One of the best ways to pray is to pray using God’s Word.
Follow me on this journey through Scripture for a moment.
When Moses encountered the burning bush in the wilderness, he turned aside to behold this spectacle. When the bush called his name and began talking to him is when things really got interesting (Ex. 3:4). As God called Moses to confront Pharaoh and demand Israel’s release from slavery (Ex. 3:10), Moses was unsure of the name he should use when speaking of God. All the people recognized numerous gods – how should this one be distinguished?
God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.” -Ex. 3:14
God described himself as “I AM WHO I AM.” Simply categorizing him as the God of the sun or the God of the moon or the God of the harvest would not suffice.
God is who he is. He defines himself. He is the self-existent one.
This name would be used throughout the Old Testament and the closest translation we know today is the name, “Yahweh.”
When Jesus arrived, his claim to be God was seen in his use of the phrase, “I am.”
Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Before Abraham was, I am.” -John 8:58
That phrase may seem awkward to you but it was blasphemous to the Jews around him indicated by their desire to stone him immediately after this claim (John 8:59). Jesus was claiming to be God and these Jews knew it.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus makes seven additional “I AM” statements that reveal his character as God.
- I am the bread of life (John 6:48).
- I am the light of the world (John 8:12).
- I am the door (John 10:9).
- I am the good shepherd (John 10:11).
- I am the resurrection and the life (John 11:25).
- I am the way, and the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
- I am the true vine (John 15:1).
The final “I AM” statement contained in John 15 teaches an important lesson concerning prayer.
Nearing Jesus’ imminent sacrifice upon the cross, Jesus emphasized that his followers were to be viewed as branches on a vine. In the Old Testament, the people of God were depicted as the vine (Is. 5:1, 7) but they unfortunately produced wild grapes (Is. 5:4).
In this moment, Jesus is showing his superiority compared to any religious group. Being attached to the nation of Israel or a church body is frivolous if one is not attached to the person of Jesus himself.
John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vineyard keeper.
4 Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.
What does it mean to remain in Christ? What are ways that we can practically connect to him?
What type of fruit does abiding with Jesus produce?
7 If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you.
From the verse above, did you notice how God’s Word and prayer relate to one another?
Praying God’s Word is an important step in your development. When we pray according to God’s Word, we are sure that our prayers will be answered!
As we seek to abide in Christ, we also seek to have his Word abide within us. That means that we set our heart to study the Word of God (Ezra 7:10), meditate upon it (Jos. 1:8), memorize it (Ps. 119:11), apply it (James 1:22), handle it accurately (2 Tim. 2:15), and teach it to others (Tit. 2:2).
If his Word is that alive in our hearts (Heb. 4:12), it will come out in our prayers!
And when we pray God’s Word, we are praying his will and we should never wonder about its success!
When we pray, our methods should not be mystical ideas but truths from Scripture. Hopefully you have realized how these two are so intrinsically interwoven.
So, anything you need to pray about? What does the Bible say about that situation? Abide in Jesus and let his words abide in you! Then, ask whatever you wish knowing that it will be given to you!