Prayer's Thread in Life's Tapestry

The Joy of Praying Scripture for Others
Getting Started

People have often asked me, “So, what do you write?  How do you do it?” “When do you do it?”  Well, the deep desire must be there because, like any study, it requires commitment and a block of time.

Always talk to the Lord first

Start your reading with a clean slate so that sin doesn’t get in the way of His directing you what to write. Ask Him what He wants you to say to that person. Ask that He will be glorified and let the Holy Spirit lead. He will. I’ll be reading something and a thought will jump out at me. Sometimes I’ll think, “Lord, they don’t need to know that. They already know that,” and I’ll keep reading. But more often than not that thought keeps coming back to me and I know He wants me to write it down. Or I may be reading a passage which would be the perfect opportunity to rebuke them for a behavior that isn’t appropriate and as I start to write nothing really comes to me. I’ll say, “Lord, don’t you want me to say anything about this sin they’re committing?” Nothing. So I move on. He knows what they need and don’t need to hear far better than we do.

Don’t let a deadline dictate

I had really wanted a particular Bible completed by my friend’s birthday. I had it all calculated out. So many chapters per day and I should be done right on time. Unfortunately life does not cooperate with my time schedule. Months later it was several weeks past her birthday and I was still in the Gospels. No matter how hard I used to try I’ve never finished one on my scheduled deadline. So don’t make a deadline. You may get 2 hours in one day and 15 minutes the next. That’s ok. It’s not a race. It may take as little as one year or as long as five or more. The point is to do it.

Expect God to work

The psalmist back in Psalm 5:3 prayed in the morning and then eagerly watched for God to work. Scripture is full of examples of instructions to pray with faith that He will answer. (Mark 11:24-25, John 14:12-14, 1 Jn 5:14-15, John 15:14-17, John 15:7-8, John 16:24, Matthew 21:21) My “theme” verse for praying scripture is Isaiah 55:11 (NAS) “So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” Something will be accomplished either in your own life or in the life of the person you’re reading for. Don’t get discourage if you don’t see the change you’re expecting to see. It may be you won’t see the fruit of your prayer this side of heaven. Nevertheless, be faithful and keep going.

Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed

I’ve had several “favorite” places to read and pray. It used to be my green rocking chair in the corner, until it broke and was thrown away. Then my little desk in the office. I was there for some time until the computer moved in and that was too distracting. I liked the living room but if my husband happened to get up early he would want to turn on the news I knew all reading time was over. So now I’m settled in my comfy white chair in a corner where my rocker was. I can put my feet up, coffee is nearby on a small table with my pens, highlighters and reading glasses. One light stands behind my shoulder only illuminating my little private area. It sometimes reminds me of the old movies when the gangsters have a guy tied up in a chair with a cone covered light bulb right over his head. He can’t see anything except what is in his immediate area. It’s the same principle. With that set up there is nothing else for me to focus on. Me and my Bible. That’s it. Far from the computer. Far from the TV. My own intimate conference area with God.

Make it a priority

When that alarm clock goes off every morning I lay there for just a minute before I make that conscience decision to spend time with God. It would be so easy to just shut my eyes for a moment longer and then I picture God patiently waiting for me to talk with Him. I tend to be a morning person. I like to get up early before anyone else when the house is quiet but I have to get up a little earlier than my normal wake up time so I don’t find myself rushing before I start my daily routine. I get my coffee, sit down in my chair, “Good morning, Lord.” I say, “Here I am.”

I can’t go turn on the computer to check on that one, oh so important e-mail response I’ve been waiting for. The minute I do it’s all over. One leads to two, two to three and then it’s, Just a minute, Lord, I just need to answer this one. Nope. Don’t turn it on. Don’t even look at it. In fact, I get up early enough that it’s still dark so that not even the outdoors tempt me.

Job gives us a wonderful example of a parent interceding for his children. Job 1:5 says “…Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them (his children), thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom (NIV) (bold print mine). Look at that. It was his regular custom to pray for his children every morning. Yes, he lost his children later on in the story but that’s not the point. Only God knows what fruit his regular morning prayer yielded.

Psalms 5:3 says, “In the morning, O Lord, Thou wilt hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to Thee and eagerly watch.” (NAS)

Get a Bible with wide margins

You’ll want room to write your notes and thoughts.

I like a Bible with blank pages at the end. Very often the margins just don’t have enough room for what I want to say and those pages at the end are a wonderful place to write letters from the heart or when you just feel like praying on paper. I also like to use that front inside cover to write a short letter letting that person know why I’m doing what I’m doing and I date it. I've recently found an ESV (English Standard Version) Journaling Bible that has nice wide LINED margins.  I really like it. The other one I like to use is the chronological Daily Bible, published by Harvest House.  It doesn't have margins but there are alot of blank pages in the back for writing.

Make it attractive

Attractive? You mean make it pretty? I mean draw them in. Make it colorful so that their eyes are pulled to specific areas. I like to use colored pencils to highlight verses I’m writing on or prayers I’ve inserted their name into. It is eye catching for the person you’re giving it to.

When Mother Prayed

I think that I shall never see,
This side of God’s eternity,
A scene as lovely as the one
Which met my gaze when day was done.
In childhood years of long ago;

My mother sang, ‘twas sweet and low,
Her face with love was all aglow,
She turned the pages of God’s Word,
Her tender heart was deeply stirred.

She knelt, she prayed, oh, what a prayer!
I listened, lingering on the stair.
‘God bless my boy’ – I heard my name-
And there, within my heart, a flame
Began to burn,
tis burning yet.
That hour I shall not forget!

Though mother dear no longer kneels
And prays for me, this night there steals
a ray of warmth into my heart.
And now, like her, from cares apart,
I pray, Her prayers still follow me –
A torch – and by its gleam I see
My home across the crystal sea.

David F. Nygren