“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” – Martin Luther
“Prayer is as natural an expression of faith as breathing is of life”. – Jonathan Edwards
“Prayer can never be in excess.” – C. H. Spurgeon
Certainly, prayer is a critical part of the Christian life. However, if you’re like me, you tend to struggle in couple areas of prayer:
First, we often pray only for temporal things rather than eternal ones. We pray for safe travel, food to nourish our bodies, exams to be passed, and for illness to go away. There is nothing wrong with praying for these things. But in addition to these, we should also pray for spiritual matters. We should pray for unbelievers to come to faith, discipleship opportunities, spiritual growth in our lives and in the lives of those around us, These things, and more, should be our primary focus in prayer, but so often we spend more time on temporal prayer requests then we do eternal ones. This should not be.
Second, we get distracted in prayer. We start to pray, we don’t necessarily have a direction that we’re headed, then we lose concentration and begin to think about other things derailing us from quality time with God.
How do we combat these two areas of struggle regarding prayer? One great way to combat these things is to pray the Bible. The Bible is filled with wonderful prayers. We have the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6, we have numerous prayers from the apostle Paul in his epistles, we have Daniel’s prayer in Daniel 9, we have Hannah’s prayer in 1 Samuel 2, the Psalms are filled with prayers. All throughout the Bible we find prayer. We would do well to use these prayers as a guide for our own prayers.
Praying the Bible is critical. In fact, John Piper put this way. He says:
“Praying the Scriptures is so important in the Christian life. If we don’t form the habit of praying the Scriptures, our prayers will almost certainly degenerate into vain repetitions that eventually revolve entirely around our immediate private concerns, rather than God’s larger purposes.” – John Piper
It is important that we make a regular habit of praying the Bible. It will help us both with the content of our prayers and our focus while praying.