Intercession has been my most treasured ministry for years---more than teaching, preaching, writing, visiting, organizing, or any other area of ministry. Then I had to battle with cancer in 1990. It was so distressing that I could not pray. I had to deal with all kinds of guilt feelings because of not being emotionally able to pray. All I could do was quote or read the Word of God aloud. This I did by the hours but then after the healing came, I realized that what I had been doing was the most effective of all kinds of praying. Praying the Word of God drastically changes our prayer lives. The enemy has no chance of victory when we are praying the Word. “Forever, O Lord, your word is settled in heaven” (Ps. 119:89).
We are all aware that the Bible is full of teaching and preaching material. But it has another even greater purpose. The Word of God, living and written, was given to us to give us access to God and a personal relationship with Him. Too many of our corporate prayer meetings turn into singing or preaching times (which are good) but God wants us to learn to pray. Once you learn to pray the Word, prayer time will become . exciting and go by so quickly.
Too often our prayers begin with telling God what’s going on. He already knows that. Too much of what we call prayer is a pouring out of self pity when God is inviting us to really communicate with Him.
God wants us to go to Him in prayer and hold his word up to Him. Isaiah 62:6 tells us, “Put the Lord in remembrance of His promises.” Jer. 1:9, 12 tells us: “…Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.” We all understand His words in our mouth while preaching or teaching; but when His words are in our mouth in prayer, the miraculous occurs. When our prayers become promise centered instead of problem centered, we will see God move mountains on our behalf. We can be assured the prayer will be answered quickly. “For I will hasten my word to perform it ”(Jer. 1:12).
When we let the Word of God become our prayer, we are praying the very perfect will of God and it gives authority In our praying. We no longer have to wonder if what we are asking for is the will of God because God’s Word is His will.
One of the richest times of prayer is when you relate to the events that took place in the Bible. Relive the stories. See yourself as the woman with the issue of blood touching the hem of Jesus’ garment. Picture yourself in the shoes of blind Bartimaeus as he cries out to Jesus to have mercy upon him. See yourself as the little child sitting in the lap of the Lord on the mountain. See yourself as the man with the withered arm and hear Jesus say, “Stretch forth thy arm” and see you made completely whole as you obey the words of Jesus. When you get inside the skin of the characters of the Bible, something happens to you.
When we pray the Word of God, something supernatural takes place. Rev. 8:2-4 describes it: “Then an angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. And he was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand.” When our prayers are mixed with the prayers of Jesus, a wonderful aroma is released into the heavenly atmosphere. When we pray the Word, we enter into a high level of intercession with the intercession of Jesus.
Praying the Word of God gets angels working on our behalf. Ps. 103:20 tells us: “Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening to the voice of his word.” When we pray the Word of God, it empowers the angels to break through for us. We pray the Word of God, which is the perfect will of God. Then God releases it and then it is the job of the angels to get that answered prayer to us.
We are the voice of His word when we are praying His word. “…for I will hasten my word to perform it.”
How do we begin to pray the Word? Praise and worship is the beginning of real prayer. What if you are depressed and can’t get praise out of your mouth? You might go to your church alone, walk up and down the middle aisle or walk on the beach or in the park and read verses from the Psalms to the Lord. Judson Cornwall called the Psalms a rich spiritual thesaurus for our praise and worship vocabulary. “To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in you” (Ps. 25:1). Further, there is a Psalm for almost every need you will ever have.
Rephrase the Scriptures into prayers and pray them aloud. Pray the Word and expect the presence of God to come. Then linger in that presence.
When you are sick, do not pray the problem over and over. You pray according to the Scriptures. “According to Psalms 139:14: ’ I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, Now that I know full well. Therefore every part of my body functions perfectly---my heart, my lungs, my colon, my arms, my legs, my brain. Any sickness, disease, germ, or pain that touches my body dies instantly.” “According to Gal. 3:13: ‘Every sickness and every disease is under the curse of the law.’ Lord Jesus, you have redeemed me from the curse of the law, therefore I am healed.” Or “With Psalms 103:1-5: ‘ Bless the Lord, o my soul, and all that is within me. Bless your holy name. I bless you, Lord and I do not forget any of your benefits. You forgive all my iniquities; you heal all my diseases. You redeem my life from destruction. You crown me with loving kindness and tender mercies. You satisfy my mouth with good things; so that my youth is renewed like the eagles.’’
Whenever symptoms reappear that could be frightening, I often go to the ocean to walk and pray like this: “Jesus, you said in Luke 17:6, ‘If I had faith as a grain of mustard seed (and I’ve got that much) I could say to this sycamore tree, be plucked up by the roots and cast into the sea and it should obey me.’ I ask that this symptom is plucked up by the roots and cast into this Atlantic Ocean.” Then I proceed to command the symptom to be rooted out and go into the Atlantic Ocean never to return. Then I remind that symptom that according to the Word of God, it has to obey me.” It works! One little boy who was healed said, “God and me told those germs to get out of my body.”
If you have a husband or wife who is not serving the Lord, take a Scripture such as Ezekiel 36:26-27 and put your spouse’s name in it and pray: “A new heart will you give______; and a new spirit will you put within _______; and you will take away the stony heart out of his flesh, and you will give ___a heart of flesh. And you will put your spirit within _____ and cause ________ to walk in your statutes, and ______ shall keep your commandments and do them.”
When starting on a long trip, pray Gen. 28:15: “Behold, you are with me and will keep me in all places where I go.”
Grab hold of the promise of long life and hold it up in prayer, According to Gen. 6:3: “Lord you said your Spirit would not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty.” Don’t let the devil steal length of life from you. If you have a terminal condition, when you drive past a cemetery, cry: “Lord, you promised, ‘With long life would you satisfy me.” Some people think the cap for mankind’s lifespan upon th earth was set in Ps. 9):10 that says “the days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years.” Yet this Psalm was written by Moses to the rebellious children of Israel. Moses lived 120 years an the scripture says that his strength had not departed and his eyes were not dim. Joshua and Caleb also lived to be over 100.
Praying through the Lord’s prayer is an excellent model for prayer time. Pray “My Father, who art in heaven” and just dwell there. Talk to him like “Daddy.” Then move on: “Hallowed be thy name.” You could pray here for an hour. This is a wonderful worship time. Talk about the wonderful name of Jesus, the names of God and names you give to Him. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Talk to God about His will in heaven---salvation for your lost loved ones, healing for your body, all your needs met, etc. Then move to “Give us this day our daily bread.” Ask for your daily needs to be met. Then pray, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” Here spend time in repentance. Then picture people you need to forgive. Sometimes I get a picture of Jesus on the cross in my mind and then superimpose the person who has wronged me over that picture of Jesus and say, “I forgive _________.” Then move to “Lead us not into temptation.” Ask God to keep you and your family from all the temptations that bother them. “Deliver us from evil.” Pray against the evils of your area, neighborhood, nation. Pray for God to keep us free from the evils of terrorism, etc. Then end with worship again: “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.” Never leave intercession time with a heavy heart. Make a practice of always committing all the heavy loads to God and then worshipping Him.
The prayer of petition is another excellent way to pray the Word. I learned this way of praying years ago. If I ever wake up in the middle of the night with a heavy heart about any issue, I get out of bed and head for the computer. I type out my urgent request before the Lord. I insert the Scriptures about that particular issue. Then I put it in a noticeable place---where I can see it often. For me that is usually on the refrigerator door. In almost every instance that prayer is answered quickly.
Nothing works as well as praying the Word of God. The Word works! The Word works---especially when we pray that Word.