What, you might ask, is so special about praying the words of scripture?
Let me answer that by sharing with you a brief story. For many years I pondered the verses in the Bible where Jesus spoke of asking and receiving. Some of these include the following:
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7).
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that our fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you” (John 15:16).
“In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full” (John 16:23-24).
In John 14: 13-14, Jesus said, “And whatever you ask IN MY NAME, THAT WILL I DO, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me ANYTHING IN MY NAME, I WILL DO IT” (John 14:13-14).
I understood that the Bible teaches that we only have access to God through the name of Jesus. I always ended my prayers by praying, “In Jesus’ name”. BUT WHATEVER I asked was not done! I prayed for understanding as to what these verses meant.
One day some carpenters were working at my house. They told me that they had run out of materials. Would it be alright, they asked, to go to the lumber yard and pick up the supplies they needed? They could just charge the materials to my husband’s account.
I gave them my okay, and soon I received a call from a man at the lumber yard. He said, “Mrs. Jackson, there are two men here wanting to pick up supplies in JAMES’ NAME. They want to CHARGE THEM TO HIS ACCOUNT. Will you okay that?”
As I hung up the phone, I knew my prayer of years had been answered “That’s what it means to pray in Jesus’ name,” I thought. The workmen could only take, IN JAMES’ NAME, the things he would stand good for. Those things they could charge against HIS ACCOUNT.
In the Bible, we find expressions of definite things that can be ours in JESUS’ NAME. They have already been charged to HIS ACCOUNT. HE will stand good for them, for HE is faithful. HE is as good as HIS WORD!
IN JAMES 4:2, we are told that we don’t have because we don’t ask. How many things are charged to Jesus’ account on our behalf, and we never pick them up? We never accept them. We never make them ours.
Certainly, we can ask anything in prayer, but when we make the prayers of scripture our own, we accept Jesus’ words. They become our words. They become our thoughts. They ABIDE IN US. When these scriptural prayers are brought to God, His answer to them is always YES!
We will be posting some scripture prayers this fall, trusting that you will find through them a closer relationship with God through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Join us in this prayer journey by beginning a prayer notebook in which you record the scriptural prayers you find as you read God’s word. Begin praying them over the lives of your family, your children, and your friends, as well as over our churches, schools, cities, and nations. Record the dates of these prayers as well as the answers that develop. You will witness for yourself the faithfulness of God’s love and mercy that endures from generation to generation.
May the blessing and reality of God’s presence be with you.