Praying the Scriptures

The Unexpected

It has been awhile since I have posted here, and I am severely behind on my “Getting to Know God” series here at The Prayer Journals. The “Getting to Know God” series is reflecting my writing a spiritual memoir of a time when my career abruptly ended in the summer of 2009.

Guess what?

It is has happened again. My current employer has abruptly decided to close-down their operations center and I will have a job until July 2nd.

My reaction was much different in 2018 than it was in 2009.

I did react bitterly. I did not cry and pound my fists into the air. I did not want my colleagues to do the same either. I went back to my desk and I prayed.

“Dear Lord, I give you all the praise and glory. You have brought me to this employer and I have loved being here among a group of fantastic people. Lord, I am much older with retirement not far off, but you know I am not financially ready either. I pray that you will be with all of us in this challenging time of grasping the reality before us. I know Lord that you will provide. Help me to help them who need the confidence of faith in Jesus Christ through my words, my actions, and in my prayers. I pray this in the name that saves, Jesus Christ. Amen”

My getting to know God since 2009 has helped me to realize His purpose for my life. He placed me with an employer who would shock their dedicated employees with a life changing decision. While I am disappointed with finding another job, I know He will again place me where He needs me. As I reflect on my current employment, God provided an opportunity through me to show my colleagues that life changing events can empower us to draw closer to God. It is an opportunity to pursue a more purposeful path not in terms of secular wealth but wealth in mind, body and spirit.

I persevere with confidence because I know my role is to simply love God and others. As I follow Jesus daily, He transforms me to encourage others as I share His love and truth wherever He sends me.

“I have commanded you, ‘Be strong and courageous.’ Don’t tremble and be terrified, because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Praying the Scriptures

Praying the scriptures is part of my joy in my journal writing. There are different methods of praying the scriptures. I bring the scriptures alive for me by writing Bible passages in my prayer journal speaking in the first person. I often do this when life’s unexpected events happen to remind me the role God plays in my life and the role I play when these unexpected events occur in my life.  These Bible verses show me how I need to conduct myself every day.

Below are examples of Bible passages I have re-written from the Bible’s God’s Word translation. The words in the parentheses are my words that I have replaced from the biblical words.

Hebrews 13:5-6

(May I) keep my life free from the love of money and be content with what (I) have, because God said has said,

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

So (I) say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?”

Hebrews 13:20-21

“The God of peace brought the great shepherd of the sheep, (my) Lord Jesus, back to life through the blood of an eternal promise. May (my) God of peace prepare (me) to do every good thing he wants. May he work in (me) through Jesus Christ to do what is pleasing to him. Glory belongs to Jesus Christ forever. Amen.”

One of my daily praying of the Scriptures: Colossians 3:1-17

As I read the Bible daily, I look for where God is pointing me. Each day I read a passage I know He has directed me to  read and He wants me to personally adapt it to what I am currently experiencing. God shows me how to conduct my life in my walk of faith in Jesus Christ.

“Since, then, (I) have been raised with Christ, (setting my heart) on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Setting my heart) on things above, not on earthly things. For (I) died, and (my) life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is (my) life, appears, then (I) also will appear with him in glory.

(I put) to death, therefore, whatever belongs to (my) earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. (I) used to walk in these ways, in the life (I) once lived. But now (I) must also rid (myself) of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from (my) lips. (I will) not lie to each other, since (I) have taken off (my) old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

Therefore, as God’s chosen (person), holy and dearly loved, (I) clothe (myself) with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (I bear) with each other and forgive one another if (I have) has a grievance against someone. (I will) forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues (I) put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (I will let) the peace of Christ rule in (my heart), since as members of one body (I am) called to peace. And be thankful. (I will let) the message of Christ dwell (within me) richly as (I) teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in (my heart) And whatever (I) do, whether in word or deed, (I) do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

I know I do not live up to this perfection. Yet writing it out in my prayer journal is like writing it on my heart reminding me of my faith in Christ and what he calls me to do each day. Each day I must try my best to live and breathe it in mind, body, and spirit.

Sailboat Haiku

For my prayer journal

“Dear Lord, I thank you for the physical, intellectual, and the spiritual gifts with which you have equipped me for the privilege of serving others. But Lord there are so many who need employment as I do that are soon to be unemployed. I ask You to take us into Your divine care and keeping assuring us of Your love and favor. I know You will provide according to Your promises of faith in You. Please help our families not to suffer preserving our sense of dignity and self-respect and giving us the conviction that in our place we are making contributions wherever You see fit for us to serve You. For Jesus’ sake, Amen.”

May I pray for you?

The Prayer Journals is my personal spiritual journey in conjunction with writing my spiritual memoir. My posts in 2018 are a series relating to this theme. If you have just joined The Prayer Journals, I hope you will take the time to explore previous posts on this site.

Please reach out to The Prayer Journals if I can answer any questions about keeping a prayer journal of your own. A prayer journal is an intimate communication between you and God. You don’t have to be a master writer. Perhaps you are an illustrator, a painter, a poet, a lyricist or creator of scrapbooks. Use your gifts to communicate with God, however you wish in your prayer journal.

