Encountering God: Pray-Reading the Word (Communing with the Word)
39 You search the Scriptures (Bible study), for in them you think you have…life; these are they which testify of Me. 40 You are not willing to come to Me (dialogue) that you may have life. (Jn. 5:39-40)
39 Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard (encountered) His word. (Lk. 10:39)
D. It is not enough to study the Word, we must give our heart to God and receive from Him as we read it. Bible study must create an active dialogue in our heart with God. Scripture gives us the “conversational material” in our prayer life. It creates the language of our heart with God. Using the Word in our prayer language with God makes prayer easy and enjoyable. We must actually speak the Word back to God and against Satan’s attack on our lives. Many do not speak the Word back to God or against Satan (they only speak it to others). The power of God’s love touches us as we declare back it to God. We thank Him for the love that He declares over us.
E. Two broad categories of truth related to pray-reading the Word (meditating on Scripture):
F. We actively dialogue with God by praying promises that we are “to believe” from His Word. Spiritual warfare: we speak these truths against Satan’s attack on our lives.
1. First, we thank God for a particular truth. We turn these truths into simple declarations of thanksgiving or trust. For example, declare, “Thank you that You love me or have forgiven me. I trust that You will lead, provide and protect me.”
2. Second, we ask God to reveal (release) particular truths to us. Ask God to release a spirit of revelation (Eph. 1:17). For example, pray, “Father, reveal to me the certainty of Your provision, or how much You love me, forgive me, or how I have ravished Your heart.” Or, “Father, release Your promised guidance, provision, and protection, etc.”
G. We actively dialogue with God by praying truths back to Him that exhort us “to obey” His Word. Spiritual warfare: we speak these truths against Satan’s attack on our lives.
a. “I set my heart to love You and obey You with my speech, time and money, etc.”
a. “Father help me to love You, to bridle my speech, or use my time and money in full obedience.”
H. Two ways to focus our mind in seeking God: God on His Throne (Rev. 4) and God in our spirit
14 …The love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all (2 Cor. 13:14, NAS)
38 Out of his heart (belly, KJV) will flow rivers of living water… (Jn. 7:38)
I. Linger in God’s presence: in dialoging with God in the Word. Take time to linger as you speak slowly to God (include declaring your love and praise, praying with your spirit and being quiet).
J. Journaling: take time to record thoughts and prayers as you “pray-read” through Scripture. This helps us capture the truths that the Spirit gives us and to grow in our prayer dialogue with God. The anointing of the Spirit in you is your best teacher. When you pray the Word in spirit and truth, you and the Spirit work together to provide you with a tailor made teaching in the Word.
27 The anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things… (1 Jn. 2:27)
II. Examples of Pray-Reading the Word
A. Jesus promises to reveal the Father’s personality to us as the way to impart love in us for God.
26 I (Jesus) have declared to them Your name (Father’s), and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them. (Jn. 17:26)
B. God promises to show His power to those who are loyal to Him. Pray: “I thank You committing to show Yourself strong in me, release it. I set my heart to be loyal to the Spirit’s leadership in all that I do with my speech, eyes, actions, time and money. Help me to walk this out.”
9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. (2 Chr. 16:9)
C. Jesus promises to manifest His presence to those who obey His commandments.
21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him… (Jn. 14:21)