The poor in spirit are blessed,
for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
4 Those who mourn are blessed,
for they will be comforted.
5 The gentle are blessed,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed,
for they will be filled.
7 The merciful are blessed,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 The pure in heart are blessed,
for they will see God.
9 The peacemakers are blessed,
for they will be called sons of God.
Matthew 5:3-9 HCSB
Have you ever reached into a bag of your favorite chips anticipating flavor heaven, only to bite into the equivalent of salty cardboard? At times, my prayer life gets stale and flavorless too. And it’s just as disappointing. I sit down with my journal and write down what comes to mind. But my mind can be a pretty shallow pool to draw from. My needs and concerns, even my thanks and praise, can get pretty rote. The same things come up over and over again, and left to my own devices, what should be a two-way conversation can get pretty one-sided. Not to mention selfish. That’s why I’ve started praying lots of scripture.
All scripture is inspired by God [literally breathed out by God] and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16 HCSB Since the bible’s words are the words of God (by way of the Holy Spirit – 2 Peter 1:21), and this verse tells us that ALL of it is profitable, when I pray scripture I know I am praying perfectly within God’s will.
Sometimes I search the bible with intention for a scripture on a certain topic or situation. But more often than not, as I study, I just feel drawn to pray specific verses or passages over my family. Lately I’m fascinated with the idea of praying the Beatitudes.
The word beatitude means blessing. There are many places in the bible, especially in Psalms, where blessings are promised or bestowed. But the only spot where more than two or three blessings are listed together is the recording of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew. All of these blessings refer to the future kingdom of heaven. Not to be mistaken with things we would consider blessings in the here and now. God owes us nothing, of course. But because of the work of Jesus, He promises us everything in due time.
When reading the Beatitudes, it’s important to understand that Jesus was not referencing a certain group or type of people. These promises are for anyone who allows the presence of God to manifest in his/her life. If God wants to bless those who possess these characteristics, then I want them! My sin nature gets in the way, though. I need His divine help to be merciful and meek and pure in heart. So I’m asking for these things in prayer.
Lord, I’ve spent far too long selfishly praying for you to bless me. Today I ask that you make me into someone that you will bless. In my flesh, I am the polar opposite of the person Jesus preached about. But I’m asking you to take possession of my heart and mind so that my thoughts and actions look more like You.
- Poor in spirit doesn’t have anything to do with finances, but humility. In what areas do you rely too much on yourself and not the omnipotence of God?
- When Jesus referenced those who mourn, He wasn’t referring to sorrow over earthly things; but people who mourn their own sin and the sins of others. Spend some time confessing your sins and praying against the evil in the world.
- Ask God to show you relationships that need an extra dose of supernatural meekness, gentleness and self-control.
- In what areas of your life are you struggling with obedience? Ask God to give you an unquenchable hunger and thirst for His will and His justice in the world around you.
- Pray about ways you can show mercy to others. Is there someone you need to forgive or someone who needs a hand up?
- To take a step towards being more pure of heart, analyze the way you spend your leisure time. Are there movies, TV shows, music or websites you would steer clear of if you could see Jesus sitting beside you?
- Where do you see a lack of peace in the world around you. If there is forgiveness you need to offer or reconciliation you should involve yourself in, journal about how you can be an instrument of God’s peace.
A version of this appeared first in Prayer – Approaching the Throne Room of Grace: A 26 Week Devotional and Journal. As a contributing author of this book, it excites me that Amazon offers it now in paperback here! I also want to give away a copy right now! If you have not subscribed to receive my weekly blog post sent to your email inbox, do so in the right hand column of this website. You will not only be entered to win a free hardback copy of the book worth $20, you will also receive a scripture coloring page bundle. What are you waiting for? A drawing will take place next Thursday August 27.
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My family is currently in the midst of a huge spiritual battle. And there is absolutely nothing I can do about it but pray. So Deborah Haddix of deborahhaddix.com struck just the right chord with me in 4 Practical Ideas for Performing the Work of Prayer. Thank you for linking up, Deborah!
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