This is some supporting material to a sermon on Praying Scripture, for Gymea Baptist Church (July 19, 2015). The challenge is to go for one week not praying for anything we don’t find in Paul’s prayers (below). See how it changes your patterns of prayer!
1 Cor 1:3 I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.
Phil 1:3-5 I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now…
Col 1:3-4 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people.
1 Th 1:1,3 We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers… We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Phil 1:9-11 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Col 1:9-12 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
2 Thess 1:11-12 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
To know God better
Eph 1:17-19 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
Eph 3:16-19 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Boldness in proclaiming the Gospel
Eph 6:19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
2 Thess 3:1-2 Pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith.
Col 4:3-4 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.
1 Tim 2:1-2 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
The Lord’s Prayer
And by request, the “amplified” Lord’s prayer from the end of the sermon:
Our Father in heaven
God, we thank you that we can call you our Father. That despite our rebellion, you’re still standing out the front of your house, waiting for us to return. To again call you our Father.
Hallowed be your name
We want everyone, everywhere to know how great, how powerful, how merciful, how righteous you are. We will only be satisfied when every knee bows to you, in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth.
Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven
Come rule over your world here on earth, as you rule over the rest of the universe. Your justice, your provision, your mercy – may we experience this in increasing measure as we look forward to the day when you will make it a complete and irrevocable reality.
Give us today our daily bread
As we wait for that day, provide for us what we need. Not just for our own sake, but as a sign that points others to what a God-dependent life looks like. And how your kingdom will be like a banquet to which all are invited.
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors
We claim the forgiveness Jesus bought for us through his death and resurrection. And we extend that same forgiveness to those who’ve hurt us. Again, as a sign of what your coming kingdom will look like.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one
Don’t put us in situations we can’t handle. Keep us safe from Satan’s clutches. For he wants nothing else but to sabotage your people and your loving rule. Deliver us, as a sign of when all of creation will be delivered from bondage to decay and death, and brought into the freedom and glory of us, your children.
Father, teach us to pray like that. Not just now, but in the days and weeks and years to come. That we might seek first your kingdom; your glory. Amen.