In this session we look at how to pray using the Bible as our guide. Amy Boucher Pye interviews Xochitl Dixon to get her seasoned advice on how and why we can pray with the Bible.
Xochitl Dixon, author of Waiting for God: Trusting Daily in God’s Plan and Pace, has a heart for prayer, loving God, loving people, and nurturing spiritual growth through prayer and the study and application of Scripture. She writes for Our Daily Bread, a ministry devoted to making “the life-changing wisdom of the Bible understandable and accessible to all.”
Because the Bible is God-breathed and living, we come to know and encounter God when we read his word. Spending time savouring Scripture helps us to connect with him – he pours his love into us as we allow the time and space to receive from him.
Our hunger for God will lead us to his word – through reading it we get to know more of God’s character and love for us. We then find ourselves wanting to know him more and to receive more of His love. His word becomes the food that nourishes our soul each day. We find increasingly that reading the Bible isn’t a chore but an opportunity to connect with God.
Through reading the Bible and praying, the Holy Spirit speaks to us concerning our individual situations. When we use the Bible to pray, God leads us and sometimes convicts us through specific words in season – but always because he loves us and wants the best for us.
As we read in chapter one of 7 Ways to Pray:
As we dwell in the Word and it lives in us, it comes alive within us, as the writer to the Hebrews said: ‘The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart’ (Hebrews 4:12). We can experience those uncanny moments of coming across a passage and feeling the words burn into our hearts. God can comfort us when we’re hurting as we read a line of the Psalms; he can convict us with his teaching from the Sermon on the Mount. As you read the Scriptures, pause before you delve into them and ask God to speak to you. He loves to respond when we seek him.
In this video, Xochitl takes us through a practical exercise of how we can have Bible-inspired prayer.
Choose one of the other prayer practices in chapter one. Take some time individually to work through the practice and then reconvene as a group. Share how the experience was for you – how did God meet you? How did you respond? What surprised you? Receive the offerings in an attitude of welcome.
This week, choose a favourite passage of Scripture and use it to help you to pray.