It is foolish to pray without The Bible, because through The Bible the Lord reveals Himself to us.God speaks to us through His Word and it is our responsibility to respond. Every now andagain The Bible requires us to change our behaviour, our way of thinking and our prayers.Anyone who neglects his study of The Bible runs the risk of going astray. The aim is to giveguidelines to the intercessor on how to use his Bible.
1.Start your quiet time by reading a portion of Scripture. Pray through that portion. Takenote of the admonitions, sins, promises, orders, examples and warnings and pray aboutthem.
2.Make notes on prayers in Scripture. Start with Psalms and learn from David's prayerswhat you can, may and ought to pray.
3.Specially underline God's promises in Scripture, find ways to apply them in everyday lifeand use those promises when you pray.
4.Enrich your prayer with Scripture. Some groups talk about 'Word enriched prayer'.
5.Study the lives of prayers in the Bible. Learn from the examples of Jesus, David, Elijah,Moses, Paul, Abraham, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and others.
6.Every believer should have a Bible study programme and a Bible reading programme. Itis not so far fetched to read through the Bible at least once a year. Get a One Year Bibleand use it daily. However, this should not replace a more intensive study of the Bible.
7.Ask at least the following questions about each portion of Scripture:• Where is it written?• What does it say to me?• What behaviour does it encourage in me?• How should or can I pray about it?
8.It is important to memorize portions of Scripture. Try to memorize three verses a week.Very few people can manage more than three per week.
9.Scripture is important to prayer, because it is what God says Himself. To use The Wordin prayer is to take God at His Word. God is Faithful to Himself and His Word.
10. Books are available with Bible promises that have been divided into sub-sections andwhich can be used effectively in your prayer time.
11. It can be meaningful to use coloured pencils to underline or colour certain things in your
Bible in order to emphasize them. You can use the following classification, for instance,or work out your own:
Promises - underline with a blue pen
Commands - colour the verse with a red pencil
Warnings - colour them orange
Sin - underline with a red pen
Announcing of judgments - colour them brown
Portions on Praise and Worship - colour them yellow
Portions on prayer or prayers - mark with a P in the margin
Portions on the evil one/occult - mark with an * in the margin
These are only a few guidelines which could be expanded to suit your own needs. Thefollowing is an extract from the autobiography by George Muller. The method used byGeorge Muller for his personal quiet time and enrichment can be effectively used by allbelievers. The most important thing, he said, was first to concentrate on reading theBible, then meditating on a chosen portion:
"... that thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed;and that thus, by means of the Word of God whilst meditating upon it, my heart might bebrought into communion with the Lord... The first thing I did (early in the morning), afterhaving asked in a few words the Lord's blessing upon his precious Word, was, to begin tomeditate on the Word of God, searching, as it were into every verse to get blessing out ofit; not for the sake of preaching on what I had meditated upon; but for the sake ofobtaining food for my soul. The result I have found to be almost invariably this; that aftera very few minutes my soul has been led to confession or to thanksgiving or tointercession or to supplication; so that though I did not as it were previously, give myselfto prayer but to meditation yet it turned almost immediately more or less into prayer.
The difference then between my former practice and my present one is this: Formerlywhen I arose I began to pray as soon as possible and generally spent all my time tillbreakfast in prayer or almost all the time... But what was the result? I often spent aquarter of an hour or half an hour or even an hour on my knees before being consciousto myself of having derived comfort, encouragement, humbling of soul, etc; and often,after having suffered much from wandering of mind for the first ten minutes or a quarterof an hour or even half an hour, I only then began really to pray. I scarcely ever suffernow in this way. For my heart being nourished by the Truth, being brought into truefellowship with God, I speak to my Father and to my Friend (vile though I am, andunworthy of it!) about the things that He has brought before me in his precious Word. Itoften now astonishes me that I did not sooner see this point... In addition to this (Mullerwrote some years later) I generally read after family prayer large portions of the Word ofGod when I still pursue my practice of reading onward in
The Holy Scriptures, sometimes in the New Testament and sometimes in the Old and formore than thirty-nine years I have proved the Blessedness of it. I take also either then orat other parts of the day, time more especially for prayer."