Pray the Bible, instead!
My son and I are currently reading through Matthew. We just started at the beginning and won’t stop until we finish. Each day we grab the next few verses in chronological order, discuss what they mean, pray, and then he leaves for school and I leave for work. It’s casual and flexible.
Except for one rule.
No matter what each other prays, we must each include praying the verses that we just read into our lives. I am teaching him this habit because like me, I want him to live God’s Word, not just know it. As much as possible, I want the two of us (and every other Christ follower) to be the pages of our Bibles to all who know us.
Only prayer makes that happen.
We are currently making our way through the Sermon on the Mount portion. That takes some time! It’s been great to have conversations with a 15-year old boy about the counter-intuitive beatitudes, what it means to be salt and light, anger, lust, divorce, oaths, retaliation, loving our enemies, giving to the needy, the Lord’s prayer, fasting, laying up treasures in heaven, anxiety and judging. We aren’t even finished this segment yet!
I remember discussing the unique verbiage about giving to the needy: But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:3-4) My son asked what the phrase “do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,” meant.
I explained that, of course, it’s impossible to do something with our left hand without our right hand knowing, but were it possible, that is how secret the Father wants us to be about our giving. We both prayed that we would be living examples of Matthew 6:3-4 to those around us and then off to school and work we went.
Recently I was driving in the car alone and passed by some needy people. Matthew 6:3-4 came to mind in such a pressing way that my car nearly turned around all by itself. God impressed an idea upon my heart and I did it. I lived the verses! Of course I can’t tell you about it because my right hand didn’t even know what my left hand was doing, but you get the idea. 😉
What do you want out of reading the Bible?
Do you want to live the Bible, or just read it? Do you want people who know you to read the Bible by knowing you before they open their Bible to know Him ?
Pray the Bible into your life and a miracle will happen. The miracle will be a transformed you.
Picture Explanation: I snapped photos of some of the verses I regularly pray into my life. Once I number each line from 1-31 (for days of the month), I start over. On the 16th of a month, for example, I pray that I look like the verses that appear next to each #16 in the lists. I look up the verse and pray it in a personalized way.
Also pictured this week are some personal items that have great value to me. 1) The dish with legs that my son made me in elementary school is one of my favorite things in the world. Displayed this way, I think it is such a cool piece of art. 2) The giant acorn was a Christmas gift last month from a family I love, carved from a block of wood by my good friend, Brian, a woodcarving extraordinaire. 3) For nearly 20 years, the calendar up top has been on my desk. I cannot wait for my friend Karen to replenish it each year, which is her gift to me and some of her other friends and family. She and I share a love for Pennsylvania and Europe, so her pictures bless me every day, all year long.
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Thanks, Laurie, for your encouragement to pray Scripture and for sharing your verses! I love the idea of praying through one each day. Great idea!
Thanks. Dividing by days is the only way I have been able to figure out how to get all the praying done. I don’t get to everything every day but over time I certainly have. I want all He has. 🙂
Your son is so blessed to have such an intentional, God loving mom!! What a wonderful thing you are doing with him every morning before school. Thank you for sharing that and for including us in what you pray for yourself. I think I need to do the same. I appreciate you, my friend.
Aw, friend. Your children have an intentional, God loving mom as well. The praying for ourselves is something the church doesn’t talk about much. I can’t control another thing about this chaotic world except myself, yet for years I prayed only for others. Though necessary, and commanded, I can’t respond well to other people and my circumstances until He does a mighty work in me and makes it possible for me to reflect His character through the power of His Spirit. I can think of no other way to pull that off than to ask Him to do just that. Today is a day of struggle for me, and I am painfully aware that I am hungry for all He has for me…and I need Him. I want to look like the pages of my Bible. Let’s ask Him to do that.
Thank you for sharing how to be intentional in doing this. I only regret that I didn’t know how to do this when I was raising my sons. I did the AWANA program with them so that they (we) have hidden God’s word in their (our) hearts, but this kind of daily input and living out the Word that you have shown is perhaps more beneficial than just memorizing. I pray that God would still allow me to have input into their lives and that their hearts would be receptive.
When I have feelings like you have, Carla, I trust in the following principle: If I needed to know something for God’s best story for me, then God would have let me let me learn it on time. My growth — and rate of growth — are wrapped up in His sovereignty somehow, and so are yours. I have made so many messes in my life. I have truly been rescued, and I have to trust the Lord with the path of mistakes, some of which were made because I simply did not know. All that you and I do each day by faith — with the level of faith we have — counts EQUALLY. Let’s just keep pressing on.