Prayer Begins With…The Word of God
When we come to God, we must know what the Word of God says regarding the thing we are praying for. We must renew our minds with the Word so that we know God’s will on the matter without a doubt. God’s will is to do for us what He promises in the Word. By meditating on the Word and letting it transform our hearts as we renew our minds in it, we prepare ourselves to pray in faith. If we don’t know what the Word says, there is a good chance that doubt will enter, and if we doubt, we cannot expect to receive from God (James 1:6-7).
Since God’s Word commands us to give constant attention to the Word and to meditate on it night and day (Proverbs 4:20-22; Joshua 1:8), it is clear that our praying should not be something separate from the Word, but that God’s Word should direct our praying. In prayer, the Word of God should be in our hearts and in our mouths (Romans 10:8). In our prayers we should use the Word of God and remind God of His promises to us. This builds our faith, and it also pleases God, because it is an expression of our confidence in His Word and His integrity.
This is a powerful form of prayer. For instance, Daniel found God’s promise of the time of deliverance for God’s people, and he prayed according to that (Daniel 9:2). His prayer acknowledged openly the truth of God’s Word (Daniel 9:10-15). Many other examples could be given. Elijah’s prayer for the heavens to be shut was based on the promise of God to do this if the people turned away from Him to worship idols (Deuteronomy 11:16-17). Fill your mind with the solution from God’s Word, and stop focusing on the problem, which only magnifies fear and doubt.
Charles Spurgeon said, “Mind how you pray. Let it never be a dead formality…plead the promise in a truthful, business-like way. Ask for what you want, because the Lord has promised it. Believe that you have the blessing, and go forth to your work in full assurance of it. Go from your knees singing, because the promise is fulfilled: thus will your prayer be answered…the strength (not length) of your prayer…wins…God; and the strength of prayer lies in your faith in the promise which you pleaded before the Lord.”