Blessings on your day,

Sheri

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Actively Praying Scripture

“He brought (me) out of darkness and the shadow of death. And He broke (my) chains.” Psalm 107:14

When I began to devote myself to a daily prayer journal, I would read Bible verses that resonated with a current struggle or feeling of gratitude. I would write these verses in my prayer journal. It wasn’t until I read the verse in an “active” voice that the Scriptures became alive!

Feeling God’s presence

Goose bumps appeared on my arms when I wrote, “(I) love Him because He loved (me) first.” 1 John 4:19

I didn’t do anything to deserve His love or His grace. Yet, He loved me first!

I wil l never leave  you

I copy Scripture into my prayer journal. If the verse or verses are lengthy, I may print them from Biblegateway.com to tape into my prayer journal. I put parenthesis around the words I translate into an active voice to accentuate how God is speaking to me when I read His Word.

When I actively read the verses in this way, God’s Word becomes even more powerful to me. As I have drawn closer to God in journaling my prayers and actively praying the Scriptures, I truly feel His presence at all times.

His Work in Me

Actively praying Scripture has helped me to feel less judgmental of others while I keep the focus on God and how He is working in my life.

For example:

“Put out of (my) life all these things: bad feelings about other people, anger, temper, loud talk, bad talk which hurts other people, and bad feelings which other people. (I) must be kind to (one another). (I will) think of the other person. (I) forgive other people just as God forgave (me) because of Christ’s death on the cross.” Ephesians 4:31-32

“(I will) not let (my) heart be jealous of sinners, but live in the fear of the Lord always. For sure there is a future and (my) hope will not be cut off.” Proverbs 23:17-18

“Keep (my life) free from the love of money. Be happy with what (I) have. God has said, “I will never leave you or let you be alone.” Hebrews 13:5

“If (I) forgive people their sins, (my) Father in heaven will forgive (my) sins also.” Matthew 6:14

Praying the Psalms

When I read and pray the Psalms in faith, I come away changed not simply informed. The Psalms are a poetic and literary sanctuary in the Scripture. Martin Luther treats the Psalms as five different groups – prophecy, instruction, comfort, prayer, and thanks. Others describe the Psalms as having seven genres – the hymn, the lament, the thanksgiving psalm, psalm of remembrance, psalm of confidence, wisdom psalm, and the kingship psalm. These classifications are helpful but the Psalms cannot be so easily or exactly grouped because some psalms could be included in each group or genre.

One thing is certain. When I pray the Psalms, I go to God to be honest with Him.

“Those who know Your name will put their trust in You. For You, O Lord, have never left alone those who look for You.” Psalm 9:10

I know Your name and I put my trust in You. For You, O Lord, have never left me alone.

“I will listen to what God the Lord will say. For He will speak peace to His people, to who are right with Him.” Psalm 85:8

I will listen to You Lord. For You will speak peace to me for I am right with You.

“He will not be afraid of bad news. His heart is strong because he trusts the Lord.” Psalm 112:7

I will not be afraid of bad news. My heart is strong because I trust the Lord.

God speaks to me in His Word, in my circumstances, and through others. Praying the Scriptures have tuned my ears to listen to Him in all those different ways that He is present with me.

Journal Tools

The Bible translation version I used for this blog post today is the New Life Version™ Bible translation. As I have stated in an earlier blog post, there are many Bible translation versions. https://theprayerjournals.com/2016/04/12/the-holy-bible-our-handbook/

There are also a variety of Devotional and Bible study books that are helpful in understanding God’s Word. I recommend the following for reading and understanding Psalms and Proverbs.

Reading the Psalms with Luther, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO, website: http://www.cph.org

How to Read the Psalms, Tremper Longman III, Author, IVP Academic, Downers Grove, IL, Website: http://www.ivpress.com; and Inter-Varsity Press, Nottingham, England, Website: http://www.ivpbooks.com

How to Read Proverbs, Tremper Longman III, Author, IVP Academic, Downers Grove, IL, Website: http://www.ivpress.com

The following resource book I have carried with me for many years in my purse or briefcase. I have found this collection of Bible verses a handy reference when I need God’s guidance in a particular situation or problem in my life at that moment.

The Bible Promise Book, Barbour Publishing Inc., Uhrichsville, OH, Website: http://www.barbourbooks.com

Praying the Scriptures:

“I rise before the dawning of the morning,
And cry for help;
I hope in Your word.
My eyes are awake through the night watches,
That I may meditate on Your word.”

Psalm 119:147-148

“Strengthen (these) weak hands,
And make firm (these) feeble knees.
Say to (me) who (is) fearful-hearted,
“’Be strong, do not fear!
Behold, your God will come with vengeance,
With the recompense of God;
He will come and save you.”

Isaiah 35:3-4

Prayer Writing Prompts:

Write your own Psalm or draw a picture with color pencils depicting your Psalm.

What value could there possibly be in weakness? 2 Corinthians 12:9

May I pray for you?

Email: Hoot@TheBloggingOwl.com

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Twitter: @PrayerPrompts

Blessings on your day!

Sheri