Reading the Bible, Praying the Bible, and Preparing the Way of the Lord

…or, “A Very Impressive Title For a Very Disjointed Post.”

God’s been doing a lot of really good things with me since I last blogged. I feel like testimonies are being built that I will share later, but they’re still “cooking” right now. Suffice it to say that I’m very excited to see how God’s going to glorify himself in me.

In the meantime, I’m still reading ten chapters a day (six days a week), and am halfway through Colossians right now. I feel like the whole Word is coming alive in a way it never has before. I’m underlining and highlighting just about every other verse and feeling a little silly for doing so, but it’s all so good! I know that’s a “duh,” but for most of my life, it’s just been a “duh” because I know it should be a “duh.” When I get to the point where I want to read the Gospels over and over just because I love to listen to him laugh, catch the flash in his eyes, hear the alternating passion, joy, amusement, sarcasm, and sorrow in his voice, I know I’ve finally come into something precious. I’m not even talking about encountering the present-tense Spirit of Jesus speaking directly to me in the secret place. I’m talking about being as moved by the Gospels as I am by the Circle and being completely swept up into that world to feel right there with the characters. This is unprecedented for me.

And then, as sorry I was to finish with the Gospels and get into Acts, I quickly discovered that watching Holy Spirit partner with the early apostles is every bit as fun as watching Jesus screw with the disciples minds. And then I got into the epistles and quickly became a big fan of Paul. Friends of mine for years have called Paul their favourite writer or teacher, but I never really got it until the past week or so. Dang, the guy’s good. He dives headfirst into really complicated questions and lays them all out, all while exuding this overriding passion for the cross of Christ and the living hope of the resurrection that it’s given us.

The resurrection. There’s another thing. IHOP’s been giving me a lot of theology, mostly about the end times, that I’ve never really studied before, but as I listen to the teaching and immediately go into the prayer room to study it out for myself, it’s right there all over the place. Perhaps I’ll write some blogs later about the Bridegroom paradigm and how that’s revealed all over Scripture and why it’s absolutely crucial for the last generation, and about how the final revival and tribulation is going to go down, and why we need to start talking about and understanding the Millennial kingdom and our eternal rewards—guys, this isn’t a fairy tale, and it’s not just abstract theology that’s fun to debate. It is really happening, and it’s going down much, much sooner than most people realise, and there is a vital importance to being ready for it. I’m not just talking about the final three and a half years of the Tribulation. I’m talking about what God is revealing to the church now, in this hour. This isn’t just IHOP being IHOP, I promise, because even a month ago I was rather sceptical myself. But now I’m being awakened to it, and I have concluded that I don’t want to be part of “the rest” that in the very last days will have to figure all this out as it’s happening. I want to ride the crest of the wave at the forefront, and I want help the rest of the church get captured by this thing so that we can be ready to partner with Jesus when the tables start turning instead of being offended by a Warrior King that we don’t understand is really a Bridegroom.

Well, there’s the tip of the iceberg of my forerunner spiel. I’ll save the rest of that for a time when I can be much more organised about it. I was talking about reading the Bible, but it goes further than that, because I’m learning to practice praying the Bible, in a practical way. Seriously, if you don’t know what to pray, praying the Word is an awesome place to start, because you know for a fact that it’s inspired and Holy Spirit already agrees with it, so these are prayers that he loves to answer.

There’s this model they taught us based on the acronym ARK that is actually really helpful. It looks like this:

A – Agree

R – Request Revelation

K – Keep the Prophecy

Let me show you with Matthew 9:15 (ESV):

“And Jesus said to them, ‘Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.’”

Start by agreeing with what you read. This is worship and thanksgiving time. You might pray, “Yes, Jesus, you are the bridegroom. Thank you that you love me as a bridegroom loves his bride. You are the Great Lover. We love when you are with us, and we are desolate without you.”

Then move into requesting revelation. Unless you can absolutely say that you know everything there is to know about this verse, which would make you Jesus, you gotta get some more revelation on it. So pray, “Holy Spirit, reveal Jesus to me. [By the way, this is Holy Spirit’s chief occupation. John 14:26] Show me what it means that you are a bridegroom. Reveal your love for me, and reveal how I am to respond in fasting and mourning.”

Finally, commit to keep the prophecy. Set your heart to live in light of this truth. I always feel strange praying “Yes! I will do that!” when I know that I have absolutely no power in myself to obey anything, so I might pray, “I want to live with my eyes on you as my bridegroom. Become my joy, so that I mourn and fast for your return. I am lovesick for you, and I want to be even more lovesick. Give me grace (power) to fast. Strengthen me and stir my heart. I commit myself to do this, by your grace.”

I found myself doing this last night with every phrase of 1 Samuel 16:7 while I was memorising it, (which is admittedly kind of overkill, but the actor/writer in me always likes to break down a text phrase by phrase) and it’s crazy how much doing something as simple as this little three step model can so much expand my capacity to engage with God through his Word.

Grace and peace, y’all. By the way, I’m trying to practice praying with a prayer list, so if anyone has anything they’d like me to pray for, leave a comment or shoot me a text or email. abeautyglorious@gmail.com

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Megan (@girlwithasong)
    Aug 07, 2012 @ 11:06:45

    It’s so awesome to see you so joyful over what you’re learning and experiencing! I’m glad that God is teaching you so much as you study his word. I love that the bible is coming alive like the Circle–hey, the Circle had some good inspiration, ya know. 😀 I look forward to hearing more of what you have to say in the future. (: If you could keep me in your prayers, that would be awesome. I’m in a time of transition and refining of my faith.

    Reply

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