In the month of September our Growth Exercises invite us to try some more contemplative forms of prayer. We will ‘centre-down’, ‘fill up’, and ‘fill out’ --by praying with others. As a companion exercise, this month our Prayer Focus invites us to pray Scripture back to God.
Why is this valuable? We know that our prayers will be in alignment with God’s purposes and will. Our dialogue will be rooted in his own words, leading us to ‘think God’s thoughts’ in his footsteps rather than being ‘me’ centred. Copying the prayers of ‘the Bible greats’ we have excellent exemplar prayers as training wheels to help us grow in confidence.
Here is a list of ‘bible prayers’ worth praying back to God this month: 1. The Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:9-15 2. David’s prayer of Repentance in Psalm 51 3. Hannah’s prayer of Praise in 1 Samuel 2:1-10 4. Daniel’s prayer of Confession in Daniel 9:4-19 5. Mary’s prayer of Praise (the Magnificat) in Luke 1:46-55 6. The Shepherd prayer of Psalm 23 7. Paul’s 1st prayer for the Ephesians in Ephesians 1:3-23 8. The Tax-Collector’s prayer in Luke 18:9-14 9. A Psalm of Praise: Psalm 103 10. Paul’s 2nd prayer for the Ephesians in Ephesians 3:14-21 11. Stephen’s prayer for his persecutors in Acts 7:59-60 12. A Psalm of Praise: Psalm 19 13. Paul’s prayer for the Colossians in Colossians 1:9-14 14. The prodigal Son’s prayer in Luke 15:18-19 15. Simeon’s prayer of blessing in Luke 2:29-32 16. A Psalm of trust in God’s sovereignty in the midst of turmoil: Psalm 46 17. Songs of praise from all creation in Revelation 5:8-14 18. A prayer of confidence in God’s strength and deliverance in Psalm 27 19. Peter’s prayer of praise in 1 Peter 1:3-9 20. Solomon’s prayer for wisdom in 1 Kings 3:5-14.
Want to grow further in prayer?
Eugene Peterson, “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction”.
Since Eugene Peterson wrote this spiritual formation classic more than forty years ago, hundreds of thousands of Christians have been inspired by its call to deeper discipleship. Our society is still obsessed with quick fixes. But Peterson's time-tested prescription for discipleship remains the same-a long obedience in the same direction.