How to “Pray-Read” the Word

It is not enough to study the Bible — we must talk to God as we study.  Bible study is meant to lead us to conversation with God by giving us the “conversational material” for our prayer life.  It provides the language we use as we talk to Him.  Using the Bible and speaking the Word back to God makes prayer easy and enjoyable.  It “turns up the volume” in our conversation with God.

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 [talk to Me] that you may have life.  (Jn. 5:39-40)

Jesus called us to abide in Him.  The foundation of this reality means talking with Him.  We do this best as we pray-read the Word, which is simply speaking its truths back to Him as we read it.

5 He who abides in [talks to Me] Me, and I in him [I abide or talk to you], bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing…  7 If you abide in [talk to Me] Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  (Jn. 15:5-7)

—  International House of Prayer

“Make My Presence Your Priority”

“Make My presence your priority this year,” says the Father. “Invoke My presence as you rise in the morning and rest in My presence when you lay your head down at night. Yoke up with My presence throughout your day, each day, and do not allow anything to cause you to deviate from your attentiveness with My presence.

“Make My presence your priority in 2015,” says the Father. “As you immerse yourself in My presence I will guide you with My eye. I will lead you to the hidden treasures of secret place as the voice speaking over your shoulder saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it…’

“I will come behind you with My wind and carry you along in the current of My river. Because My river will break out of the banks of man’s limitation so you will break out of your banks and flow into and experience the full floodplain of My favor in 2015.

“You will find My favor in the morning. You will find My favor in the evening. You will sit at the table of My favor in the presence of your enemies and they will not be able to reduce you or inhibit you in anyway.

“Make My presence your priority,” says the Father, “for 2015 will be a gauntlet of distraction. The tyranny of the urgent will go to war with the priority of My presence. The enemy is very time conscious for he knows his time is short – therefore he will intensify his wrath against you and against My Kingdom. Do not put your attention on the enemy but let your eye go beyond the second heaven and garner your instructions from My throne – for I will give you rule over your enemy with an iron hand.

 

— Russ Walden

Active Expectation

Last week, I was having some quiet time with God, and I just asked Him to show me His heart.  I saw a vision of sorts in which I was praying with my eyes closed, trying my best to focus on God.  While I was praying, a young man came up to me and began to talk to me.  I opened my eyes and started to speak with him when I realized, “I’m supposed to be praying!”  I immediately halted my conversation, closed my eyes, and again took up my prayer, all the while the young man was still standing in front of me.  His face fell, and he slowly began to walk away looking extremely defeated.  When he walked away from me, another version of myself (I know, kind of weird) upon seeing his face, approached him only to find out that he was actually going through a very difficult time and really needed someone to genuinely love him enough to listen to what he had to say.

I prayed about what this meant, and I have a strong sense that this is referring to the religious/legalistic mindset it is so easy to fall into.  We are often so concerned about doing what a “good Christian” does – reading our Bibles for x minutes every day and praying x times a day – that we aren’t open and listening to what Holy Spirit is speaking to us.  A religious mindset would encourage us to be legalistic about the ways we meet with God and how we allow ourselves to hear Him.  But, in reality, God wants to speak to us and grow us in EVERY situation – whether the situation is especially “church-y” or not.

The heart of Christ has always been to love people and to show them grace.  I want my eyes and ears to always be open to opportunities to show the love of Christ.  What better way to learn than to do?!  In school, we were always told that we learn best when we are teaching others.  Who’s to say that doesn’t apply in the realm of the Spiritual, as well?  What better way to learn the love of God than to show it?  We learn by doing – by taking action.

I believe it is of monumental importance for us to be in the Word and to be allowing Holy Spirit to bring revelation through the Scripture.  But, I want for us to be open in EVERY situation to receive revelation, to learn about the love of God, and to show it in the best way that we can.  Let us live our lives in a state of active expectation – where we are expecting great things from God while stepping out in faith and boldness wherever His Spirit leads us.  This is true worship.

– Rachel Carlson

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