A good thing to consider in your practice of prayer is to develop prayer aids—practices that will come along side of prayer to support your prayers. Our best aid of course is the Holy Spirit. We can’t pray at all without the Holy Spirit. He intercedes for us and He tells us in our spirit how to pray according to the will of God (Rom. 8:26-27). And He is the prime mover of all the other things that support and aid prayer—things that make us ready to pray and that make us strong in prayer.
I have come up with nine things that will assist the Christian in prayer:
- Scripture memory
- Biblical (inspired) prayers
- Forgiving others
- Serving others
Over the next couple of months I will be presenting blog posts on these nine prayer aids, in an effort to make you stronger in prayer. Today we will focus on the first one, meditation.
There are a number of ways that our meditation on the Word (the Holy Bible) helps us pray. First of all, when we meditate on the Word each day it serves as a cleansing agent, cleaning us from sin. Here is how it works: when we read the Word and meditate on it, the Holy Spirit uses the truth of the Word (applies the Word to our heart and mind) to convict us of our sins and convince us that we should confess our sins. Then as we confess our sins to God, He forgives us; and the Holy Spirit takes the Word and washes us clean so that our mind and heart is made new (1 Jn. 1:9).
The cleansing of the Word, starting with confession, is our best preparation for prayer. But it doesn’t have to end with confession. If we continue feeding on the Word and are obedient to it, God will speak to our heart and tell us what is on His heart. As we let the Word teach us, reprove us, correct us, and instruct us in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16), the Holy Spirit will continue to cleanse and renew our heart to make us even more ready for prayer.
If we continue to meditate on the Word, more and more, His voice (coming through the words of scripture) will be pleasant to us, so that we desire Him and delight in Him. David said, “I love Your commandments more than gold, yes, than fine gold” (Ps. 119:127)!
I suppose we can say that we desire His Word because He makes us desire it; that is, when we meditate on the Word the Holy Spirit does a work in our heart and mind so that our thoughts and desires are conformed to His thoughts and desires.
Consequently, because we meditate on the Word, we can pray with confidence that He will give us the desires of our heart. As the Psalmist has promised, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:4).
Over all, meditation shows us who God is, what He has done for us and how He loves us. When we meditate on His Word He helps us to love Him and trust Him and to have confidence in Him. By meditation on the Word we become more and more conformed to His image (2 Cor. 3:18). With each bit of scripture we think about and obey we become more like Him. What a great aid to prayer meditation is!