In the early 70s, I first heard about the concept of praying God’s Word. As a teenager, I didn’t know how to navigate the large, mysterious book called the Bible, so I purchased my first “Jesus Person Pocket Promise Book” for help. Seemed that small topical segments would be inevitably easier to pray than searching for references in the concordance of my mother’s King James.
My little promise book grouped Scriptures into three basic categories with numerous subheadings. Comprised of 800 promises from several Bible translations, the topics (fear, worry, and loneliness to name a few) seemed to perfectly address my college-aged problems.
At first, I simply wrote out my request and matched it with a verse that seemed to grant me what I wanted. In time I reversed the order, reading the scripture first and attempting to merge it into a petition. It would be decades before I learned to allow the Logos Himself to direct my prayer; allowing the Promiser to do the praying rather than the problems.
Despite the simplicity of my first attempt to pray God’s Word, this method proved to be one I still encourage. I’ve given away dozens of copies of this slim booklet to graduates and grown-ups alike. I still use my 1972 copy, which I “rebound” after it fell apart. The cardboard tab from a box of Glad garbage bags glued perfectly across its tattered spine.
As you join me in seeking to stimulate your spiritual hunger, start with procuring a Bible promise book. It’s not important which one you use, as you will find several options available according to your preferred translation. There are also a handful of apps available, but so far I haven’t found one with the depth of verses that the booklets offer. Before you purchase, compare how many verses each booklet contains. A broader selection will serve you well in the long run.
When you are ready to begin, merely choose and turn one of the topics in your book, and slowly read the first verse. Pause a moment after you read the scripture. What situation or person comes immediately to mind? Now reread the verse, forming a prayer in your heart about the situation.
Maybe you choose the sub-topic “Are you hung-up with guilt?” (Your sub-topics will vary according to the promise book you chose). Read the first verse slowly: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1 NASB). Let’s say this verse causes you to immediately remember a situation you have already asked forgiveness for, but which has caused you continued guilt. Then pray something like, “Father, Your Word says that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. I have already asked Your forgiveness over this situation. Therefore, since I am in Christ and He is in me, please reveal to me how I can live free from guilt. Keep my thoughts focused on what You have done, not what I have.”
Pause to see if He will bring to mind another truth. If so, google to search for it. If not, continue your prayer, by reading the next verse and following the same method. You may find that you are praying several verses about the same situation/person or are praying for several individuals. Either is fine. Your emphasis is to believe in His direction, not get through a list.
Obviously, as you familiarize yourself with this method, other variations will come to mind. I assure you that after using this daily for a week, you will sense the Father speaking. My prayer is that He will remind you of these promises for many years to come.