How ON EARTH Can I Live The Christian Life?
Part 38 – Assignment One: Praying The Scriptures

There are only two things that exist in our realm (the natural realm), that belong to and are native to the other realm (the spiritual realm). One is the Bible, which is God-breathed. The other is our human spirit. If we join our spirit and the God-breathed scripture together, both of which have their roots in the spiritual realm, we receive the key for opening up the realm of spiritual things.

  1. Write out four Christ-centred Bible passages

Find 4 Christ-centred bible passages, from either the Old or New Testament, between 5 and 8 verses long, and write them out. Choose only passages that are very Christological (Christ-centred or that focus on Christ).

Psalm 23:1-6, and Colossians 1:15-20 are two recommended passages.

Also good are Isaiah 42:1-4, Isaiah 9:2-7, Ephesians 3:14-21; Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 4:14-16 and 5:7-10.

  1. Learn to pray the scriptures

Turn the 4 passages into prayer. Praying the scriptures was done by Christians in all previous centuries. For some reason, most Christians in this century have ignored this exciting discipline. By praying the scriptures, this will help keep your mind from wandering, or from getting distracted, or sleepy.

a) Get Alone And Get Quiet

First, calm your mind. Do not rush. Just take your time. Do not pray at first, just sit before your Lord, and begin to learn to behold, not pray, for at least 5 to 10 minutes. Just love Him, and be loved by Him.

b) Pray the Bible Passage To The Lord

Speak out loud, not silently. Talk out the passage to the Lord. Paraphrase or adapt each passage, into modern English. Start by reading each verse, one at a time, but after each verse, take time to rephrase it, and personalize it, to the Lord. Just let your heart lead you as you pray out each verse. Don’t use King James or prose (poetic language); just speak plain English. Turn every thought that comes into your mind, into words. By doing this, you will learn to talk to Jesus, but use Scripture to give you the words.

c) Example: Psalm 23 – verse 1

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.”

“… Lord Jesus, You are my Shepherd. You take care of me. You always have taken care of me. You are taking care of me now. You will take care of me in the future. I am a lamb. I was made for a shepherd. You are that Shepherd. And it is true, I have never wanted, and right now I have no needs, other than to be in constant fellowship with You.”

d) Pray through each of the four passages you have chosen.

If you take 4 weeks to do this assignment, pray through one passage each week, 3 or 4 times a week. If you choose to do this in 2 weeks, you must do this every day.

Psalm 23:1-6 (NIV)

(1)    The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
(2)    He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
(3)    Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, {Or <through the darkest valley>) I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
(4)    You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
(5)    Surely goodness and love will follow all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Colossians 1:15-20 (NIV)

(15)  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
(16)  For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
(17)  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
(18)  And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
(19)  For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,
(20)  and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things an earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed an the cross.

Isaiah 42:1-4 (NIV)

(1)    “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations.
(2)    He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets.
(3)    A bruised reed he will not break, ands smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
(4)    he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope.”

Ephesians 3:14-21 (NIV)

(14)  For this reason I kneel before the Father,
(15)  from whom his whole family in heaven and an earth derives its name.
(16)  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
(17)  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
(18)  may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
(19)  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
(20)  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
(21)  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Isaiah 9:2-7 (NIV)

(2)    The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.
(3)    You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder.
(4)    For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor.
(5)    Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.
(6)    For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
(7)    Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV)

(5)    Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
(6)    Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
(7)    but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
(8)    And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!
(9)    Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,
(10) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
(11)  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Hebrews 4:14-16 & 5:7-10 (NIV)

(14)  Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
(15)  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin.
(16)  Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
(7)    During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.
(8)    Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered
(9)    and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him
(10)  and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.

(Note: I am indebted to Gene Edwards for many of the concepts in this series.)

… Next time …. Part 39 – Assignment Two: Beholding Fellowship in the Godhead