‘You want to know the best way to learn about somebody you’ve never met? Read about the things that were important to them. Read the things they themselves said or wrote. Talk to people who rubbed shoulders with them. It’s a perfect blueprint for finding accurate information.
You want to know the best way to pray for your kids and people who are important to you? Read about the things that are important to God, read the prayers of His Son, and talk to others who have spent time talking to God. Praying the heart of God back to Him is the best blueprint I’ve found.
An artist likes to look at his own paintings; a seamstress likes to look at her own quilts. A writer enjoys re-reading her own words. And a singer likes to listen to himself sing. A carpenter enjoys looking at things he has made.
That’s because all of these talents scream, “This is ME. This is who I am.”
Scripture is full of God saying to us, “This is Me. This is My desire for you. This is Who I am, and it is who I want you to become.”
It’s true that God will hear us no matter our language, our grammar, or our scrambled thoughts. He can decipher any jumble of words because He knows our hearts. Yet I think there must be nothing that pleases Him more in our prayers than hearing His own words come back to Him in our prayer petition.
I can think of no better way to pray for our kids (or anyone else, for that matter) than to pray the words of scripture right back into the heart of God – for that is the place from where it came. The words are original with Him. The design, the pattern, the texture, the paint, the notes, and the words are His masterpiece.
So when you don’t know where to begin or how to pray for your spouse, your kids, your nieces and nephews, your grandkids, your family, or your enemy, open your Bible and begin praying God’s thoughts and desires back to Him. You simply can’t go wrong on this one (provided your heart attitude is right, of course.)
You can’t pray the wrong prayers if you pray His words. You can’t pray selfish prayers if you pray His words, either. His Words are the best blueprint I know for prayer.
There are so many scriptures with specific prayers. In John 17, we have the very words of Jesus that He used when He prayed for His disciples – and for us.
He prayed, “My prayer is not that You take them out of the world but hat You protect them from the evil one. . . . Sanctify the by the truth; Your word is truth.” [John 17:15, 17 NIV].
From Jesus’ prayer, we know that the only way we can become cleansed, or sanctified is through Truth. And the Word is truth. So by using His Word, we become aware of His desire and His truth. We ourselves can become cleansed as we pray for others.
What better prayer could we pray for our families and friends?
Scripture says that the prayers of His saints are like incense.
Revelation 5:8 says, “Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” [NKJV]
Do the benefits of our prayers continue after we are gone?!
There are many scriptures I use to pray the heart of God back to Him. I simply insert the name(s) of my loved ones in the appropriate spot.
For example, in Ephesians 4, the apostle Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus and told them how he was praying for them. Here is one that I’ve prayed a lot, and I’ll insert the name Eric; you can substitute the names of your loved one(s).
And I pray that Eric’s love will abound more and more in knowledge and in all doctrine. I pray that he will prove what is good and acceptable. I pray that Eric will put off the old man, and that he will be renewed in the spirit of his mind; that he will put on the new man – and continually put on that new man. I pray that no corrupt communication will come from Eric’s mouth. I pray that all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking will be put away from Eric, with all malice. I pray that Eric will be kind to others, tender-hearted, forgiving others, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven him. I pray that Eric will be a follower of God; that he will walk in love, just like Christ gave Himself for us. I pray that fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness will not once be named among any of Eric (OR my children); that neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, but rather that he will give thanks. I pray that Eric will not be drunk with wine, but will rather be filled with the Spirit. . . . ”
For more ideas of scriptures to use, here are some suggestions:
- Ephesians 1:9-11
- Philippians 1:9, 10 27, 28 2:2-16
- Ephesians 3:16-20; 4:17-32, 31, 32 6:10-18
- Colossians 1:9-14
- Colossians 2:6-13 3:2-17; 4:5,6
- II Thessalonians 1:11, 12
Find your way into the heart of God by listening to the cries of His heart. Learn what is important to Him, and then pray His heart back to Him.
Your prayers, like incense, will rise to the Father.
Like incense, your prayers will be sweet to Him because He first formed those words.