I often think it's great to use scripture in our prayers sometimes. That way we know that the words we speak in prayer are spot-on.
Of course, there are many other ways to pray too, like having a big heart-to-heart chat with God. But using scripture is one creative little thing we can do; it's a specific prayer strategy.
With scripture, what we can do is take certain truths, turns of phrase, or key words, and speak them out. It is powerful to do that.
I remember once in church a minister came up to me and spoke a single line of scripture over me as a prayer. I fell over there and then!! Literally, the power of the Holy Spirit knocked me to my knees. All she did was speak a line of scripture.
That has never happened to me before or since, but it taught me a big lesson about just how powerful the word of God is.
Anyway, there are all kinds of scriptures that can be used creatively as a basis for a prayer and today I thought I would look at a particular passage that applies to our unsaved loved ones: The Parable of the Sower.
I say that parable is appropriate to our loved ones because it's all about what's going on in people's hearts when they don't believe. That parable explains why some people don't receive the Gospel, and why some people fall away even after they have been strong Christians. That last one is sobering. I often come back to this parable and re-read it, just to help myself understand.
The parable goes like this --
“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” (Matthew 13:3-9, NIV)
Then Jesus interpreted that story:
“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” (Matthew 13:8-23, NIV)
It's such a helpful parable, I love it. But it's even richer when we turn it into a prayer strategy. If we take the above truths and turn them into prayer for our spouse, we can pray like this:
"In the Name of Jesus:
- I declare with absolute authority that the enemy will not be allowed to snatch away the message of the Kingdom that is sown in my spouse's heart.
- I pray for a deep root of belief to grow in my spouse so that when they do finally have faith it will withstand trouble and persecution.
- I declare that the deceitfulness of wealth and the worries of this life must not be allowed to choke the word of God in my spouse's life.
- I pray that my spouse will hear the word, understand it and produce a crop that yields much."
Dear friends, how about we pray these things for our spouses and children this weekend?