Prayer…It often tends to be thought of as a one-sided conversation from us to God, whether we’re thanking Him for something, praising Him for Who He is, or asking Him for help; however, did you know that the Greek word for prayer (“proseuchomai”), actually, refers to a two-sided conversation…an interaction or exchange? The first Greek word that makes up this compound word for “prayer” is “pros”; it’s a preposition, meaning “toward,” “with.” Here’s where many get the view that prayer is a verbal, one-way trip to God’s ears; they take this preposition to only mean “toward” (or to God), not really “with” God. However, “with” gives us a different picture. It reveals that the initial words (or prayer) from an individual to God are doing just that–initiating a conversation, one that will be reciprocated. It’s a going back and forth with God; our words reach Him, and He responds.
This may be where many check out, as they initiate a conversation with God, but don’t feel like they get an answer back…that He’s “silent.” If I’m sitting down, talking with another person, and I say something, I anticipate some kind of response from the other individual to know they’re listening (i.e., words, a gesture, a facial expression). Responding, obviously, involves some sort of effort on the part of the one listening; this person will need to actively listen in order to reply. However, positive communication also requires the one initially talking to watch and listen for a response. If I’m talking to someone in another room, and they respond with a shrug or softly spoken word, I’ll, probably, assume they didn’t hear me or weren’t listening. This is when I need to seek them out to see if they replied and, if so, hear what they said. So, rather than assuming God’s not responding, we need to seek Him out and check to see if He’s replied. If I accept the words in the Bible as truth, I can know:
“because the eyes of the LORD [are] on the righteous, and His ears—to their supplication, but the face of the LORD [is] against those doing evil”;1 Peter 3:12 LSB
“For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”2 Corinthians 5 21 NLT
“Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. We receive from Him whatever we ask, because we obey His commands and do what pleases Him.”1 John 3:21 NKJV, 3:22 GST
“You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”Jeremiah 29:12-13 CSB
So, if I know that God hears and pays attention to what the righteous ask of Him, and I know I’m made right with God through accepting Jesus Christ as the sacrifice for my sins, I can be confident when I approach God…that He’s listening and willing to answer, when I’m obeying Him, doing what pleases Him, and my inner self is sold out to finding Him, watching and listening for His reply. If I know this, wouldn’t it make sense that I would want to pray Scripture–words that He’s given? I can, then, be confident that He’ll hear and answer my request, because His word aligns with His will and character.
Over the years, there are a few passages of Scripture I keep coming back to, when I pray for my kids. There are a bunch of other ones, but I thought I’d share these with you.
“May the LORD answer [me] in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob set __________ securely on high [and defend him/her in battle]! May [You] send help from [Your] sanctuary (dwelling place) and support and strengthen __________ from Zion! May [You] remember all [my] offerings and accept [my] burnt offering [of Jesus Christ]. Selah. May [You] grant [my] heart’s desire and fulfill [these] plans. [I] will sing joyously over [this] victory, and in the name of [my] God, [I] will set up my banners. May [You, LORD] fulfill all [my] petitions. Now, I know that [You,] LORD, save [Your] anointed; [You] will answer [me] from [Your] holy heaven with the saving strength of [Your] right hand.”Psalm 20 AB
“Remind __________ of these things, and solemnly exhort [him/her] in [Your] presence not to dispute about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the listeners. [May __________] be diligent to present [himself/herself] approved to [You] as a worker who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. [May __________] avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene…[Your] firm foundation stands, having this seal: ‘[You] know those who are [Yours]’ and, ‘Everyone who names [Your] name is to keep away from wickedness.’ [As You know,]…in a large house, there are not only gold and silver implements, but also implements of wood and of earthenware; some are for honor, while others are for dishonor. Therefore, if [__________] cleanses himself [/herself] from these things, he[/she] will be an implement for honor, sanctified, useful to [You], prepared for every good work. [Please stir in __________ a desire to] flee from youthful lusts; to pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those who call on [You] from a pure heart; to refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. [I pray that __________ will serve You well by not being] quarrelsome, but being kind to all, skillful in teaching, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps 25b[You] may grant them repentance, leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.”2 Timothy 2:14-26 NASB
There are times I’ve prayed verses 25b-26 for my kids, specifically, rather than in light of leading others who are snared, even though they’ve received Jesus as their Savior. We all step in traps that require Divine rescuing.
Thank You for Your “goodness and kindness pursuing __________ all the days of [his/her] life! [May he/she] dwell in [Your] house for [the] length of [his/her] days!”Psalm 23:5b-6 LSV
I’m so thankful I serve a God Who communicates with me! He listens, answers, and responds. I want to make sure I’m actively listening to Him, however He answers, and looking for/seeking out His reply!