How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:1-3.
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3.
Today your LORD (יהוה) God says:
As you increase in your knowledge of who I AM and who Jesus is, you increase in your knowledge of who you are and of what I have freely given you in Christ. “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” 1 Peter 1:2-3. And this floods your life to its very core with grace and peace. And when you receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness you reign in life through Christ Jesus your Lord.
You grow in prayer. You increase in grace and peace as you increase in the knowledge of My Son, developing the maturity and stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:13. As a result, you are no longer tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by the craftiness of the devil and his demons in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, you are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. Ephesians 4:14-16.
But how do you grow in prayer? Not by the sheer multiplication of words, not by formulas set by the traditions of men that require vain repetitions and mindless lamentations. You grow in prayer spiritually in much the same manner you grow and mature physically: you eat and exercise. And the quality of both determines the quality of the growth.
Today we continue our series “LORD, teach us to pray,” with Life Lesson No. 8: “Growing in Prayer.” It could also be called developing into godly maturity: functioning in peace, joy and love as an overcomer and more than a conqueror—well equipped for every good work. And I tell you how to do that, “All Scripture is God-breathed (Spirit breathed) and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be fully equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
We are revisiting the line in the pattern of prayer My Son gave you that comes in the stewardship aspect of prayer that has to do with the management of your life: “Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11. The literal translation of that line in the Greek language in which it was first written is “Our bread for the coming day (epiousios) give us today (sémeron).”
There are various levels to this request, there are the physical, financial and emotional needs that you have and the petitions you make to receive good things which I grant as your good father as you withdraw from your heavenly account before My throne of grace with confidence. But there is another aspect of this that is just as, if not more, important than the physical aspect, and what is that? Jesus gives you the answer, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3.
And this is one of the most important aspects of prayer in the management and growth of your life in every aspect from spiritual to physical. And it affects growth in fellowship and partnership as well. And it is the same instruction I gave to Joshua of how to have a successful, prosperous life of victory: “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” Joshua 1:8. Meditation on My Word in prayer—“hagah” in Hebrew, to mutter, speak, ponder, chew on My Word until you digest it and it becomes part of you. My Word becomes your mindset and your way of thinking, speaking, and doing things.
My apostle Peter grew and developed to a mature man in Christ. No longer tossed about or driven by fear. How did that happen? He tells you, along with the twelve apostles after the resurrection and ascension of My Son: “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the service of the Word.” Acts 6:4. And he counsels you, “Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the Word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.” 1 Peter 2:1-3. “For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring Word of God. For, ‘All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, but the word of the Lord endures forever.’ And this is the word which was preached to you.” 1 Peter 1:23-25. You were born of My Word and you grow by My Word. It is your mother’s milk, so to speak.
So how do you incorporate this into your prayer? You pray and read My Word and meditate upon that Word. You gather your daily manna and grind it into meal and eat it, that is, you read it, and perhaps even use a good concordance on the internet, that is an interlinear presentation of the Word with concordance for each word to click on, to see what the words mean in their original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament). You speak it, you chew on it, you imagine yourself witnessing the scene or doing the verse. For example, if you feel anxious and stressed, you go to Psalm 23 to grow up to confident trust and peace that your needs are met by Me. You slowly say, “The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want, in verdant pastures He gives me repose.” You see the LORD your Shepherd, and imagine all that means—the one that feeds you and looks after your every need, who protects you and fights off all that is meant to harm you, the strong one who lifts you when you are weary and carries you in His bosom, Isaiah 40:11 (“Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, in His arm He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes), and you envision Him leading you to green pastures where you stretch out under the blue skies by the restful healing waters. Yes, that is the word I use in Psalm 23:2: “In verdant pastures He gives me repose,” “repose” there is the Hebrew word “rabats,” which means to stretch oneself out fully, to lie down, to lie stretched out. Totally care-free and relaxed. And then you read on and see all the benefits and care given you by the Shepherd, leading you through the dark valleys of death to tables of plenty and the joys and delights of My house now and forever. And you grow thereby so that anxiety is gone. Confidence has come. And there are many other Scriptures on provision and freedom from fear, worry, anxiety and stress, filled with My abundance and willingness to give you the Kingdom. Reading the Book of Ruth. Reading Isaiah 54 when you have been rejected or attacked, whether it is your fault or not. For growing in trust in healing there are an abundance of promises in My Word as well as many accounts of healings by Jesus. And begin to see yourself doing what Jesus does and not just as the one healed. For I have told you that My Spirit is in you and I have given you the Name of Jesus so that you can do the works He did and greater. The healing power is now in you, not something you are reaching out to find. Faith will come by hearing and hearing My Word, as you ponder it, speak it, read it in prayer. You have a whole book of treasure that will help you to grow thereby. And you will go from milk to solid meat.
Take a Psalm, say Psalm 18, and take the first line, and repeat it as you draw the strength and the nourishment up out of it into you. Say, “I love You, O LORD, my strength.” Psalm 18:1. And repeat it slowly several times, drawing up My strength into your body and soul. Think on Colossians 2:6-7: “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.” And “that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19. And repeat again with full conviction, “I love you, O LORD, my strength.” “Let the weak say “I am strong!” Joel 3:10. “The LORD gives strength to His people!” Psalm 29:11. And then go on to the next line of Psalm 18: “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold!” And repeat it slowly as you chew on it and draw out all the nourishment therein. I could go on, but I think you see how to do it. And you can spend as much time or as little times as you want, or just periodically repeat under your breath throughout the day as you go about your work, “I love You, O LORD, my strength.” And know you have My full attention to be your strength, your strength and your song. Exodus 15:15:2.
And there will come a time, as you grow and become familiar with My voice, that you will not be choosing the Scripture you meditate upon, but I will let you know which one I want you to go to that day so I can reveal new treasures in that passage to you. That is daily manna, and it will become your daily manna blog. The manna came fresh and new every morning but they had to gather it, grind it, bake it, and eat it. “The Lord LORD has given me the tongue of disciples, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. He awakens me morning by morning, He awakens my ear to listen as a disciple.” Isaiah 50:4.
This is the joy of all the faithful. “Let the godly ones exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged (two-mouthed) sword (two witnesses to the promise in My Word, you and Me) in their hand (death and life are in the hand of your tongue), to execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron, to execute on them the judgment written; this is an honor for all His godly ones (the joy of all the faithful). Praise the Lord!” Psalm 149:5-9. Do you see? Meditation on My Word also develops your partnership in bringing about Kingdom results in the nations and peoples of the earth. It is My Word you must send out to heal and deliver from destruction. And the result? You grow. “For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.” Psalm 149:4. My Word makes you beautiful. But that is tomorrow’s Life Lesson. “Glowing in Prayer.”
I love you. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” Just keep growing in prayer on My Word. You cannot pray without Me and I AM My Word. I will speak to you in My Word and that is how you grow. “Thus Samuel grew and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fail. All Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the LORD. And the LORD appeared again at Shiloh, because the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the Word of the LORD.” 1 Samuel 3:19-21.