We all know we ought to pray more. We all want to pray more effectively. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if God wrote a manual on prayer?
Indeed, He has! God’s Word is the most thorough, powerful prayer book in the world. If you want to be a person of prayer then you must be a person of the Scriptures. George Mueller’s life illustrated this connection. He prayed in provision for hundreds of orphans and saw miraculous answers to prayer all of his life. The secret? He began every morning on his knees with an open Bible getting His own heart happy in Jesus and finding a promise He could claim that day.
The more attention I give to reading and meditating on God’s Word, the more I see my prayer life being transformed. Here are seven ways this happens:
1. God’s Word will inspire you to pray. As you read about the greatness of God and great answers to prayer for God’s people you will find a growing desire to talk to the Lord. “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1).
2. God’s Word will instruct you in prayer. Scripture is full of specific guidelines for praying correctly. The God who hears and answers prayer is the authority on how to prepare your heart for prayer and how to pray in a way that honors Him.
3. God’s Word will give substance to your prayers. As we read the Bible the Lord speaks to us and shows us truth. Pray about what you are reading today! In this way, Bible reading and prayer becomes a real conversation with the living God.
4. God’s Word will answer many of the things for which you are praying. Our questions, doubts, and fears are often cared for as we read God’s Word. One man of prayer said, near the end of his life, that if he could do it over again he would have given more time to just reading the Bible. When asked why, he said that many of the things he spent his time praying about were actually found right in God’s Word! Is it possible that your answer is already in black and white?
5. God’s Word will give you faith to pray greater prayers. The promises of God are there for us to lay hold on! “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
6. God’s Word will keep you from asking for some things. Truth purifies everything and it sanctifies the prayer life. God’s Word gets our eyes on God and off of ourselves. If you want to know what God is thinking, read the Bible, and if you want to think like God thinks…keep reading!
7. God’s Word will renew your mind so that you can talk to a holy God. Scripture points out our sin so that it can be confessed. It also cleans out the pollution that gathers in our thoughts. Ephesians 5:26 says that God makes us clean, “With the washing of water by the word.” This is what the psalmist meant when he said, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word” (Psalm 119:9).
No doubt there are many other ways that the Scriptures help us as we pray. But there is one truth for us all: We learn to meet God in His Word. Give more attention to the Bible, and you will find that the God of the Word will begin making you into a person of prayer.