Well, this is one of those days when writing comes in fits and starts, but this is such an important passage that I want to try at least to express the thoughts that have been rolling around in my brain since this morning.
I love this passage, because it lends itself to being prayed in part because it is a prayer and also because it expresses exactly what I want for other believers and for myself.
It is really about the inner person being congruent with the outer person and with the Holy Spirit. What more could we pray for ourselves or others?
Let there be nothing within thee that is not very beautiful and very gentle, and there will be nothing without thee that is not beautiful and softened by the spell of thy presence.
Praying this scripture changes the inner me when I pray it for someone else. I am called to thank God for that person, whether I like them or not or even know them personally. I ask that their hearts and minds be one with the Spirit, that they please God. I pray that the changes on the outside enable them to display their love for Christ in all they do, with joy and with thanksgiving. I cannot pray this for anyone without praying it for myself or without changing inside.
Praying scripture is praying in the will of God. The Bible is, in fact, the best “Book of Common Prayer”.
At a loss for words, when you sit down or kneel to pray. One sure course is to turn to scripture and rephrase, paraphrase, or simply read it aloud adding in your own praises and needs and intercessions.
Jesus even tells us how to pray for our enemies (Luke 6:27-28)…pray blessings on them. Pray for transforming blessings on them. Throughout scripture, prayers of the faithful, instructions about whom and what to pray, and passages that lend themselves to being prayed are planted for US! Not just to read but to integrate into our prayer lives.
Jesus’ followers watched their master pray, often rising early and heading out for some alone time with God. They listened as He taught about prayer. They longed for that in their lives and finally asked him, “Teach us how to pray.” And He gave them, the prayer used by Christians around the globe from that time to this, “Our Father…” Praying that prayer expansively will enrich prayer life. More on that later.
Praying scripture is Praying Well. But don’t keep it a secret, if you are praying for someone, tell them. Not to ask permission, but to let them know that even if they can’t or won’t pray, that you are standing in the gap for them.
Pray Well, Pray Tell.