How To Pray When Reading The Bible
A. This prayer, of David's, should arise from our hearts Every Time we read God's Word.
B. This prayer embodies Five basic and important Truths.
I. The Bible Is A Unique Book
A. The Bible is described as:
1. "Thy Word" - V. 17,
2. "Thy Law" - V. 18,
3. "Thy Commandments" - V. 19
4. "Thy Judgments" - V. 20
5. "Thy Testimonies" - V. 22, 24,
6. "Thy Statutes" - V. 23.
The Emphasis in each case is upon the word "Thy".
B. Today we have the Completed Canon of Scriptures --- 66 books --- All of which are Inspired of God.
II Timothy 3:16, "All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
II Peter 1:21, "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost."
II. The Bible Contains Wondrous Things.
A. Psalms 119:18, "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold Wondrous Things out of thy law."
B. When we think of the contents of the Bible --- its Histories --- Types --- Poetry --- Doctrines --- Prophecies --- we begin to realise how wonderful the Word of God really is!
C. The Bible, and only the Bible, tells us about --- God --- Man --- Sin --- Death --- Heaven --- Hell --- Eternity --- and the wonderful Plan of Salvation:
II Timothy 3:15, "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."
III. However, Before We Can See The Wondrous Things In God's Word --- Our Eyes Must Be Opened!
A. Many times, we are like the two on the Emmaus Road.
Luke 24:13-32, "And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem [about] threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed [together] and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. And he said unto them, What manner of communications [are] these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found [it] even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed [it], and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?"
B. Lest our eyes are "holden" --- as were the two disciples --- we need to pray as David:
"Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things..."
C. I Corinthians 2:12-14, "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned."
D. As God reveals Himself to us through His Word:
1. Our eyes are opened,
2. Our heart burns within us,
3. Our lips are filled with testimony.
IV. Only God Can Open Our Eyes To See Wondrous Things In His Word.
A. We need spiritual illumination ...
B. Matthew 13:11-17, "He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. ..... Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed [are] your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven."
C. I Corinthians 2:7-8, "But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known [it], they would not have crucified the Lord of glory."
D. Matthew 11:25, "At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes."
V. To Gain This Needed Illumination We Must Pray The Prayer Of David.
A. Not just once, -- but everytime we open the Word of God.
B. I Corinthians 2:9-14, "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned."
C. Psalms 16:11, "Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence [is] fulness of joy; at thy right hand [there are] pleasures for evermore."
There Are Three Special Ways In Which We Should Pray
VI. First --- "Open thou mine eyes, that I may..." --- See Myself And The Sinfulness of Sin.
A. We only see ourselves and our sin as we look into God's Word and He opens our eyes.
Psalms 51:5, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me."
Isaiah 53:6, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all."
B. We may think that because of --- modern civilisation --- educational advantages --- our hearts are not so bad.
Genesis 6:5, "And God saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually."
Isaiah 1:5-6, "Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head [there is] no soundness in it;"
Jeremiah 17:9, "The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
Matthew 15:19, "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:"
C. When God shows us ourselves --- the revelation is very humbling.
Isaiah--- Isaiah 6:5, "Then said I, Woe [is] me! for I am undone; because I [am] a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."
Peter--- Luke 5:8, "When Simon Peter saw [it], he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord."
Paul--- I Timothy 1:15, "This [is] a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief."
VII. Second --- "Open Thou mine eyes, that I may..." --- See The Love of God And His Infinite Merecy And Grace In The Lord Jesus Christ.
A. The great Proof of God's Love is seen at Calvary.
John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
B. Luke 15:11-23, "And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to [his] father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth [to me]. And he divided unto them [his] living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put [it] on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on [his] feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill [it]; and let us eat, and be merry:"
C. Galatians 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
D. Philippians 2:5-8, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
VIII. Third --- "Open Thou mine eyes, that I may..." --- see the kind of Christian God wants me to be.
A. God desires every one of His children to be Victorious in Christian living and Fruitful in Christian service.
B. Psalms 1:1-3, "Blessed [is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."
C. Romans 6:12-14, "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace."
D. Ephesians 4:31-32, "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
E. II Timothy 4:18, "And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve [me] unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen."
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