40 Days of Prayer
Jan. 17-Jan. 23
Chapters 3-4 of Praying the Bible
- Before you connect with your prayer people this week, read chapters 3-4 of Praying the Bible.
This week in Praying the Bible by Donald S Whitney we are given a birds-eye view of how to take a chapter in the book of Psalm and make it our prayer to God. In chapter 3 of his book, Whitney illustrates using Psalm 23 how to read each verse and turn the words that originated in the heart and mind of God into words of your heart spoken to God. Whitney says that his words become the wings of our prayers. I love that! The words of God become the wings of our prayers. Stop for a minute and consider what that might mean to you. For me, I’m considering how special this must make God feel, to know that the word that He’s given His children is being read and meditated on, pondered and then allowed to flow from our mouth back to Him. What a picture of being an imitator of Christ! I just can’t help but believe that while reading His word invigorates our soul, God is just smiling with delight that His children are being moved in prayer through His written word. That just conjures up a sweet feeling in my soul! As I talk with people about prayer, I discover that each person uniquely designed by God with different personalities and gifts, has their own way of connecting with the Father. But using the word of God to talk to God is just a beautiful approach to prayer for all of us. Try it! I think you’ll like it!!!
Also, in the book Praying the Bible, Whitney outlines the method of using the Psalms to pray. He says to simply read through the passage one line at a time and talk with God about the matters that come to mind as we read. It has been amazing to me just how much the meaning of the passage becomes so relevant to me as I make it my prayer. Today as I’m writing this outline, I’ve personally just read Psalm 13. (Now you know that I’m writing this on the 13th day of January) lol! For me, I am refreshed in being reminded of the steadfast love of God. That even though there is trouble abounding in our country my heart can still rejoice in knowing that my salvation is safe and secure. Knowing that the steadfast love of God is ever present gives me hope for today and my soul can sing these words from an old hymn I grew up singing:
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He Lives, all fear is gone
Because I know, He holds my future
My life is worth the living, just because He lives.
Whitney suggests that we are to bring everything to God. So, when we are reading through scripture and something hits our mind, bring it to God in prayer. He already knows our thoughts! He wants us to voice them to Him! Gosh, He wants every part of us! So why not voice our everything to Him! Whitney emphasizes an important point clearly: We are not to twist the scripture to mean what we want. The word of God is inerrant and infallible: it is not to be turned into whatever we want. Whitney makes this distinct statement: when we use the word for prayer it is different than using it to study and make application. “Use the language of the text to speak to God about what comes to mind.” Praying the Bible is simply turning our thoughts to God in prayer as we read His word. The focus being…. prayer! We study the word of God for deeper understanding and application. The focus being… study and application!
The statement that Whitney makes on page 37 of the book is profound: “The Spirit of God will use the Word of God to help the people of God pray increasingly according to the will of God.” Isn’t that our ultimate pursuit, to know and make known the will of God. Wow! What better way to know the will of God than to find ourselves praying the Word of God led by the Spirit of God. Let’s try Whitney’s challenge to his seminary students this week. Find four consecutive hours that you can spend alone with God. I realize that we aren’t all college students and four consecutive hours might be a stretch, so if 4-hours consecutively is impossible, find four hours this week, however possible, to spend alone with God. Next week share your prayer challenge experience with your prayer partners. What did you learn about yourself from this experience? What did you learn about prayer from this experience? What did you learn about God from this experience? Well …… the challenge has been extended, we’ve got much to accomplish this week. Let’s get busy……… PRAYING!!!!
Praying the Bible by Donald S. Whitney’s reading schedule January 10 – February 18, 2021
Week 1: January 10 – January 16 Read Chapters 1 -2 of Praying the Bible
Week 2: January 17 – January 23 Read Chapters 3-4 of Praying the Bible
Week 3: January 24 – January 30 Read Chapters 5-6 of Praying the Bible
Week 4: January 31 – February 6 Read Chapter 7 of Praying the Bible
Week 5: February 7 – February 13 Read Chapters 8-9 of Praying the Bible
Week 6: February 14 – February 18 Read Chapter 10 of Praying the Bible
Instructions for 40 Days of Prayer Challenge:
The Challenge is to commit to praying every day on behalf of Evangelism Explosion ministries, churches, pastors, cities, states, our nation, and unbelievers. Also, pray for the needs of those that have committed to pray with you and for you. If you are praying with others, share at least 3 specific requests that you’d like to intercede on behalf of during this 40 Days of Prayer. These requests can change weekly as prayer requests are answered or they may be kept the same until they are answered. Connect with your prayer people, at least once a week and pray together. Encourage each other and challenge each other regarding the text that Donald S Whitney writes about in his book Praying the Bible.
Ask each other these questions from the book:
- What is God saying to you about your personal prayer life?
- What commitment are you going to make to God regarding the spiritual disciple of prayer this year?
- What are you learning from Whitney about prayer and how to enhance your prayer life?
- What do you expect to happen in your life, personally, by strategically committing to pray?
- What do you expect to happen, with others, in our nation, with believers and unbelievers by strategically committing to pray?
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
Let’s get busy……Praying!!!!