in the Name of Jesus. “When they heard it, they raised their voices to God in united prayer and said, ‘Lord, you are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and everything that is in them. By the mouth of your servant, David, You have said …”. In the verses that follow, they prayed Psalm two over themselves and over their situation. (Acts 4:24-25)
That prayer brought God on the scene in a powerful way! (It was so powerful that the building itself shook – v. 31.) I think we can learn something from that. Nothing, in my opinion, is more powerful than praying Scripture over yourself and your loved ones. In the next few articles, we’re going to look at six Scriptures that make wonderful prayers.
The Ephesians Prayers
In Ephesians 1:15-21 and Ephesians 3:14-20, Paul prays two Spirit-inspired prayers for the church at Ephesus. The first was for spiritual understanding, the second for spiritual strength. (I understand that he was praying for the believers in Ephesus specifically, but you and I need spiritual strength and understanding too. So, I made it a practice, years ago, to pray these two prayers for myself.) I learned that I could substitute my name for theirs, and pray what Paul prayed for them, over myself. “I pray that the Lord would give unto (me) the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, the eyes of (my) understanding being enlightened …” (Eph. 1:15). These two prayers from Ephesians are the first Scriptures I’d recommend that you pray.
The Psalm 103 Prayer
Psalm 103:7 says, “He made known his ways unto Moses, His acts unto the children of Israel.” Two key things are found in this verse: God’s ways and God’s acts.
Think about it for a moment: If Moses hadn’t understood God’s ways, the children of Israel never would have seen His acts. Before Moses could be used powerfully by God, he had to learn how to hear God’s voice and follow His leading. The prayer you can pray here is this: “God, I want to know You. I want to be used by You. Teach me Your Word and Your ways.”
Pastor Ron Swanson
Oct. 1, 2018
We’ve been looking at six powerful Scriptures we can pray over ourselves and our loved ones.
The Philippians Prayer
The next Scripture that I learned to pray over myself was Philippians 2:13. “It is God which works in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” This Scripture helps us deal with sin in our lives.
Think about it: If Christians are sinning, it’s for one of two reasons. Either they want to, or they can’t quit. This verse deals with both situations.
If you fall into the first category, and you’re sinning because you want to, you need to pray the first part of the verse. “Lord, work in me to will. Change my ‘want to’. Help my will to line up with yours.” What a tremendous help it would be if your will could change. (The will is a powerful thing.)
Let me illustrate it this way: Suppose I have a 13-year old son. It’s Friday night, and I say to him, “You should go to bed early tonight son. I’m going to get you up at 5:00 in the morning, and we’re going to work in the yard.” If he’s like most young boys, he’ll probably groan and say, “Yes dad.”
When his alarm goes off at 5:00 the next morning, how is he going to respond? He’ll likely sleep right through it. When I come in to wake him, he’ll rub his eyes and drag himself out of bed. He’ll probably have very little energy and be tired all day.
Now, fast forward a week. Suppose I go to him the next Friday and say, “You should go to bed early tonight son. I’m going to get you up at 5:00 in the morning …” But, this time, instead of saying we’re going to work in the yard, I say, “We’re going to Disneyland”. Now how is he going to respond?
After the initial celebration, he’ll probably run to his room and pack. He’ll likely have trouble getting to sleep because of his excitement. But, when his alarm goes off the next morning, he’ll jump right up and holler, “C’mon dad! Hurry up! We’ve got a plane to catch!” He got almost no sleep, but he’s awake and full of energy. What changed? His will. Now he “wants to” and it made all the difference.
Pastor Ron Swanson
Oct. 8, 2018
Last week we looked at Philippians 2:13. “It is God which works in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” This Scripture helps us deal with sin in our lives. Think about it: If Christians are sinning, it’s for one of two reasons. Either they want to, or they can’t quit. This verse deals with both situations.
If you’re sinning because you want to, you need to pray the first part of the verse, “Lord, work in me to will. Change my ‘want to’. Help my will to line up with yours.”
If you’re sinning because you can’t quit, pray the second half of the verse. “Lord, work in me to do your good pleasure. Give me the strength to carry out Your will.”
The John 16 Prayer
Jesus said in John 16:12-13: “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth … He will show you things to come.” You need to ask the Holy Spirit to do both of those things in your life.
The first prayer is a prayer to stay out of error. There are so many false ideas in the world. (Even in Christian circles.) Here we’d say: “Lord, I want to know the truth. Reveal Truth to me, through your Word. Help me to recognize and avoid error. Don’t let me be deceived.”
The second half of the verse is a prayer for the Lord to reveal Satan’s traps. You can say: “God, show me what the enemy has planned for my life. Don’t let me be blindsided. Warn me. If I’m going the wrong direction or getting into a wrong relationship, show me. I want to walk in your will.” God is faithful, and He’ll do exactly as Jesus has promised.
The Prayer to the Potter
In Jeremiah 18, the prophet went down to the potter’s house and received a message from the Lord. The essence of the message was this: “Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand” (v. 6).
The final prayer is a prayer of submission to the Lord. (I still sing this old hymn from the 1900’s.) “Have thine own way, Lord. Have thine own way. Thou art the potter, I am the clay. Mold me and make me, after thy will. While I am waiting, yielded and still.”