Praying Scripture: Ephesians 6

In my previous post, Personal Discipleship as Conversation with God, I focused on David and the Psalms. In many ways, the Psalms are journal entries about David’s conversations with God. They inspired people in his day and continue to inspire us today.

In addition to listening to God through nature and people, we have God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. A good conversation with God can happen as I look out of my office windows at the trees and thank him for caring for me and the world in all seasons of life. The Holy Spirit prompted me to open my eyes at lunch to notice many sitting around me with their spiritual needs and hunger.

A natural way for personal conversation with God to happen is to open God’s Word and respond to what He has said there. Let me demonstrate by using Ephesians 6:10-18, ESV (the armor of God) by following each verse with a prayer response in red:

10 Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. [Father, I am not strong. Help me in the daily battle you want me to live.]
11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. [Strengthen the armor you have given me to withstand the daily attacks I face. Help me to take the time to put on the armor you have provided.]
12 For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. [Give me spiritual discernment to see and respond to the subtle and obvious attacks of the evil one.]
13 This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. [May I stand confident that you are greater than the evil one, and may I point others to you in how I face him.]
14 Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, [May Jesus be my truth and my righteousness in my daily battles.]
15 and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. [Open my eyes to those who need the peace that only a relationship with Jesus can provide; may fighting for reconciliation with you be my goal.]
16 In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one. [Help me, Lord, to act with confident and trusting faith in you and your will.]
17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word. [Thank you for sending Jesus for me; help me to use your Word victoriously as I walk daily through the battlefield of life.]
18 With every prayer and request, pray at all times in the Spirit, and stay alert in this, with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints. [Help me to pray with my eyes open to the battle seeking direction from you; may I always remember that I never fight alone–for you are always there; help us all who fight this battle daily. In Jesus’ name, Amen.]
Do you get the idea? When God uses a verse or phrase to speak to you, respond to Him. Feel free to pray with your eyes open. Doing so may take you a while to gain comfort in doing so, but it is one of the many postures of prayer mentioned in the Bible. Some passages will be easier than others, but God will speak through them all if we will listen. I dare you to try this for 21 days–it may not feel natural until then.
Read God’s Word. Listen. Respond. Teach others to do the same. Make disciples! For more ideas about praying, check out these posts:

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