Praying the Word

[Much of the quotes read by the speaker are from the book, “Lord, Thou Saidst” which is available to for purchase at Chicago Books and Bible here or]

Scripture Reading: 1 Tim. 4:6; Jer. 15:16; 1 Pet. 2:2-3; John 4:24a; 6:63; Eph. 6:17-18; Col. 3:16

I. The main function of the Bible is to impart God into us as life and as the nourishment of life; whenever we read the Bible, we should not merely try to know or understand it, but take something of God’s essence into us just as we take our food1 Tim. 4:6; Jer. 15:16; Ezek. 3:1-3; Rev. 10:9-10; Matt. 4:4:

  1. After we are saved and born again, our most immediate need is that we learn how to take in the Lord as our spiritual milk and nourishment—John 4:14; 6:35; 1 Cor. 12:13.
  2. The way the Lord nourishes His Body is by His Word; if we desire to enjoy the Lord and be nourished by the Lord, we must come to the Word to taste the Lord—1 Pet. 2:2-3.
  3. The Spirit is the very substance of the Word of God:
    1. God is Spirit; the Spirit is God’s essence and nature—John 4:24.
    2. Since the Word is the breath of God, and God is Spirit, whatever is breathed out ofGod must be Spirit—2 Tim. 3:16; John 6:63.
    3. The nature of this book is the very essence of God Himself; whenever we deal with thisbook, we must realize that we are touching and dealing with Him.
  4. The Word of God must be taken by means of all prayer—Eph.6:17-18:
    1. We need to receive the Lord’s Word in spirit because the Lord’s words are spirit and life—John 6:63.
    2. Prayer is the unique way to exercise our spirit; praying is the only way to receive and enjoy the Lord’s Word with our spirit.

II. We should not simply have one way of prayer, but every means of prayer, exercising our spirit to pray in various ways to take the Word of God—Eph. 6:18:

  1. Pray-reading—6:17-18:
    1. When we read the Bible, we should turn the words in the Bible into prayer.
    2. We can simply take the words in the Bible as the words for our prayer, praying withthe words in the Bible.
    3. We must contact the Lord by mingling our reading of the Bible with prayer, and bymingling our prayer with reading.
  2. Musing—Psa. 119:15, 23, 48, 78, 99, 148:
    1. Rich in meaning, the Hebrew word for muse implies to worship, to converse with oneself, and to speak aloud; to muse on the Word is to taste and enjoy it through careful considering—1 Pet. 2:2-3; Psa. 119:103.
    2. Prayer, speaking to oneself, and praising the Lord may also be included in musing on the Word; to muse on the Word is to “chew the cud,” to receive the Word of God through much reconsideration—Lev. 11:3:
      1. a. Usually musing upon the Word will be slower and finer than pray-reading the Word.
      2. b. If we take in the Word too quickly, we will not have very much enjoyment; but if we “chew the cud” as we take in the Word, our enjoyment will increase.
    3. Musing is even richer, broader, and more inclusive than pray-reading, for it includes prayer, worship, enjoyment, conversation, bowing down, and even lifting up our hands to receive God’s Word; it includes rejoicing, praising, shouting, and even weeping before the Lord.
    4. If we muse upon the Word of God, we shall delight ourselves in the Word; we cannot adequately describe the practice of musing on the Word of God and the enjoyment this affords us.
  3. Singing—Col. 3:16:
    1. Singing the Word is an excellent way to exercise the spirit; to pray is to exercise the spirit, but to sing is an especially good way to exercise the spirit.
    2. If we sing the Word, we open our being more fully to the Word and give it the opportunity to sink into us and saturate us; the best way to receive the Word of life and to be saturated with the element of Christ is to sing the Word.
  4. Psalming—v.16:
    1. Psalming is higher, deeper, and more profound than singing; to sing the Word is betterthan reading it, and to psalm the Word is even better than singing it.
    2. Psalming is a type of singing that includes musing; as we psalm the Word, we dwell upon it, muse on it, and enjoy it, thereby giving more opportunity for the Word tosaturate us.
    3. At such times we may worship the Lord, have fellowship with Him, or even conversewith ourselves in the Lord’s presence.

III. We all need to improve and make progress in the details related to our pray- reading; whenever we do anything, we should first grasp the principles and then get into the details and techniques:

  1. The principles of pray-reading are to pray-read the Word in a quick way, with shortphrases, praying something new and fresh; this keeps us from our mind and exercises ourspirit.
  2. Sometimes when we pray-read the Word, we may pray a whole verse at one time; however,often it is better to pray-read word by word or phrase by phrase; we should pray-read theWord a little at a time, perhaps even word by word.
  3. We need to exercise our spirit in order to avoid being methodical; we should avoid followinga procedure; instead, we should always open to the Lord and allow the Holy Spirit to flowfreely.
  4. Our utterance should be living, not old; we do not pray-read from our memory or from our knowledge; we need new utterances and new inspiration; the more we practice pray-reading the Word, the more we will receive new things.
  5. Some saints are rough in their pray-reading, but the spirit is gentle, not rough; as long aswe are rough, we will not be able to follow the spirit; although our spirit needs to be strong,living, and fresh, it still needs to be fine and gentle.
  6. We should avoid being overly excited in our pray-reading; we should not be too excited ortoo restricted; although we should be fresh, living, and released, we should also be sober-minded.

IV. Through our pray-reading the Bible, the Lord as the living Word enters not only into our mind but also into our spirit; consequently, we not only receive the Lord’s nourishment, refreshment, and enlightenment but also experience His watering, strengthening, transforming, and uplifting; this is the experience of the power of the Word of God in our spirit; there is no adequate way to describe the benefit of pray-reading the Word.

Spoken October 23, 2016

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