The Written Prayer 2

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Nineteenth-century missionary Andrew Murray is one of my favorite authors. My high school mentor, Bobbie Trull introduced me to him by suggesting we read together his best known work, “With Christ in the School of Prayer.” Evidently Bobbie learned to write out prayers from Andrew Murray as every chapter ended with a prayer. As a sixteen-year-old girl, these prayers greatly impacted me, modeling the desires of a mature heart.

Although Andrew Murray wrote these prayers some seventy-five years before we read and prayed them, their power still echoed in heaven as Bobbie and I reiterated them. Countless readers from all over the world have done the same. Talk about praying without ceasing! Written prayers continue to have life when they are duplicated with another heart.

When we write and send out a printed intercession, we too are multiplying prayer. Hardly ever have I sent out a prayer that the recipient hasn’t reported that she too prayed those words. Often, these simple paragraphs are forwarded to others so that warriors across the miles can come together in unified intercession.

Simply writing and sending out a prayer can also encourage persistence in someone who desires to pray but is too overwhelmed to remember how. You and I can be an “Aaron and Hur” to our Moses’ — people who definitely want to see victory, but who need additional support to press through (Exodus 17:8-13).

Is this the only way to pray? Absolutely not. But this is one way to pray “with all prayer and supplication praying at all seasons in the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:18 ESV).

Last post, I gave you a simple way to begin this practice by using a pocket promise book. Another method is to use a chapter in the Bible as your prayer template. Most of the Psalms, much of Isaiah, Jesus’ words in the Gospels, and Paul’s prayers all contain an abundant harvest just waiting to be offered to God. The chapter itself will unfold to you how to pray.

Here is an example that I sent to a missionary couple returning to the states on furlough. Open your Bible to Isaiah 40 and follow along with the references to help you see the simplicity of this approach.

“Father,

_______ and _________ have been through so much in the last five or so years. I come before You asking that You comfort them and speak kindly to them during their furlough (Isaiah 40:1).  Speak tenderly to them and let them experience a rest from their spiritual warfare (v.2).

As they are in the states, I ask that You continue their work overseas, clearing a pathway for truth into this “wilderness.”  Equip them so that they can better prepare Your way to these peoples. Lift up every valley and diminish every mountainous obstacle (v. 3-4). Reveal Your glory Lord, and speak to them so that they can hear clearly (v. 5). Allow this furlough to be a refreshing in which they find Your Word more enduring than ever (v.8). 

May their family life be one that lifts up the good news of all You can do (v.9). Be a shepherd to them, gathering them into Your arms as they tend to their own little ewes (v.11). 
You are great beyond compare. Lead this family since You have already called them by Your Name (v.12-26). Thank You for never becoming weary or tired – they need a God Whose understanding is inscrutable (v. 28). Give ______ and _______ strength when they are weary and give them might when they lack power (v. 29). Teach them to wait upon You, no matter what they are doing. May they find that waiting on You sources them with new strength. May they mount up with wings like eagles, run without tiring, and walk without wearing out (v. 31). In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

(Did you notice that I skipped some verses that I didn’t quite know how to pray? I’ve found it better to keep moving than force elements that don’t seem to fit.)
Would you accept the challenge of texting someone a prayer this week? I’ve included references to Paul’s prayers that might be a place to start. Let me hear how it goes!

Paul’s prayers:

Romans 1:9-11, 9:2-3; 10:1
1 Corinthians 1:4-8
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Galatians 4:9
Ephesians 1:16-19, 3:14-20
Philippians 1:3-4, 8-9
Colossians 1:3, 9-12; 2:1
1 Thessalonians 1:2, 3-11; 3:9-10
2 Timothy 1:3
Philemon 4