I’m convinced that one of the reasons my prayers often feel “flat” is that I don’t incorporate God’s word into my prayers. God’s word is packed full of promises, and one of the best ways to infuse life into our prayers is by infusing God’s promises into our prayers. In John 15:7 Jesus said, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” This is a crazy promise! Essentially, what Jesus is saying is that when we pray in accordance with his words, promises, or commands, whatever we ask will be done for us. When our prayers line up with his promises, crazy, incredible things will happen!
That’s why I’m working on a book entitled Praying God’s Word. Each page of this book contains a section of scripture, then a prayer based off that section of scripture. My hope is that combination of God’s word and prayer will be like rocket fuel for your prayer life. What follows is a prayer based on Psalm 34, which is one of my favorite Psalms:
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. (Psalm 34:8-10)
I have tasted and seen that you are good. I have tasted the finest delicacies this world can offer, and they cannot compare to you. Your presence satisfies me like nothing else. You give more joy and deeper joy than anything else in this world. One day in your courts is better than a thousand days elsewhere. One moment with you is better than a thousand lifetimes anywhere else. Please give me more tastes of your presence, more glimpses of your glory. Expand my heart to love you more, and then take me deeper into the vast ocean of your love. Your love is better than life itself.
I do not take refuge in money, people, job security, or friends. Those things are fleeting vapors that quickly dissipate. They don’t provide any true security. I take my refuge in you, the King of Kings, owner of all things, Sovereign One, and protector of the helpless. I know that you’ll care for me, provide for me, and satisfy me. I know that you’ll protect me, just as a father protects his children. Teach me what it means to fully entrust myself. Deliver me from my sinful self-sufficiency. Teach me what it means to truly, humbly fear you. Fill my heart with appropriate reverence, awe, and fear of you.
I want to seek you above all else, knowing that if I seek you, I won’t lack any good thing. You are not a stingy God who is hesitant to bless his creatures. You are an abundantly generous God. Like a constantly flowing spring, you bubble over with goodness and generosity. If you clothe the lilies in splendor and feed the ravens, you will certainly provide me with everything that I need. If something is good for me, you will give it to me. If it is not good, you will withhold it. I know that I can trust you to give me exactly what I need for every situation. Ultimately, I don’t know what I most need, but you do. I don’t trust in my own ability to meet my needs, I trust you to meet all of my needs.
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Stephen Altrogge serves as a pastor at Sovereign Grace Church of Indiana, PA, where his main duties include leading worship, preaching, and working with youth. He also has written a number of worship songs that have been included on Sovereign Grace Music albums. Stephen is the author of the book Game Day For the Glory of God: A Guide For Athletes, Fans, and Wannabes, published by Crossway Books in September 2008, and The Greener Grass Conspiracy: Finding Contentment on Your Side of the Fence, published by Crossway Books in April 2011. When not shining his dad’s shoes, you can find Stephen drinking coffee or playing video games.
Find out more when you visit his blog, The Blazing Center.