DAILY VIDEO DEVOTIONAL
1 John : Chapter 5
11) And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12) Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. Concluding Affirmations 13) I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14) This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15) And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
Book of the Month
Sammy Tippit told his fiancée, “I can’t promise we’ll be rich, but life won’t be boring.”
Sammy had no idea what an understatement that would become. Beginning in the bars of Baton Rouge and the nightclubs of Chicago, Tippit has shared the news of life-changing faith in Christ all over the world – including in the middle of a revolution in Romania, the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda, and war in Burundi and the Congo.
Sammy’s lifelong adventure has come at a great price. He’s been cursed, threatened, arrested, deported, and blacklisted. He’s also been personally broken, ravaged with illness, and devastated by grief.
Yet he continues to preach to in stadiums, in open fields, and via satellite technology to hundreds of thousands around the globe. For all other books…
Sammy Tippit: I want to welcome you back to this session where Dave Butts and I are talking about prayer. Dave is president of Harvest Prayer Ministries and also chairman of the U.S. National Prayer Committee. He’s a dear friend, as I’ve shared with you in the previous sessions and times we’ve had together.
We were talking about spiritual warfare in our last session, and Dave brought out a really important truth and an illustration from the Scripture that I think is perhaps the most important about the life of Jesus, temptation, and how he dealt with temptation. We find that Jesus used the Word of God, and he quoted the Scripture, the Word of God. That was so very important. So Dave, I want to talk a little bit about that: the role of the Word of God in prayer.
I’ve traveled into Romania for many years, and during the days of persecution, the one thing that was forbidden was the Scripture. What I found was that there were two things that were really important to Romanian believers back in those days. One was prayer. You’d go to their churches an hour before the services started, and the people would be praying. I mean, the church was packed. So prayer was vitally important. But the other thing was the Word.
“Preach for an hour. Preach for two hours.” I mean, they were hungry for the Word of God. I think those two things are very closely connected. How are they connected? What is the role of Scripture, the Word, praying the Word, claiming the Word and promises from God’s Word, and all of these things we talk about? What’s the role of Scripture in prayer?
Dave Butts: That’s a great question. Let me just tell you something personally. The most important aspect in my life as a person of prayer is learning to pray Scripture. It has meant more to me than anything else. Learning to pray the Word of God, to allow Scripture to literally format my prayers has meant the most.
Sammy: I know you’re going to explain that.
Dave: I am going to. Yeah.
Sammy: Let’s hear what that means.
Dave: Okay. What it really means is if I’m going to be an effective person of prayer, I must learn to pray the will of God. That’s the promise of Scripture.
Sammy: In 1 John 5:14-15, John says that.
Dave: In 1 John 5:14-15, John says, “…if we ask any thing according to his will…” The hard part is that it has to be according to his will. “…whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” The trouble is… How in the world are we going to know God’s will? Well, nowhere are we going to find the will of God more clearly than in the pages of his Word.
When I have my copy of Scripture in my hand or even some segments of it in my mind and I begin to pray Scripture, I find that I am lining my prayers up with the will of the Father. Rather than coming to God and saying, “You know, God, I’ve been thinking about this. I have an idea,” I am coming to God and saying, “God, you have said this. Your Word has said this. Would you fulfill your Word?” Now here’s the cool thing for me. Scripture is filled with people praying Scripture. It’s in the Bible, all throughout the Bible.
Dave: You find that Daniel, as he was in captivity in Babylon, needing so much to see the people of Israel come back to their homeland, opened Scripture and read a scroll from Jeremiah. He based his prayer in the book of Daniel on the book of Jeremiah. You can see that over and over again. Jesus did the same thing. Even from the cross, you see Jesus praying Scripture.
Sammy: Yeah. That’s right.
Dave: It is the most common thing you see. What you find there is that is exactly the way you and I and all of those who are watching can learn to pray with greater effectiveness. Now one of the things that have helped me a great deal on just a practical level is… I was always intimidated by those who prayed big, long prayers. I thought, “How in the world do you do that?”
