Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen.

PRAYING THE BIBLE

The Bible is to be read and prayed! The Bible shows us the will of God, what he wants and what he intends to do. When we pray based on God’s will, we are pursuing what he is doing.

That raises a question — if God intends to accomplish his will, why do we need to pray for it to be done? The most obvious reason is that Jesus told us to. The Lord’s Prayer, recorded in Matthew 6:9-13, is a model prayer that Jesus gave to teach us how to pray. In it he told us to ask for the will of God to be done on earth as it is in heaven. It makes sense, then, to read the Bible to find out what is God’s will, and then to pray according to his will.

HOW TO PRAY THE BIBLE

Praying the Bible is a rich and simple way to pray.

First, read the Bible thoughtfully and responsively. Read from a translation that is both accurate and understandable.

Then, turn what you read into prayers of praise, thanksgiving, confession, and request. This means you let what you read become the content of your prayers. You can take this a step further by journaling your prayers. Sometimes writing prayers helps us concentrate more deeply and communicate more clearly. The Lord knows what we are praying but we can benefit from writing our prayers.

Finally, include others in your prayer. Family, friends, and congregations need prayer.

FAITH IS TO PRAYER WHAT THE FEATHER IS TO THE ARROW.
Thomas Watson

DON’T PRAY WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE IT. HAVE AN APPOINTMENT WITH THE LORD AND KEEP IT. A MAN IS POWERFUL ON HIS KNEES.
Corrie ten Boom

PRAYING THROUGH THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS

The book of Ephesians is a good place to learn how to pray the Bible because it includes prayers, reasons to pray, and encouragements to pray (Ephesians 1:16, 3:12, 3:14-21, 5:20, 6:18-19).

If we let the book of Ephesians guide our praying we will find ourselves praising and thanking God for his goodness, praying with boldness because of his grace, confessing our sins because he forgives us, and asking for the things that will help us walk in obedient faith. Along with praying for ourselves, we will pray for our families and friends, and for our church. Our prayers will be motivated by the desire for God’s glory in all the world.

During the Future Grace giving campaign we are praying. Yes, we are also giving funds to the building project. But our giving and building is for the greater end of God’s glory. We are praying for spiritual vision, renewal, and power to be a healthy congregation that makes disciples and reflects the grace of God in the world.

HOW TO USE THIS PRAYER GUIDE

Ephesians has six chapters, so plan to read a chapter a day for the four weeks of the Future Grace giving campaign. The process of slowly reading Ephesians four times will stir up many prayers.

Each week we will also focus on one passage of Ephesians for the purpose of prayer.

Remember, the point is to seek the Lord and ask for his glory to be shown to you and made known through the church in the world. So, pray. Whatever and however you pray based on what you read in Ephesians will be pleasing to him.

  1. Meditate on the passage and the themes that you find in it. This means to read it thoughtfully and responsively. Ask the Lord to speak to you about the message contained in the passage. What does it show you about God and yourself in relation to God? What does it tell you about God’s will and his desires for the church and the world? How does it instruct, comfort, correct, and encourage you? Ponder these things.
  2. Turn your thoughts about the passage into prayers. Praise God. Confess sin. Make requests. Talk to God about his own word.
  3. Formulate a prayer for yourself. Then include other people in it.
  4. Formulate a prayer for Grace Community Church.
  5. Try writing these prayers in a journal and building on them each day.

WE TURN EACH TRUTH WE LEARN ABOUT GOD INTO A MATTER FOR MEDITATION BEFORE GOD LEADING TO PRAYER AND PRAISE TO GOD.
J.I. Packer

WEEK ONE
AUGUST 27-SEPTEMBER 2

EPHESIANS 3:14-21

Meditate on this passage each day. Ephesians chapters 1-2 show us the grace of God and the blessings of being saved. We are chosen, adopted, redeemed, forgiven, made spiritually alive, and joined to other Christians in the church. The prayer of this passage is that we will know the unlimited dimensions of God’s love for us in Christ. And the prayer is for God’s glory to be known in the world in Christ and through the church.

Each day, pray for yourself, someone else, and Grace Community Church.

WEEK TWO
SEPTEMBER 3-9

EPHESIANS 4:1-16

Meditate on this passage each day. This passage tells us how God wants his church to grow and mature, and to work togeth- er in unity to build up the body of Christ. As you read this passage, list the specific commands that are given or implied for the church.

Each day, pray for yourself, someone else, and Grace Community Church. This week, include another church in our city in your prayers.

JESUS ISN’T JUST THE SAVIOR OF MY SOUL. HE’S ALSO THE SAVIOR OF MY PRAYERS. MY PRAYERS COME BEFORE THE THRONE OF GOD AS THE PRAYERS OF JESUS.
Paul Miller

SIMPLE PRAYER IS ORDINARY PEOPLE BRINGING ORDINARY CONCERNS TO A LOVING AND COMPASSIONATE FATHER.
Richard Foster

WEEK THREE
SEPTEMBER 10-16

EPHESIANS 5:1-21

Meditate on this passage each day. This pas- sage is a practical guide for how Christians are to walk in the love of God and in fellow- ship with Christ. As you read this passage you may find many sins to confess, and also many positive and productive actions to take in your daily life. The way to live as a Christian presented in this passage reflects the power of God’s grace to transform us and to make us more like Jesus.

Each day, pray for yourself, someone else, and Grace Community Church. This week, pray especially for our congregation to be wise in making the most of the opportunity we have for ministry in our city (see verses 15-16).

WEEK FOUR
SEPTEMBER 17-23

EPHESIANS 6:10-20

Meditate on this passage each day. The Chris- tian and the church are in a spiritual battle. We need the resources of God listed in this passage to be able to withstand the enemy and carry out the commission Christ gave us to preach the gospel in the world.

Each day, pray for yourself, someone else, and Grace Community Church. This week, think of the temptations our congregation faces and pray that we will stay focused on the spiritual realities outlined in this passage.

FINAL WORDS

  • You have spent four weeks praying through Ephesians. Now what?
  • Are there other passages or another book of the Bible that you would like to pray through?
  • How will you begin to read the Bible differently?
  • Have you ever thought about starting a small group centered on praying the Bible?
  • Ask the Lord to give you vision and practical plans for continuing on in the practice of praying the Bible.

EFFECTIVE PRAYING IS MORE THAN A HUMAN BEING CAN WORK UP. EFFECTIVE PRAYING IS A DIVINE GIFT THAT COMES WHILE PRAYING.
Jack Miller