WORD-CENTERED, PRAYER-FILLED DISCIPLESHIP

March 27, 2023

WORD-CENTERED, PRAYER-FILLED DISCIPLESHIP


If you are a true follower of Christ, you long to grow, but you also have a passion to help others grow. We are often intimidated by the thought of “discipling/mentoring” someone else, even though it’s our most important task and highest calling. But what if there was an incredibly simple and effective way for anyone to use?

I’ve recently been helping a church-planting friend of mine, Chad Graves, develop a culture of prayer in his church. I’ve shared with him that one of the most powerful ways to train others in prayer is to simply take a passage of Scripture, make observations together about what God is saying, and then lead them to “pray it in.”

Every Scripture can be prayed. And if you learn how to do this, you can do it anywhere, anytime, with anyone. Not only are you leading them to read the Word and find its meaning, but you’re also making it personal and real as you teach them to pray. Once this Word-driven prayer is developed, they will never lack anything to pray for the rest of their lives.

Read below my friend's testimony as he helped people high up in some South Asian mountains.

I just returned from a trip to South Asia. I wanted to share an ongoing expansion of the prayer initiative that you helped me start both personally and in our church.

We were with a young man who was our trekking guide, working our way up the mountains. He is a Christian, so I asked him what the number one need for them is as Christians. His response was discipleship. I explained to him that one of the most significant things I have experienced in the last year regarding discipleship is praying through scripture with our men.  He asked me if at night we would share this approach with them. So each night, we would gather around a wood stove at the end of the day, take the guides and the porters and those at the place we stayed, and pray through scripture.

When we went to a small little lodge owned by some Tibetan Christians, we worked through Titus chapter 3.  The lady who owned the hotel began to say something I did not understand and weep. Our friend translated for us and told us she was weeping because she wanted to understand the Bible and had a hard time. My heart melted for her. For the next hour, we went line upon line, word upon word, and worked to understand the plain meaning of the text. We prayed phrase after phrase, and they engaged in such an incredible way. One of the porters was a lost man and was under great conviction. The next morning we were ready to get going and continue trekking when the family asked if we would give them more Bible teaching. So we sat down for another hour, opened the Bible to 2 Corinthians chapter 4, and encouraged them not to lose heart.

I honestly think that everything has changed for me regarding prayer. Slowing down is the most important part for me. And as you say, the entering in matters. Anyway, here’s another report and another thank you for this encouragement about prayer. What a moment!

We stopped at one spot on the mountain and taught for six hours to a room full of Tibetans, and afterward, when we asked if what we had done was helpful, they responded that we come next time and teach longer! Teaching people who had walked for miles to hear God’s Word explained was humbling.

As we trekked, we prayed for open heavens that God would pour out His Spirit, open doors that God would give opportunities, open hearts that God would ready people for His work, and open homes for a place to connect with families.

Chad gave these folks something that will never be taken away. He showed them how to read the Word and talk to God. What could be more valuable?

To dive deeper into this method, read Donald Whitney’s excellent book on “Praying the Bible.” More importantly, pray the Scripture personally as you read the Word daily. And when you gather with any others, particularly those you’re investing in, lead them to do the same. It could be the greatest gift you’ll ever give them.





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