Dr. Bailey has been the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, since 1989. He formerly served as Professor of Old Testament at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary from 1978 to 1995. He has authored five books: Step by Step through the Old Testament; Biblical Hebrew Grammar; Joshua: Courage for the Future; As You Go: Biblical Foundation for Evangelism; and (with Kenneth Barker) Micah, Nahum, Habbakuk, and Zephaniah in the New American Commentary. He is the current President of the Louisiana Baptist Convention
God wants to grow us in our faith. This is the process of sanctification. He sanctifies us, and we work with Him in the process. When you read and study the Bible, pray, and serve, you are working with God in His work of sanctification in our lives.
Praying Scripture is a wonderful part of our growth in Christ.
Here’s why you should do so.
Praying Scripture means that you are praying in the will of God. Because we are praying according to His Word, we can be assured that we are praying in His Will.
Praying Scripture means that we are pleasing God. He gives us His Word. Our praying Scripture shows that we want to please Him (Ephesians 5:10).
Praying Scripture means that we can adequately praise Him. I often feel inadequate to praise God. When I pray the great words of praise to Him, my inadequacy is removed. I particularly pray Psalm 8:1: “O Lord, our LORD, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” I also often pray Psalm 103:1-2: “Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul and forget not his benefits.”
Finally, praying Scripture means that you will access the power of God in your life. Instead of simply getting what you can do, praying Scripture means that you also receive what God can do to conform you to His image.
My Scripture prayer at this time is Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Praying that verse makes me conscious of what God wants me to be, and through prayer I receive the power of God to do what I cannot do.
Here’s a way to get started.
Simply select a passage of Scripture to pray. I suggest Philippians 2:5: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” who humbled himself and became obedient. You might pick Ephesians 4:32 as well.
Also, spend a few minutes with God to ask Him, “What do you want to change in my life?” Then, select a passage of Scripture to deal with the issue. You may have to read the verse to God first, but soon you will be able to recite it–another wonderful advantage of this new discipline.
What Scripture passage are you planning to pray through?
This blog article was originally posted on WaylonBailey.com and is being reposted by permission of the author.