Last November, after asking God to show me how to pray more wisely and fervently, and for the people that HE desired, I looked to His Word for guidance. To the back of His Word to be exact. I looked up PRAY in my Bible’s concordance and started studying the verses listed. They really opened my eyes and I began to pray for the people who came to mind with each of those passages.
I spent several days – maybe even a week – on each one, praying for those whom God revealed from each set of verses. And I would often go back and review the whole list up to that day.
Soon after that, I wrote the post, “Using My Bible’s Concordance to Pray” (http://bit.ly/1InncvX), hoping that it might inspire YOU to try it.
I found about 16 verses in the Old Testament and 24 in the New Testament of my concordance (yours may be different, depending on the version you use). Some verses were very similar and I grouped these together.
Here are a few more that I found in the Old Testament:
6. pray for the “wicked” that God would repay injustice on them, or…. if they repent, that He would show them mercy. (You’ll find lots of these in today’s news, and they are hard to pray for.)
7. pray for myself by confessing my sin and my need to depend on God.
8. pray for those who are burdened, depressed, and despondent because of the battles going on in their lives. (emotional, marital, physical, spiritual)
9. pray for peace in Jerusalem (that the Gospel would be proclaimed, heard, and believed; so that the perfect peace of God would reign in hearts)
10. pray for those who worship idols (literally, in 3rd world countries, and here in the US, where we make money, fame, possessions – anything that we desire more than knowledge and fellowship with God – into an idol)
11. pray for “kings and governments.” I included law makers, legislators, the military, financial, economic & health leaders, police, courts, judges etc., so that we can live peaceable lives and have freedom to share the Gospel. (specific names, if you can – remember this is an election year!)
12. AND THEN CAME A FEW SCARY PASSAGES! We are NOT to pray for, intercede for, or cry out to God for – people who willfully refuse to hear His Word, obey His commandments, or repent. We are to only warn them. (especially hard if these are loved ones, but trust God)
A week before Christmas, I began on the New Testament references for PRAY.
13. (this one out of order, but I was studying in there) pray for the children of the faithful – that they will “walk in the truth.”
14. pray for those who persecute you for righteousness’ sake
15. (A how-to passage) pray with the heart attitudes that Jesus taught his disciples, avoiding those that “puff up” your ego (those won’t be heard anyway).
16. (Another how to passage) pray the “attitudes and aspects” of the “Lord’s Prayer.”
And that’s where I am today. I will spend more time on #15 and #16 before going on. There is so much to learn about the way of praying that God hears, loves and answers.
STAYED TUNED, I know there is so much more I (we) can learn in the New Testament about WHO to pray for, WHY they need prayer, and HOW to pray for them as God desires. Be sure to let God bring specific people to mind as you study, and pray for them that day, week, or however often you recall them. Otherwise this study is only “head knowledge.”
Thank, You Father for showing me this way to pray for others. Help me to fellowship and commune with You in prayer and Bible study every day.
Thank you for sharing this, Jackie! So-o helpful and PRACTICAL. I love that your growing knowledge of His word is leading you to pray for people and not just staying at “head knowledge”. You’re truly putting into practice, be the Spirit, what He’s teaching. I look forward to hearing about what else He shows you!
Thank you, Curstin. I can say the same thing about your sweet love for the Lord and how honestly your share it.