I remember that once I was in high school, and someone had given me a little book on prayer. That had really excited me, and I had determined I was going to pray for an hour. I closed the door to my room, took off my watch, knelt down by the bed, and prayed. I prayed and prayed and prayed, and then I opened my eyes and looked at the watch. Five minutes had gone by.
I got up off of my knees and was thinking, “What in the world do these people pray about when they pray for hours?” I know now, not because I’m such a great person of prayer but because I’ve learned I can open God’s Word and simply begin talking to him based on what is on his heart, what his agenda is. Still today, if you put me in a room by myself where I don’t have anything there, and I just need to pray for a couple of hours, that’s going to be tough for me.
But if you give me my Bible, Sammy, I can pray for hours. I think most Christians can learn to pray for hours because now we’ll be allowing God (I’ll use that phrase again) to format our prayers. I’m literally using the language of God in his Word to make prayers come out of my mouth, out of my words, back to him.
I find myself praying about things I’ve never thought of before. Before, I could kind of get into a rut. I would just kind of keep praying the same old thing. When I pray in Scripture, I find I’m praying about things I’ve never even thought of before, because it’s fresh, coming right out of the pages of God’s Word.
Sammy: Let me ask you something. I really think this is important. I want everybody to get this down correctly or really understand this. What you’re talking about is… I come to my place for a time alone with God. I have a quiet place where I meet with him. I open the Bible, and I read systematically through it. Is this what you’re doing?
Sammy: So when I read it… Okay, here I am. Let’s say I’m right here at Psalm 28. I read through Psalm 28. Then what do you do? Do you go back, kind of turn this around, and pray it back to God? Is that what you’re saying to do?
Dave: Here’s the cool thing. There’s no wrong way to do it.
Dave: There is no wrong way to do it. What I often do is pray as I’m reading it. See, it’s really kind of cool to talk to the Author of a book.
Sammy: You say, “Lord, speak to me”?
Dave: I’m saying, “Lord, would you teach me about this?” Then I read out loud. As I read, I often (almost all the time) find that within a verse or two, I have stopped and found myself praying something in there back to God. Sometimes it’s just simply, “Lord, help me understand what I just read,” or suddenly something grabs me about it. A couple of sessions ago, I used Psalm 27 as an example. David would say, “I just want one thing. I want to dwell in your house all of the days of my life.”
Dave: So I grab that, and I begin praying, “Lord, that’s what I want. What David said is what I want. I want to dwell in your house all of the days of my life, gazing on your beauty and seeking you in your temple.” By the way, for a while as I ended that, I said, “Lord, help me understand what I just prayed.”
Dave: See, we can do that. We can be really honest. There’s no idea here that we must somehow just religiously do this, because what we’re doing is adding our words in here and allowing the Word of God to become a part of our mind and a part of our prayer. It changes the way we pray forever.
Sammy: One of the things I’ve discovered is that I have to come with an open heart on this, not trying to say, “Okay, this is what my idea is, and I’m going to impose it on the Scripture.” I just come to God and say, “God, I just want to talk with you, and I want you to talk to me.” It’s that relationship we’re talking about.
Sammy: Then I let God speak to my heart. One of the things I’ve found is he will give us promises from the Scripture. Those promises are for my children, for my ministry, for my life, for my future…
Sammy: When he does, it’s like that word will just jump off of that page and jump into my heart.
Sammy: One of the things I encourage people do to (I would encourage you to do it) is just mark that down with your app. You can actually tag it and say, “Send it to me next week. I want to be reminded of this.” But you take the Word and let God speak to you. It’s a two-way conversation. You’re talking to God, and God is talking to you. That’s what it’s all about: knowing him and loving him.
About Sammy Tippit Ministries
STM has been providing inspiration and help around the world for nearly 50 years. Sammy Tippit, founder and president, is a world renowned counselor, teacher and evangelist with experience serving and helping people in over 80 countries. Sammy provides materials that help people tackle a broad array of social, societal, psychological and spiritual issues. He is particularly passionate about making materials accessible to other countries around the world. Sammy is married to Debara “Tex” Tippit, and they have two children and five grandchildren.
Sammy Tippit Ministries is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization.
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