Many years ago someone introduced me to the idea of using a scripture reading as a jumping off point for prayer. I wish I could remember who to thank!
This practice changed the way I engage with scripture. Reading scripture became more alive as I paid more attention to the images and word choices and feelings being expressed. I could hear it more clearly as I used the words to pray.
Praying the scripture also deepened my prayer life. It stretched the content of my prayers. It gave my prayers more variety and color. Most importantly, it gave me permission to speak more honestly about situations and feelings. The scriptures gave me words when I had none to offer.
The easiest way to start this practice is by inserting names into a prayer found in the scriptures. So let’s try it with Ephesians 3:16-21. We’ll be using The Voice Translation because the wording is both beautiful and approachable.
Praying Ephesians 3:16-21
Father, out of Your honorable and glorious riches, strengthen ___________.
Fill ___________’s soul with the power of Your Spirit so that through faith the Anointed One will reside in his/her heart.
May love be the rich soil where ________’s life takes root.
May it be the bedrock where ___________’s life is founded, so that together with all of Your people, he/she will have the power to understand that the love of the Anointed is infinitely long, wide, high, and deep, surpassing everything anyone previously experienced.
God may Your fullness flood through __________’s entire being.
Now to the God who can do so many awe-inspiring things, immeasurable things, things greater than we ever could ask or imagine through the power at work in us, to Him be all glory in the church and in Jesus the Anointed from this generation to the next, forever and ever. Amen.
Try praying this prayer daily for several weeks. Each week include persons from a different group of people to bless. Here are some ideas.
- those you love
- your classmates or co-workers
- those yet to believe
- those with power, influence, or authority
- those who feel desperate or hopeless
- those who feel targeted or unfairly judged
- those who are grieving or suffering
What group would you add? What would be another great scripture for inserting names?
I look forward to hearing from you! – Lisa <><
Praying the Scripture: Ephesians 3 © 2019 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
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