Luke 23:44-49

During his time on earth, Jesus gave many examples of prayer, which are recorded in the Gospels. Jesus’s final words before he gave up his spirit are familiar to many of us. We meditate on them in our Lenten devotionals, and we hear them read aloud on Good Friday or Easter Morning. 

These words have tremendous significance, if not for the sheer effort it must have taken for our Lord to articulate them. Speaking caused excruciating pain. He had to lift his body by his arms and legs, which were anchored to the cross by huge spikes, draw in a quick breath and force a sound through his vocal cords. 

Why did Jesus speak if it caused him so much pain?

When we cross-reference his final words with verses of the Old Testament, we discover that these are not the babblings of a dying man. They are the thoughts King David wrote a thousand years before our Lord was born. Jesus turned to the Word of God in his greatest hour of need. He isn’t just reciting Scripture here. He is praying it! Some scholars believe he prayed the entire book of Psalms while hanging on the cross. (This isn’t the first-time Jesus used God’s Word to battle with Satan. During his forty days in the desert, he countered Satan’s temptations with “It is written…” as recorded in Matthew 4.)

The victory has been won. Jesus successfully disarmed and defeated Satan. He diffused Satan’s weapon of eternal damnation by paying our debt on the cross, thereby silencing Satan’s accusations and cancelling our shame. Now we must battle in prayer for the souls of our children and grandchildren because Satan and his emissaries are working overtime, trying to deceive them. The kingdom of darkness wants to keep our loved ones in bondage by convincing them that Jesus failed. 

The apostle Paul describes two offensive weapons in his depiction of God’s armor. The first is the shield of faith, which thwarts the deceptions, lies and accusations hurled at us by Satan’s emissaries. The second weapon is the “sword of faith, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). Our prayers become a powerful and effective spiritual weapon when we follow Jesus’ example and embed them with Scripture.

Have you ever been reading the Bible and had the words practically leap off the page—words that you have read multiple times in the past but never noticed? When this happens, you can be sure that the Holy Spirit is highlighting a specific passage or verse for you to contemplate or to pray. 

One of my beloved friends responds to these highlights by using them in her prayers for her grandchildren. Years ago, she committed herself to write a prayer for one of her grandchildren every day. At this point, she has filled three prayer journals for each of her seven grandchildren. The journals are 180 pages, which totals 3,780 pages of Scripture-guided prayer.

I remember the day our granddaughter recited portions of the twenty-third Psalm for me. Her whole family was proud.

“Out of curiosity, what are you going to do with these verses, now that you have them memorized,” I asked.

Our granddaughter shrugged.

“May I offer a suggestion?” 

She nodded, so I continued. “When you are frightened by a thunderstorm in the middle of the night, you can say, ‘Jesus, you are my Shepherd. You make me lie down in green pasture and lead me beside still waters. You restore my soul. Please watch over my family and me tonight. Keep us safe in this storm. Amen.’”

In essence, I was teaching her to pray Scripture.

Whether your grandchildren are half-a-world away or just around the corner, struggling against pagan worship or a bully on the playground, aware of a spiritual battle or not, they need our prayers.  Therefore, Christian Grandparenting Network is pleased to offer our updated 52 Weeks of Prayer, which are available to anyone who signs up to receive them. Whether you are a newcomer to our website or you received the original set of prayers, you can sign up for the new ones. Simply scroll to the bottom of our website and sign up under 52 Weeks of Prayer (right side).

Will you join us? Will you abide in God’s Word and wield the sword of the Spirit, praying God’s Holy Word on behalf of your children, grandchildren and future generations?

Prayer:

Heavenly Father,

We pray that you help us to learn to pray Scripture. Let it become so natural, such a part of our prayer life, that we don’t have to make a conscious effort anymore. Please guide our prayers by highlighting specific verses, which you want us to pray. 

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

We pray this in Jesus’ name.

Amen.

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