Praying from Scripture

“It is one thing to pray, “Lord, please be with us through this day.” It is quite another to pray, “Lord remember your promise, ‘I will never leave nor forsake you’ ”(Heb. 13:5). Can you sense the difference? It is one thing to pray, “As we begin our prayer, we thank you for the privilege of bringing our petitions to you.” It is quite another to pray, “We come at your invitation, O Christ, for you have promised, ‘Ask and you shall receive; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.’ And so we come asking, seeking, and knocking” (Matt. 7:7-8). It is one thing to pray in the middle of tragedy, “Lord we know that you have a plan.” That is a true, valid, and comforting thing to pray. Even so, it is quite another to pray, “O Lord, you have numbered the hairs upon our heads. You are working all things after the counsel of your will. Not even a sparrow may fall from a tree apart from you. You cause all things to work together for good for those who love you, and are called according to your purpose” (Matt. 10:29-30; Eph. 1:11; Rom. 8:28). More effectively comfort the hearts of your people by echoing the promises of Scripture in your prayers.” (Terry Johnson and Ligon Duncan III, “Reading and Praying the Bible in Corporate Worship” in Give Praise to God, ed. by Phillip Ryken, Derek Thomas and Ligon Duncan III, p. 159)

[ht:Praying Publicly (audio, outline)]

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